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Welcome to The Prana Plate, a food and lifestyle blog that explores all good things that raise our life force energy, our prana.

Peas-paneer & chana dhal

Peas-paneer & chana dhal

Chunky cubes of paneer in a tomato gravy with peas, served with chana dhal curry and long grain rice has got to be another one of my favourite comfort foods! The perfect meal to satisfy a hungry tummy at the end of a long day!

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Peas & Paneer Curry

 

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 dry red chilli
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp finely crushed or chopped green chilli
  • ½ tsp crushed ginger
  • ½ tsp crushed garlic
  • 2 cups / 500g cubed paneer (cottage cheese)
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp dhana jeeroo (coriander & cumin powder)
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • ½ cup of green garden peas

For tomato gravy:

  • 3 medium-sized gem tomatoes (grated)
  • salt, turmeric, dhana jeeroo, red chilli powder, green chilli, ginger and garlic to taste
  • 1 stem of curry leaves (washed)
  • Handful of chopped coriander leaves
  • ½ cup of fresh cream (optional)

 

Method

  1. Heat coconut oil in a pan.
  2. Add bay leaf, dry red chilli, cinnamon stick and cumin seeds.
  3. Once the seeds have slightly browned, add green chilli, ginger and garlic. Braise for a minute or until the raw aroma disappears.
  4. Add paneer (cottage cheese).
  5. Flavour with salt, turmeric, dhana jeeroo, garam masala and red chilli powder.
  6. Cook for about 4 minutes, once the paneer is nicely browned. It should be slightly crispy on the outside, yet still soft on the inside.
  7. Add peas. Mix well and cook for 1 more minute.
  8. Meanwhile, in a separate pot, add tomatoes and allow to cook on the stove on medium heat for 5 minutes. Flavour with salt, turmeric, dhana jeeroo, red chilli powder, green chilli, ginger and garlic. Add curry leaves. If you like more gravy, you can add more tomatoes. Just remember to adjust your spices accordingly.
  9. Mix the tomato chutney with the fried paneer and remove from heat. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
  10. If you’d like a creamy texture to the chutney, you can add fresh cream just before serving.

 

Chana dhal curry

 

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 dry red chilli
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 cloves
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp ingh/ asafoetida
  • 1 tsp finely crushed or chopped red chilli
  • ½ tsp crushed ginger
  • ½ tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 cup chana dhal (soaked overnight)
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp dhana jeeroo (coriander & cumin powder)
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 medium-sized gem tomato (grated)
  • 1 stem of curry leaves
  • Handful of chopped coriander leaves
  • ½ cup of chopped bottle gourd (dodhi) (optional)

 

Method

  1. Heat 1 Tbsp coconut oil in a pan.
  2. Add 1 dry red chilli, 1 cinnamon stick, 2 cloves, ½ tsp mustard seeds and ½ tsp cumin seeds.
  3. Once the seeds have slightly browned, add ¼ tsp ingh/ asafoetida and then 1 tsp finely crushed or chopped red chilli, ½ tsp crushed ginger, ½ tsp crushed garlic. Braise for a minute or until the raw aroma disappears.
  4. Add 1 cup chana dhal that has been soaked overnight in water. Add enough boiling water so that it just covers the dhal.
  5. Flavour with salt, ½ tsp turmeric, 1 tsp dhana jeeroo (coriander & cumin powder), ½ tsp garam masala, 1 tsp red chilli powder.
  6. Cook for about 20 minutes, once the dhal is almost soft. You may need to add more boiling water during cooking – check that it doesn’t dry out.
  7. Add 1 medium grated gem tomato and 1 stem of curry leaves. Allow to cook on medium heat until the tomatoes thicken.
  8. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
  9. Chana dhal also tastes great with bottle gourd (dodhi) – ½ cup of this can be chopped into cubes and added halfway through the cooking, just before the tomatoes.
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