Green Olive Matar Paneer

Green Olives, Indian Cottage Cheese (Paneer), Shelled pistachios, Tomato, Onion, Dried Mint, Nigella Seeds (Kalonji).

1. Soak ¼ cup of shelled pistachios in warm water for a couple of hours. Drain the water.
2. Blend ¾ cup of green olives along with the soaked softened pistachios and 1 very ripe medium size tomato with a little milk.
3. Chop ½ cup of olives into small pieces, keep aside.
4. Defrost ½ cup of green peas.
5. Cube paneer (1 cup).
6. Slice 1 medium-sized onion.
7. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan, add kalonji and saute for a minute and add the sliced onions, saute for another minute (do not allow it to brown).
8. Add the blended mixture to the pan, reduce the heat and mix well.
9. Add 3 tablespoons of dried mint, 1.5 tablespoons of red chili powder, 1 tablespoon of garam masala, 2 tablespoons of coriander-cumin powder, 2 tablespoons of ginger powder and salt to taste. Saute this mixture and partially cover to allow all the spices to cook and blend into the olive/pistachio paste.
10. Add ¼ cup of half-and-half (or milk), ½ cup of water and mix well.
11. When the mixture starts to thicken, add chopped olives and green peas and allow it to cook for 5-6 minutes.
12. Garnish with toasted kalonji, dried mint, and sliced olives.
13. Serve hot with phulkas or naans!

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