I love garlic and it always amazes me to the amount i use in my food. The reason i am amazed is my mother never has or will use garlic in her cooking. I remember my sis and me going crazy and adding tons of garlic in our cooking when my parents would go out of town sometimes leaving us for a day or when they would go to attend a wedding and we could cook at home. We would first beg my amma that she allow us to use garlic in her kitchen..so that would mean crying, whining and cribbing..yep! it was that hard to get her to relent ;) and relent she would :D. Then the day would arrive...my sis would cut all the veggies and prepare some great food and go ballistic with garlic...when my parents would come home..their heads would be reeling ;)
When Sunita announced the spice for the month and it was garlic..i knew it would be really easy to prepare and really no thinking ;) We were in the mood for Chinese and i wanted a departure from the manchurian saga and so decided to make paneer in hot garlic sauce. The original recipe asked for Tofu...but i had only baked one..so i made this with paneer.
I got this recipe from Nita Mehta's Vegetarian Chinese. As usual i made changes and subbed or deleted things i did not have on hand..feel free to do the same.
200 gms paneer - cut in cubes and soaked in warm water (if using tofu..do not soak)
Peanut oil - 2 tbls
Garlic - 1 whole head (about 20-25 cloves)
Red Chilly flakes - 1 tsp. (u can use 2 dried red chillies,broken to bits)
Chilli paste - 1 tbls
Ketchup - 4 tbls (i used maggie hot and sweet...yum!)
Soy sauce - 2 tbls
Rice-wine vinegar - 2 tbls
Pepper - 1/2 tbls
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Bell pepper - 1 cup (diced small)
Water - 1 cup
Cornflour - 2 tbls + 1/2 cup water
Spring Onions - for garnish (optional)
1. Mash the garlic with mortal and pestle. It should get to a smooth paste. Add about 1/4 tsp. of salt to ease the process of mashing.
2. In a wok or large pan, add 2tbls of oil, saute the garlic and the red chilly flakes.
3. When the garlic changes color, add in the red chilly paste,soy sauce, ketchup,pepper and salt. Cook this for a few minutes in medium heat. Then add the vinegar and bell peppers and cook for a couple more minutes. Then add a cup of water.
4. When the water comes to a boil, reduce heat and add the cornflour mixed with 1/2 cup of water, increase the heat to medium and let the whole mix come to a boil and thicken up.
5. Add the paneer (that has been soaking in warm water) by squeezing it gently and let the gravy simmer for 2-3 minutes.
6. Take it off heat and sprinkle spring onion greens if you have any on hand. (I did not have them on hand...am sure u all guessed it whilst looking at the photo!)
7. I would serve this with chinese fried rice. I served these with noodles...i don't think the gravy hit the spot with the noodles.
1. Do not add too much salt thru the cooking process, as the soy sauce has enough.
This is off to the talented lady who mesmerises me with her posts, photos and food! Sunita who blogs at Sunita's world and is hosting Think Spice - Garlic.