A TYPICAL BANGLA SPECIALITY
Warm memories & original recipe acknowledgment: My friend Suja’s Mom!
Paneer, Potatoes, Poppy Seeds, Black Cumin Seeds (kali jeera), Cumin Powder, Green chilies, Mustard Oil.
1. In a small bowl, add 5 heaped tablespoons of poppy seeds. To this, add just enough boiling hot water to cover the seeds and allow to soak for about 2 hours. Grind the seeds to a fine thick paste without adding too much additional water.
2. Peel and cube 2 large brown potatoes, keep them immersed in a bowl of cold water to avoid discoloration.
3. Cube paneer (half the quantity of the potatoes).
4. Heat a little oil in a non-stick large skillet. Add the paneer and saute till it gets a little brown on the edges. Take the paneer out and place on a paper towel.
5. Add a little more oil to the pan and when the oil gets hot, add a teaspoon of kali jeera and 3 finely chopped green chilies and saute well.
6. Add the potatoes to the pan along with a pinch of turmeric (optional) and salt to taste.
7. Also add 3 green chilies slit length-wise.
8. Saute for a couple of minutes, add a little water, cover and cook.
9. When the potatoes are half done, add the paneer and the poppy seed paste.
10. Mix well till the paste coats both the potatoes and the paneer. Sprinkle some more water and cook till the potatoes are tender but not mushy.
11. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of cumin powder and add a teaspoon of mustard oil and mix everything well, uncover the pan and allow everything to blend well and for the aroma to emanate from the pan.
12. Serve with steaming hot rice and masoor daal.
Note: Traditionally, this is cooked in mustard oil, but it is pretty strong, so I have resorted to adding only a teeny bit at the end. If you happen to love mustard oil, by all means, cooking the veggies in it.