Chole Panir Masala (Paneer and Chickpeas Masala)
Please also note that the amount of cayenne in my recipes is to taste. I cook for children, so by necessity, everything is mildly spiced. If no children will be eating this dish, you may wish to double the cayenne; if you're accustomed to Indian food, by all means triple it.
Note: made this dish again, omitted chana masala powder in favor of 1/2 tsp garam masala and 1/2 tsp finely ground black pepper.
1 cup dry chickpeas, cooked, liquid reserved
2 Tbsp ghee, divided
14 ozs paneer, cubed
3/4 tsp black mustard seeds
2 sprigs curry leaves
1 red onion, diced
1 tsp garlic paste (or very finely minced garlic)
1 tsp ginger paste (or very finely grated ginger)
1 tsp coriander powder
3/4 tsp cumin powder
3/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp cayenne, or to taste
1 c crushed tomatoes
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp channa masala powder
2 tsp amchur, or to taste (optional)
2 Tbsp cilantro
In a large, flat-bottomed saute pan, or a large wok, heat 1 Tbsp ghee over medium-high heat. Saute paneer until golden brown. Remove.
Add remaining ghee; when it shimmers, add mustard seeds, cover immediately, and cook until popping subsides. Add curry leaves; when crackling subsides, add red onion. Cook until softened.
Add ginger and garlic; cook a moment or two. Add spices; cook until fragrant. Add crushed tomatoes, salt, and at least 1 cup cooking water from chickpeas (to taste). When liquid comes to a simmer, add chickpeas. Simmer a few minutes.
Add paneer; simmer a few more minutes. Remove from heat, stir in channa masala powder and amchur, top with cilantro, and serve.