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Recipe for Malai Mutter Paneer

I'm a bit busy today, but I thought it might be fun to share in my blog a recipe that I've prepared.  I created this recipe after constantly ordering it at my favorite Indian restaurant. It is no longer on the menu and I've modified it over time, but here is it's current incarnation.   

This dish is a slightly sweet, slightly spiced, and highly aromatic dish.  AWESOME!  It is simple to prepare, especially if you have a good curry and Panner on hand.  I've included links to both recipes.  This is NOT a healthy dish, as obvious by the loads of butter and half and half.  I'm working on a lower-fat version, but for now I simply say enjoy it but not too much of it.

This dish is Punjabi in origin (Northern India/Eastern Pakistan.) I don't know how authentic it is here, simply because I've created it from my palate, not from a recipe. 

Ingredients:

3 Tbsp Vegetable Oil

2 Leeks

2 Cups of Cashew Halves (unsaltted)

2 Cups of Fresh English Peas, shelled

4 cups sliced mushrooms (button mushrooms are fine, shitake mushrooms great)

4 Tbsp curry paste (See my Curry Paste recipe)

2 Tbsp tomato paste

4 Cups Half-and-Half

4 Tbsp unsalted butter

Fresh Paneer, from ½ gallon milk (See my Paneer recipe)

Salt to taste

 

How to: 

Cut Paneer into 1-inch cubes.  Set aside. 

Clean leeks well to remove grit and thinly slice the white “bulbs”, discarding green tops.  Clean and slice mushrooms.  Remove stems and threads from peas.    

In a sauté pan, heat oil over high heat.  Add cashews, mushrooms, and fresh peas.  Sauté quickly for 2-3 minutes until mushrooms are slightly browned.  Reduce heat to medium.  Add curry paste, tomato paste, and half of the butter.  Stir as butter melts, incorporating both pastes thoroughly.        

Reduce heat to medium-low and add Half-and-half and remaining butter.  Simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Once the cashews are no longer crunchy and the peas are beginning to burst, add the Paneer cubes.  Simmer on low heat for another 10 minutes as the liquid reduces and thickens.

Salt to taste before serving.  Serve hot with exotic rice.

 

Tips from my experience:  (1) To make a Vegan version, use firm tofu instead of Paneer and use replace Half-and-half with coconut milk.  A thickening agent may be needed. (2) Add dried currants, dried mangoes, golden raisins, or dried pineapple for a new flavor.  (3) Because the liquid reduces significantly and flavors become concentrated, add salt AT THE END of the simmering.  Expect to add less salt if you use salted butter and/or salted cashews.  4) I replaced the cashews once with macadamia nuts...beautiful!  But add the nuts when you add the cheese.  They are naturally softer than cashews and require less cooking.  5) Use fresh peas when possible.  I use peas that are bitter when raw, but become sweet when cooked.  Frozen peas can be used, but add the peas when you add the Paneer.  Under no circumstances use canned peas.  Please!  You palate will thank you.  Canned mushrooms are fine, but be aware of the added salt and adjust salt accordingly. 

 

Comments
# re: Recipe for Malai Mutter Paneer @ Sunday, June 01, 2008 11:30 AM
Oh this sounds so good Heather.  I make a variation of Paneer using goats milk which we flavor with herbs.  The process is the same as you use for your recipe for paneer.  I too use lemon juice instead of rennet.  Since the mad cow scare I am moving away from using cows milk very much for my pot cheeses.  I really like the goats milk better.  

Thank you so much for sharing with us.  This sounds so wonderful and I am dying to try it.

Rosie
# re: Recipe for Malai Mutter Paneer @ Sunday, June 01, 2008 11:35 AM
I like using Goat's Milk, too.  Are you in the UK Rosie?  I ask because of the Mad Cow reference.

I used to say that I was going to move to the mountains and make cheese.  Panner was my first stab at it.  Right now I'm in town so having a goat and/or sheep is not possible.  

Thanks for stopping in and please let me know if you try it!  Hugs, H
# re: Recipe for Malai Mutter Paneer @ Sunday, June 01, 2008 11:51 AM
I am in West Virginia now in the States.  I am a native Californian and have moved here because I love these old mountains and land.  I have access to goats milk from a fine farm not far from us that produces goat's milk for the market and also makes wonderful cheeses.  I purchase the  milk there but you can purchase it in health food stores also I have heard.  I like farmers cheese and I put a lot of fresh chives, basil and garlic is some of mine for lovely cheese balls during the holiday season.  I do live in the boonies and we are thinking of buying another farm closer to the northern part of West Virginia soon I hope or some land to build on.  I would love to make Mozzerella cheese and that is what I am going to try next!  Thanks for the lovely yummy sounding recipe.  You an Capricorn are going to tempt us into doing more cooking I believe.

Rosie
# re: Recipe for Malai Mutter Paneer @ Sunday, June 01, 2008 12:03 PM
The mountains of W.Virginia are beautiful.  We go rafting in WV and my husband goes ATVing there, too.  Awesome.  What do they say...wild, wonderful...?

I'm in Virginia.  Do you know of Front Royal?  If you were out by Harper's Ferry and took 340 South you would hit my area just after Charlestown.

Hello semi-neighbor!
# re: Recipe for Malai Mutter Paneer @ Sunday, June 01, 2008 12:32 PM
Yeah, a recipe for Trish food, LOL, I love indian
# re: Recipe for Malai Mutter Paneer @ Sunday, June 01, 2008 12:37 PM
Oh....Trish...I've got some recipes for you, Girl.  I've accumulated some serious Indian dishes.  

