If you happen to live in Calgary, AB you are in luck because you can go on an amazing food tour with my very cool Aunt Karen and her company, Calgary Food Tours. You are even more lucky because she can introduce you to Noorbanu Nimji, author of A Spicy Touch cookbook series, and you can make samosas together on her "A Passage to Indian Cooking" tour.
I often miss getting to hang out with my Aunt and Ontario has felt like Calgary this past week with the cold weather. As a result I decided to make myself my absolute favourite recipe of Mrs. Nimji's, Palak Matar Paneer. Here is the recipe for both the paneer and my (gluten free) corn tortillas...
Palak Matar Paneer
(Spinach and Peas with Cheese)
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp dried red chili flakes
3 tbsp crushed tomatoes
2 tsp garlic paste (or I will crush 2 large garlic cloves in a garlic press)
1 tbsp sweet chile sauce
1-1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp tumeric
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup of water
2 bunches of fresh spinach
2-1/4 cups of frozen peas
400g package of paneer, cut into cubes
2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves
1. Heat the olive oil in a pot and add the mustard, cumin seeds and dried red chili flakes.
2. When the mustard seeds start to pop, add the tomato, garlic, chile sauce, ground cumin, tumeric and salt. Saute for 2 minutes.
3. Add the water, spinach and peas and cook until the vegetables are tender.
4. Add the paneer and cook the mixture for another 2 minutes.
5. You can serve this over rice, or you can puree the mixture in a food processor (which I have opted to do).
6. Put the contents into the food processor and pulse until blended.
7. Serve it as a dip with pita, roti or naan bread.
For a gluten free option, I made corn tortillas!
Yields approximately 6, 6-inch tortillas.
2 cups of corn meal
2-1/4 cups of water
1. Mix the corn meal and water in a bowl. Heat a frying pan with a little bit of oil.
2. Roll dough into a ball that is a bit bigger than a golf ball. Flatten the ball between two pieces of plastic wrap using a rolling pin or the bottom of a flat pot.
3. Place the flattened dough in the hot frying pan and fry until each side is stiff. You may notice that the bread will puff in the middle with steam. This is normal and a sign that it is cooked.