Stir-fried Paneer with Tamarind and Coconut

1-2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cups of Indian Paneer cheese cut into small chunks (or tofu/firm cottage cheese)
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 pinch asafodetia (hing)
1-2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/2 inch ginger, crushed
1 tsp salt, or to taste
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 tbsp tamarind paste (can be bought prepared, but best to buy raw dried tamarind, soak for an hour in hot water, then squeeze and strain the tamarind paste
10-12 fresh curry leaves, if not available, dried could do (in which case use about 6-7)
1 tbsp jaggery, available from most supermarket’s ethnic counters or Indian stores
3/4 inch cup fresh grated coconut or desiccated coconut if fresh in not available
handful of chopped coriander leaves for garnish

Fry the panner off in a frying pan with a little oil until brown on all sides. Set aside. Put a little more oil in a wok style pan and heat under medium heat. Now add mustard seeds and cumin seeds and once they start to pop add the pinch of hing and then the ginger and garlic paste and fry quickly not allowing the contents to burn. Add salt to taste.

Once the raw smell of garlic leaves the pan add the tomatoes and cook until soft, you may need to add a little water to ensure that the sauce doesn’t burn. Add the tamarind, curry leaves and jaggery and once the sauce is cooked, and the oil starts to rise up, add the coconut and turn off the heat. Pop in the fried paneer and top with more coconut and coriander leaves.

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