Monday, March 14, 2016

Paneer Fulkopir Torkari / Bengali Cauliflower and Cottage Cheese Curry

One of the good things of childhood is that we love to eat foods in between their process. I loved teat fried dhokas before ma added them to the curry and fried fishes were my favourite before adding to the curry. So as per this rule we loved to eat raw paneer before frying and adding them to the curry.

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In Kolkata Ma used to by Amul paneer and the come in sealed pouches. A large chunk of paneer stays inside those pouches and as a result the pouch always has a fat belly. Unlike my homemade paneer, Amul paneer has a slender, square polished body without any cracks here and there. And when Ma used to cut them with her sharp knife...my god...what beauty they used to become!! Small white squares of creamy heavenly bites. I loved to eat them raw. Just when mother cut them into pieces. Still now I do this thing. After making paneer when I remove the wet cloth from the slump of cottage cheese and prepare to slice them into pieces, I make a small cut for myself. What can I say!!! I love unseasoned paneer too!! This year I thought I would bring two pouches of Amul paneer from Kolkata to Abidjan...but amidst all other things I completely forgot about them.

bengali paneer recipe Paneer Fulkopir Torkari recipe / Cauliflower and Cottage Cheese Curry recipe
Shallow fry the pieces of paneer.
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Marinate the cubed potatoes with some salt and turmeric powder and shallow fry them until golden.
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Marinate the cauliflower florets with salt and turmeric powder.
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Shallow fry the cauliflowr florets until golden.
Paneer Fulkopir Torkari recipe / Cauliflower and Cottage Cheese Curry recipe with step by step pictures recipe and preparation
Temper the remaining oil afrter frying the potatoes, cauliflower and paneer with whole garam masalas.
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Add the chopped tomatoes to them.
bengali cauliflower preparation Paneer Fulkopir Torkari recipe / Cauliflower and Cottage Cheese Curry recipe with step by step pictures
Cook the tomatoes till oil starts to separate and then add the minced ginger. Mix and cook for 1 more minutes. 
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Add little water and add the spices. Cook for 2 minutes to ward off their smell.
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Add the fried potatoes.
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Add fried cauliflower florets, salt, sugar and water. Simmer till all the veggies are cooked and the gravy reaches your desired consistency.
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When the potatoes and cauliflower is cooked from inside add the fried paneer pieces and green peas and simmer for 3-4 minutes more.
Paneer Fulkopir Torkari recipe / Cauliflower and Cottage Cheese Curry recipe with step by step pictures
Taste and adjust the seasonings and put off the flame.
Paneer Fulkopir Torkari recipe / Cauliflower and Cottage Cheese Curry recipe with step by step pictures

For Ma Paneer had only one use, when she made Niramish Paneerer Torkari. But then she started using paneer to the cauliflower curry as well. And you just need to try them yourself to realize how beautiful this combination can turn out.

Paneer Fulkopir Torkari recipe / Cauliflower and Cottage Cheese Curry recipe with step by step pictures

Paneer Fulkopir Torkari / Bengali Cauliflower and Cottage Cheese Curry
Serves 4

Paneer Fulkopir Torkari recipe / Cauliflower and Cottage Cheese Curry recipe with step by step pictures

Ingredients:
1 medium cauliflower – cut into small florets
2 small potatoes – cut into cubes
A handful of green peas
200 gm cottage cheese / paneer – cut into medium cubes
2 -3 medium tomatoes – chopped
1 inch ginger stick – minced / paste
2-3 tsp turmeric powder
2-3 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
½ cup oil
1 small cinnamon stick
3 green cardamoms
3 cloves
1 medium bay leaf
Salt
1 tsp sugar

Method:
Sprinkle some turmeric powder over the cubed potatoes and cauliflower. Rub them well over the cauliflower and potatoes and keep aside.
Heat half of the oil in a pan / kadai and shallow fry the paneer pieces in them. Once done take them out of the pan and keep aside.
In the same oil shallow fry the cubed potatoes and cauliflower until golden. Once done take them off the pan and keep separately.
In the same oil add the cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamoms and bay leaf.
Sauté for half a minute or until the oil becomes aromatic and then add the chopped tomatoes to them.
Sauté and cook the tomatoes till the tomatoes are cooked and the oil starts to float on top.
Add the ginger paste and mix in.
Next add the turmeric powder, red chilli powder, cumin powder and coriander powder.
Mix them with the cooked tomatoes and simmer for 2 minutes to ward off the smell of the spices.
Then add ½ cup of water and cook the curry through until all the water evaporates and the curry thickens in consistency. Do stir frequently during this time to create a smooth gravy and avoid any kind of burning.
Now add 1 and ½ cup – 2 cups of water according to your preference of the gravy.
Add salt and sugar.
Then add in the fried potatoes and cauliflower.
Give them a good stir and cover to cook them completely. It will take 6-8 minutes on medium flame as they are already half cooked from frying.
After 6-8 minutes open the cover and see whether the potatoes and cauliflower is cooked from inside. If not keep them cooking till they are done.
After that add the fried paneer pieces and green peas to the curry and mix them in. I have used frozen green peas. If you are using fresh green peas then add them a little earlier as they take a little time to get cooked.
Simmer on low for another 3-5 minutes.

Taste and adjust the seasonings and put off the flame. 

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