If you know me in real life, you know that mattar paneer (Indian cottage cheese with peas in a tomato gravy) is like crack to me. Any visit to an Indian restaurant, event, or even takeout is not complete without an order of mattar paneer. On this particular day, I went out and bought all the ingredients I needed to make mattar paneer...except the paneer. Classic. Obviously I was already in pajamas by the time I realized this, and once I change into jammies, it's near impossible to convince me to change back into street clothes. So, I decided to go with it and combine the peas (mattar) with mushrooms instead to make a veggie dish mostly out of thin air.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 inch ginger, minced or grated
- 1 8oz package white button mushrooms, quartered
- 1 cup frozen green peas
- 2 tsp tandoori masala
- 1 tsp Pilpelchuma (African spice kit from Trader Joe's)
- 2 tsp Ras el Hanout (African spice kit from Trader Joe's)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Heat olive oil in a skillet and sautee the onions. When they turn translucent, add the ginger and garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 min. Add the chopped mushrooms and cook until they soften a bit, but still have some bite. Next add the green peas, tandoori masala, pilpelchuma, ras el hanout, salt, and pepper. Go easy on the salt because some of the other seasonings may have salt added to them already. cook until the peas soften and serve immediately. You can garnish with green onions or cilantro, but my cutting board was already in the dishwasher at this point, so...no garnishes this time.
This dish was rather versatile - over the next 2 days, I added it to rice for a quick biryani, to flour tortillas for tacos and even to an omelette for breakfast.