If you’ve never had paneer, a fresh, mild Indian cheese, you should definitely check it out. It’s solid enough not to melt quickly, but soft enough to give some great texture to a dish like this. Feel free to leave this out and add veggies or meat instead. Oh, by the way, the fresh cilantro and lime on top is really REALLY needed for this dish… so get yourself some!
Go ahead and chop up a medium sized onion and a carrot in whatever shape you’d like. Now’s a good time to get your rice cooking too!
Also mince a few cloves of fresh garlic and chop up a nice handful of paneer.
In a heated, greased pot, add your onion, carrots and a nice dash of kosher or sea salt.
Now add a can of chickpeas. By the way, chickpeas are one of those things I totally have on hand in the canned form. I’m all about soaking these and cooking from scratch, but it does take a whole lot of planning.
So I went to an Indian market and got a spice packet. I can’t tell you what’s in it or what the name of it was, because I asked the lovely Indian woman behind the counter to suggest something for me and it wasn’t in English. The picture on the front was a chickpea curry. If you have no idea what to get, or don’t care about the different kinds of curry, just get any packet that looks like Indian curry or masala seasoning. Either that, or make your own spices- use stuff like curry powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, cinnamon, cardamom, coriander, nutmeg, etc.
Add your spices to the chickpeas and veggies. Stir gently.
You’ve got two options (at least) right now. Add a can or two of broth (whatever flavor you want), or a few cans of coconut milk. Either way would be awesome, but I had broth. If you have neither and REALLY don’t want to go to the store to get it, you can use water (and a bouillon cube if you’ve got it).
Also add your handful o’ paneer.
Cook on medium heat just for a few minutes, stirring gently. Be careful not to break the paneer up too much. Also add a big ol’ handful of spinach. Why? Well, why not?
Plate your rice with a hefty spoonful of the curry on top. Garnish with fresh cilantro and a wedge of lime. These two things really bring a lot of flavor to the dish without adding salt. Enjoy!
1/2 Block paneer – $2.00
1 Medium onion – $.45
1 Carrot – $.11
Handful o’ spinach – $.05
Can of chickpeas – $.69
Spice packet – $1.99
5 servings – $1.05
1 Serving rice – $.10
1/8 Lime – $.05
1 Serving – $1.20