Spicy fried-potato curry with paneer cheese and peas (Aloo muttar paneer)
4 tbsps vegetable oil
250g peeled small waxy potatoes, such as Charlotte, halved lengthways and cut into 1cm-thick slices
250g paneer, cut into pieces 1cm x 2cm
12 curry leaves
1 tsp cumin seeds
100g onions, chopped
15g garlic, crushed
25g peeled ginger, finely grated
½ tsp turmeric powder
3 green cayenne chillies, slit open lengthways
250g vine-ripened tomatoes, chopped
½ tsp garam masala
175g peas, fresh or frozen
When I was watching three chefs, resplendent in their chefs' whites, cook a beef shatkora, I was intrigued to see they were cooking a couple of other dishes at the same time. This made filming a little tricky as we weren't sure whether the potatoes, peas and paneer were going into the shatkora or not, and we were at a linguistic disadvantage too.
But it eventually became clear this was a separate dish, being cooked for some customers in the restaurant, and a very good one too. I was surprised that they stirred in some ghee at the end, but then dairy produce is an important part of the Bangladeshi repertoire.
I ordered one in the restaurant that evening and found it delicious. Serves four to six.
1Heat two tablespoons of the oil in a wide shallow frying pan over a medium heat. Add the potato pieces and fry them for six to eight minutes, turning them every now and then until they are golden brown all over. Using a slotted spoon, lift out on to a plate. Add another tablespoon of oil and the paneer and fry for three to four minutes until these too are golden all over. Set aside with the potatoes.
2Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan, add the curry leaves and cumin seeds and allow them to sizzle for a few seconds.
3Add the onions, garlic and ginger and fry gently for five minutes until the onions are soft and just beginning to brown. Add the turmeric, chillies and chopped tomatoes and fry until the tomatoes have broken down to form a sauce.
4Add the potatoes, 100ml water and one teaspoon salt, cover and simmer for five minutes until the potatoes are tender and the liquid has reduced to a thickish sauce. Add the pieces of fried paneer, garam masala and peas, and simmer for two minutes or until the peas are just tender. Stir in the ghee and serve.