It is made with homemade cheese and fresh peas, but a short-cut is to use baked ricotta and convenient frozen peas.
1 quantity panir or 500 g/1 lb baked ricotta, diced
2 tablespoons oil or ghee
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder (optional)
3 ripe tomatoes peeled, seeded and chopped
500 g/1 lb fresh or frozen peas
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
11/2 teaspoons garam masala
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint or coriander
Heat oil or ghee in a heavy saucepan and fry onion, garlic and ginger over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until translucent and starting to turn golden. Sprinkle in ground spices and stir for 2 minutes or until spices smell fragrant and darken slightly.
Add tomatoes, fresh peas, salt and garam masala, cover and simmer until tomatoes are pulpy and peas are cooked. If using frozen peas, add them after tomatoes are soft. Add diced cheese, spoon the sauce over and simmer for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh herbs and serve with rice or Indian bread.
Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998)