Paneer con Tomate
Pan con tomate, the Spanish dish of grated tomato on grilled or toasted bread, is summery and extremely satisfying. Grating a tomato somehow emphasizes everything delicious about it, heightening sweetness and acidity. Paneer con tomate is built on the same principle, but swaps the bread for pieces of crisp-edged, lightly fried cheese. Here, the tomato pulp is seasoned not with olive oil, but with a glug of coconut oil infused with mustard seeds and curry leaves. If you’ve got homemade paneer, which is looser and softer, then there’s no need to fry it. To get vegetarian recipes like this one delivered to your inbox, sign up for The Veggie newsletter.
- Serves: 2 persons
- 1to 2 big, ripe tomatoes
- ½teaspoon flaky salt
- A few grinds of black pepper
- 1(6- to 8-ounce) block firm paneer
- 3tablespoons coconut oil
- ¼teaspoon black mustard seeds
- ¼teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1sprig curry leaves (preferably fresh)
Step 1Using the large holes of a box grater, grate the tomatoes directly over a serving plate, pressing down with your palm so that all of the pulp goes through, and you’re left with just the thin outer skin. Get rid of the skin and season the pulp generously with the salt and pepper.
Step 2Cut the paneer into strips about 1-inch thick, then rotate the block and cut the strips to make bite-size squares.
Step 3Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick pan over medium and add the paneer, letting it brown lightly, about 1 minute. Flip the pieces to get the other side a little brown, about 1 minute, then pile the paneer onto the tomato pulp.
Step 4In the same pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, then add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds. When the mustard seeds start to pop, crumple the curry leaves and add them to the pan, shaking it gently to sauté the leaves. Tip it all directly over the paneer and serve warm, or at room temperature.