And by all means, feel free to share any you might have!
# re: Recipe for Malai Mutter Paneer @ Sunday, June 01, 2008 12:48 PM
I absolutely do not like to cook!  Fortunately my wonderful guy does all our cooking as it is difficult to cook from a wheelchair. Ok well to be honest, except for his mess its great.

I do however love to say malai mutter paneer! Thats fun! I will say it again loudly malai mutter paneer. Sounds like some kind of fruity peanut butter substance to me. I know I am odd, I also like to say the word noodle.
# re: Recipe for Malai Mutter Paneer @ Sunday, June 01, 2008 12:50 PM
I will be emailing you, I am mostly vegan (I bite my sons burger every once in awhile) I am just learning to cook, I mean really cook. I was raised on mashed potatoes and pot roast. I don't eat like that nor do I like it!!!!!
# re: Recipe for Malai Mutter Paneer @ Sunday, June 01, 2008 12:59 PM
Lady Hope...noodle is a great word.  Nooooodle.  Nooooooooooodddddddddddleeeeeeee.  

I think if your guy does the cooking, then by all means let's not rock that boat.  My husband's version of cooking is opening the box, poking holes in the plastic, and putting it in the microwave.  ;-)  Should make for easy clean-up but somehow he still leave behind a mess!

 
# re: Recipe for Malai Mutter Paneer @ Sunday, June 01, 2008 1:08 PM
Trish (et al),

If you are veg*n...I have a great suggestion.

The Cafe Flora cookbook is available on Amazon.

It's the cookbook for a Seatle-based vegetarian/vegan restuarant.  My husband and I have dinner there at least once every time we go to Seattle.  It appeals even to carnivores but does not serve meat.  (he's a carnivore, this is how I know!)

If you don't want to buy the book without trying a dish or two, let me know...I'll share some of my favorite recipes.

Seattlites...try Cafe Flora near Capitol Hill if you can!
 

# re: Recipe for Malai Mutter Paneer @ Sunday, June 01, 2008 6:42 PM
malai mutter paneer, malai mutter paneer,

turtles love malai mutter paneer
# re: Recipe for Malai Mutter Paneer @ Sunday, June 01, 2008 8:40 PM
OK, sorry, I just can't resist!! A little ditty :)

Malai Mutter Paneer
Fun to say, so sincere
Malai Mutter Paneer
Let’s all say it , Here! Here!
# re: Recipe for Malai Mutter Paneer @ Monday, June 02, 2008 12:48 AM
lol why mind shift you are a genius!
# re: Recipe for Malai Mutter Paneer @ Monday, June 02, 2008 8:57 AM
Perhaps, we could get Mathie to sing it?  Now that would be true genius!! :)
# re: Recipe for Malai Mutter Paneer @ Monday, June 02, 2008 3:00 PM
I love delighting in the little things! It makes life so worth living. That we can say words that are fun, make up ditties and pass witty banter about is much to be celebrated.

To giggle about silly things is delightful!
# re: Recipe for Malai Mutter Paneer @ Tuesday, June 03, 2008 3:22 AM
I cannot believe I said delightful I sound like someone from the 50s. I am such a dork.
# re: Recipe for Malai Mutter Paneer @ Tuesday, June 03, 2008 5:30 AM
Lady Hope,

Alas, you did indeed say "Delightful" in my blog, and indeed, you sound as though you've stepped through a time vortex from the 50's to now.

We have two options here.  I can edit the blog for you (for a price) and we can pretend none of it ever happened.  Or alternately we can start imagining you in pressed frocks, aprons, and pincurls.

I have the image of Lucy, when she thinks the building is on fire and grabs what is important to her....her bottles of Henna.  ;-)
# re: Recipe for Malai Mutter Paneer @ Tuesday, June 03, 2008 7:31 AM
Darling, (as in the 50s)

Have you been looking out my peepers? I mean here I am in my pink gingham, tight waisted full skirt dress, just a swirling away. But everyone knows I wear pink cowboy boots, not heels. No its ok I am in a time warp, it is my lot in life, and its groovy.

you little blackmailer you
# re: Recipe for Malai Mutter Paneer @ Tuesday, June 03, 2008 6:08 PM
Hey Lady!  At least you didn't use the other "d" word...Delicious!!! lol
# re: Recipe for Malai Mutter Paneer @ Tuesday, June 03, 2008 11:43 PM
uh lookie here..I am doing a symbol with my little hand. lol and its not the love you symbol but one which could fly away at any moment.
# re: Recipe for Malai Mutter Paneer @ Wednesday, June 04, 2008 6:04 AM
hehehe....Lady, THAT gesture is not very LADYlike!!

# re: Recipe for Malai Mutter Paneer @ Wednesday, June 04, 2008 9:04 AM
You talking about the little pinkie? lol
# re: Recipe for Malai Mutter Paneer @ Wednesday, June 04, 2008 6:38 PM
The BIG pinkie, I think!
# re: Recipe for Malai Mutter Paneer @ Thursday, June 05, 2008 12:27 AM
Yeah that big middle pinkie! Ya pull all theother ones down and point straight up to the sky!

Yeah it wasnt ladylike and usually I act or attempt to assimulate a lady like presence. Wasnt very hopeful like either lol.
# re: Recipe for Malai Mutter Paneer @ Thursday, June 05, 2008 12:28 AM
Maybe my name should be changed to lady sometimes hehehehe
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