Which is better paneer or tofu
[Indian] Tofu Mattar - pea curry with tofu
You have to check your own ramblings every now and then
That's why there was the Indian classic Mattar Paneer here these days, a curry with peas and Indian cream cheese, with tofu instead of paneer. Why this?
If someone asks me what to use as a replacement for paneer, I always strongly advise against using feta, even though it is recommended as a replacement in some cookbooks and on websites. Feta may now have a similar consistency to Paneer, but the taste is completely different - much more intense and less delicate than the almost neutral Paneer. Instead, I recommend tofu or a firm mozzarella, mostly sold as pizza mozzarella in rolls or already cut into slices.
And after this tofu Mattar - Mattar stands for peas - I just have to agree with myself again. A good, fresh tofu from the Asian shop is in no way inferior to the paneer, neither in terms of consistency nor in terms of taste. Of course it tastes a little different, but by no means worse.
Incidentally, I prefer the fresh tofu, which is sold in brine tubs in well-stocked Asian shops and sold in small fresh-keeping bags. There is simply no product from the health food store or health food store. And if you smell it, you know why the tofu is also called Beancurd - bean curd.
Tofu Mattar - pea curry with tofu
I have noted two variants for you here - a fine and a rather rustic one. For the fine variant, which you can also see in the photo, I passed the masala through a sieve so that the sauce is not lumpy and I don't have to fish out or eat any spices. The rustic variant is then, as you know many curries, a bit chunky with whole spices in it. Simply decide for yourself which version you prefer or which corresponds to the time you spend on cooking.
You can do the same with the degree of spiciness and with Garam Masala. I've used quite a bit of both because I'm used to it too. If you have added too much chili powder, you can soften it by adding some cream. When seasoning with the Garam Masala, try half a teaspoon first, stir well and give the curry a few minutes so that the spice can develop. Try again and decide if it tastes round now. Otherwise you add some Garam Masala. 🙂
- 2 cm piece of ginger, roughly chopped
- 2 large cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
- 2 tomatoes, quartered
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 10 black peppercorns
- 5 cloves
- 4 cm cinnamon stick (I use cassia for hearty dishes)
- 1 bay leaf (I use the big Indian ones)
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- ¾ teaspoon turmeric, ground
- 1 teaspoon chili powder or amount according to your taste
- 2 teaspoons of coriander seeds, ground
- 150 g (frozen) peas
- 1 block of firm tofu a approx. 400 g, cut into cubes
- 100 ml whole milk
- 1-2 teaspoons Garam Masala to taste
- Coriander greens, chopped
- Let the tofu steep in hot water for a few minutes and drain well if it is too soft.
- Finely puree the ginger, garlic and tomatoes in a blender, add a little water if necessary.
- Heat the oil in a sauté pan. Add cumin, pepper, cloves, cinnamon and bay leaf and roast until the cumin turns darker and smells aromatic.
- Add the onions and sweat until they are light golden brown. Then stir in the turmeric, coriander and chilli powder, stir briefly and then add the tomato puree. Salt and bring to a boil.
- Simmer on medium heat for about 10 minutes until a few drops of oil show on the surface and the color has intensified.
- For a fine sauce, spread the mixture through a sieve and put it back into the sauté pan. This step can be omitted for the rustic variant.
- Simmer for a few minutes, then stir in the milk. Add a little water as needed. Bring to the boil and add the peas. Simmer on medium heat for about 5 minutes, then season with garam masala and salt and stir in coriander greens.
- Carefully fold in the tofu and simmer covered for about 5 minutes until the tofu has warmed up, then serve
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