You’ve all probably had paneer, a little here and a little there, in curries, appetizers, even desserts! But you’ve probably never had it quite like this! Cucumber Paneer bites w/ Cashew Curry sauce – a beautiful and delicious appetizer to brighten up your parties and get-together meets!
The cold, fresh cucumber contrasts in texture, temperature and taste with the hot and creamy cashew curry and the golden pan-fried paneer. Add together onions, mint and any other vegetable you can rustle up, and it becomes the perfect bite!
The ‘story’ behind these bites!
Growing up, Sundays were special, because it’s the one day of the week we all sat down to have lunch together. And that means lunch was special too. Despite growing up in a meat-eating family, my mother made sure we ate meat only on Sundays, and had vegetables the rest of the week. Tch tch tch!
So come lunch time, I’d wait desperately for the chicken curry to be ready – tender, juicy chicken in a gorgeous tomato and yogurt curry. Even on Sundays, we weren’t spared the vegetables, and had a large bowl of garden salad waiting. So before the table was set, I’d sneak in a few bites of spicy gravy-soaked chicken placed on a fresh cucumber slice from the salad. It almost became a ritual, and I don’t remember ‘not’ doing that!
I married into a vegetarian family, and although I do eat chicken at restaurants, I don’t cook it at home anymore. And I sorely missed this cucumber pairing of curry. So I figured, why not paneer? And it was brilliant!
There are so many ways to eat this – dunk directly into the cashew curry – or pile onto a mini skewer and make a BIG packed bite!I personally like the piling, because I get all those flavours in a single bite!
And it’s the cashew curry that steals the show here. This is my usual paneer gravy, and in a thicker form, it works brilliantly as a dipping sauce. Its not in-your-face spicy, more creamy than any other curry you’ve probably had, and if you substitute panner with tofu and the cream for coconut milk, it’s VEGAN!
Make the curry in advance, it comes together in 15 minutes and there’s almost no chopping involved. You grind everything in a blender for the curry.
Although the paneer can be fried beforehand, I do like making it just after the guests arrive. There’s something about the milky softness of a warm paneer, rather than the bulky chewiness of a cold one. If you must, fry it before hand, but at least give it a quick toast just before serving to soften it up!
When you make these (which I really think you SHOULD!), be sure to SHARE YOUR PHOTOS with me through Facebook, Instagram (@loveisinmytummy) or Twitter (@loveisinmytummy). I’d love to see what you cook from here and will share it with pride on my social media feeds.