three musketeers and a Thai dish

If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him… the people who give you their food give you their heart – Cesar Chavez.

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We are Back ! After a short break (mostly unplanned), a dish planned long in making finally took an edible shape in our kitchen.We devoured the new dish, happily surprised at the new bursts of taste. But that’s what exploring new cuisine takes us to..in developing new taste and reinforcing friendships.

For our third recipe on the blog, we decided on a south east Asian recipe. Part of the researching took us to fancy sounding names to exotic ingredients. After much heated arguments (not), we finally zeroed on a recipe from Thailand, a recipe which is easily adaptable to the ingredients available over here.

We invited one of our friend, to join us to make this recipe. She was quite intrigued by the fact that we were busy taking pictures and will post it on a blog. She asked us perhaps the most important question-Why do we blog ? It left us a bit distracted but we got back to work, lest the dish got burnt. And while we are discussing this topic, how do you like to work in the kitchen, do you like to cook alone or with your friend, spouse. Do you feel threatened by the idea, that even if for a short span of time, someone is taking over your space in the kitchen. OR  do you belong to that era, where you don’t like even if the salt shaker is moved by one single inch on the kitchen shelf ?

I know for a fact that we did have fun, lot of ideas flying around. But finally we made the dish, it tasted good and all was well with the world. Now dear gentle readers, back to your kitchen and note pads.

Here is the recipe for Paneer with Coconut Peanut Sauce (adapted from http://vegangela.com/2011/07/19/tofu-with-thai-coconut-peanut-sauce/ )

Paneer(Cottage Cheese) with Coconut Peanut Sauce 

Serves 3 (comfortably)

Weeknight dinner

Drinks to go with :- Ginger Ale, Lemon Ice tea, Masala Soda

Ingredients :-

200 gms paneer

1/2 cup coconut milk (we used Dabur)

1/3rd cup peanut butter

1/3rd cup steamed rice

1/4 cup chopped onion,

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp chilli flakes

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 tbsp fresh chopped ginger

2 tbsp finely chopped garlic

1 tsp soy sauce

1 tsp red Thai curry paste

1 tsp black ground pepper

4 tbsp any edible oil (without any strong flavor)

handful for cilantro chopped-for garnish

Method :-

1. To make the paneer marinade :-

Take 2 tablespoon of oil, garlic, black pepper , salt(according to taste), Mix paneer in this marinade, coat it evenly and set it aside.

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2. To make sauce :

Heat the remaining oil in a non-stick frying pan. Add the onion, ginger, red chilli flakes and saute for a few minutes. Stir in now the peanut butter,coconut milk, soy sauce, red thai curry paste. Let the sauce simmer for a few minutes, till it becomes thick. Adjust the spices and the seasoning ( we like it a bit spicy)

(at this point, we looked like three witches dancing around the pot, uttering and muttering ominous secret spell to make potions. Nevertheless, we were just three girls making peanut sauce)

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3. To pan-fry paneer

Take a non-stick frying pan and saute paneer till both the sides turn golden brown.

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Plating :-

1. Put the steam rice on the serving plate.

2. Drizzle generously the peanut butter coconut sauce on the rice. Arrange the paneer pieces along side with the steamed rice.

3. Garnish with chopped coriander.

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Cheat’s Version :-

1. We already cheated on the first part, instead of using Tofu we used paneer. To make a more healthier version, you may skip the paneer/tofu all together and used grilled vegetables.

Verdict :- 

1. we loved it, it takes a bit of a time to get acquired to this taste. But the amalgamation of a new flavor arising from the mix of peanut butter, coconut milk, ginger, garlic is definitely a match made in heaven.

2. may be next time, we will skip soy sauce all together. Apart from adding a bit of color to the sauce, it didn’t enhance the taste at all.

3. We would dial down the oil used in this recipe and make it a more healthier version.

4. I am going definitely going to use the sauce, thin it a bit and probably use it as a dressing over a salad or over a simple noodles with toasted sesame seeds,

5. This is a simple weekday dinner meal. There is a lot of time afterwards to read a novel or watch some movie : )

Thank you for reading this post. Thank you also for asking about us. We’ll try to be regular.

And till we meet again, Au revoir,

Nikita and Shweta

PS:- While writing this post i was listening to this soothing playlist from 8 tracks, have a look- http://8tracks.com/duulgc/read-write-study

There is no sincerer love than the love of food- George Bernard Shaw

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