Paneer and mushroom dhansak came about as we wanted a veggie version of our beloved chicken dhansak. We are quite new to vegetarian cooking, so are always looking for ways to make veggie versions of old favourites.
Paneer and Mushroom Dhansak
1 can of lentils (400g)
1 block of paneer cut into cubes (about 12 pieces)
2 cubes of frozen garlic paste (defrosted)
1 cube frozen ginger paste (defrosted)
1 green chilli (roughly chopped)
1/2 an onion (diced)
1 cinnamon stick
8 green cardamon pods
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
1tsp each of: ginger powder, cinnamon powder, turmeric
125g mushrooms (cut into chunks and fried in butter with a clove of garlic)
Salt and pepper
Big handful of fresh coriander (finely chopped)
Put the ginger & garlic cubes, the roughly chopped onion, and the chilli in a mini blender and blitz to a paste. (set aside)
Fry the paneer cubes in a non stick pan, you want them light golden brown on all sides. (set aside)
In the pan you cooked the paneer dry fry the cinnamon stick, green cardamon pods, fenugreek seeds, cloves and bayleaves. Fry until you can just smell them releasing their fragrance.
Add a little vegetable oil to the pan and put in the paste, fry for 10 minutes on a low heat.
Now add the half moons of onion, continue cooking until the onion is translucent.
Then add the ginger powder, cinnamon powder, turmeric. Cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently.
Now add your lentils and enough water to give a sauce of the consistency you like.
Add the paneer, the mushrooms, the garam masala and get everything warmed through.
Taste and season with salt and pepper, you may want to add a little more chilli at this stage if you like it spicier.
Add the fresh coriander and it is ready to serve.
Serving suggestions for the paneer and mushroom dhansak
We usually have this with plain boiled rice and a garlic naan bread. If you want to keep it light you could have cauliflower rice. Or go the traditional route and serve it with brown rice. The brown rice is something I really want to try as it sounds so delicious.