16 April, 2014

Chili Paneer and Happiness

  So my handsome, red blooded husband is a carnivore...

 He never had a vegetarian dish that he liked well enough to do without the meat. He had some delicious vegetarian dishes but he always said that it still needed meat. Until Africa and chili paneer. In all fairness, paneer is an asian thing, which in Kenya means Indian. Very confusing at first as i thought of asian as being chinese but no, here it means Indian, as in India Indian. There are some PHENONOMAL asian restaurants in Kisumu and their food makes my saliva run just thinking about it. Buttered Naan, Lollipop chicken with a cilantro-garlic sauce, chicken makhini, and the list goes on and on. I think asian (remember, not chinese, indian) food is one of my favorites. I also think God may be calling us to India next to serve in the food industry. I could hand tracts out while i either serve food or eat it.

  For those of you, especially the skeptics, paneer is a kind of cheese that does not melt and takes on any flavor that you cover it with. You guessed it, chili paneer is covered in a chili (the vegetable) type sauce but nothing like american chili sauce. No, it's not a slab of cheese covered in chili like a chili dog gone bad, and paneer is so very not mennonite but we are proof that mennonites can not only enjoy, but DELIGHT in vegetarian food. There's many different ways of making paneer and i've even had it in recipes where i thot it was chicken breast pieces only to realize later it was paneer. But tonight the paneer was cubed and dipped in a batter and then fried in oil.

Yes, it was healthy because good food makes us happy and we need to be happy for our health. Paneer+breading+oil=happiness. If only it was that easy, aye?
Marlin then sautéed onions, garlic and ginger, and red peppers in sesame oil

 and when it was sautéed to perfection he added chili sauce, cilantro and other things...

I don't know what the "other things" were because Marlin doesn't really follow rules when it comes to cooking and i didn't hover over him. Hovering might affect the results and besides, he and Zac were the ones doing the cooking and i didn't want to hang around too close because i have very little control when it comes to taste testing.

I hate getting kicked out of my own kitchen so i chose to retire for a bit, only going back in to snap pictures and relieve the pan of a few pieces of paneer when the cooks weren't looking. The small cook was ok with the taste tester trying a few pieces but i had to watch out for the bigger one. He has a mean pinch.

       There it is in all it's spicy, delicious glory. We had it with a side of brown, jasmine rice and cabbage salad. Cabbage salad is another insanely simple but delightful dish that Kenya has introduced us to. At every restaurant it's served on the side in one form or another. You take cabbage (obviously), thinly sliced tomatoes, thinly sliced onions, and chopped cilantro. Just for your info, if you don't like cilantro my heart aches for you but if you really hate it you can leave it out. For the people who have worked through their cilantro issues, put lots of it in there and then toss it with fresh lemon juice and a sprinkle of salt.

   We gathered around the table for prayer, opened our eyes, and with a loud whooshing sound the food was gone. Or something like that. Please don't try this recipe at home. To really get the full effect you need to have the proper atmosphere which would be at our house. We will look forward to seeing you soon. :)


  1. Golly, you're KILLING me! That looks SO good and we (especially !) LOVE asian (Indian) food! And cilantro. Andrew's one fault is that he does not enjoy cilantro. Silly man! Its ok, tho! I'll take his!

    Thanks for making my mouth water; and there is no way I can even attempt to try making that here at home! I'll let you know when my plane ticket is booked! *wink*

  2. Happy to "kill" you if it means a plane ticket!! ;) And it would be good without the cilantro and we'll make sure Andrew's plate (and Emily who doesn't so much care for cilantro either) is missing it.
    Love you and so looking forward to chowing down on this with you whether it's in Kenya or New York!

  3. Whoa! that looks insanely good! Tell Marlin that when you all come to NY to tell us and our ppl about Kenya (complete with slide show), he can finish the informative meeting with this culinary wonder! :-)

    Happy trails to you and yours. I was hoping we would soon hear from you! Hope you are well and loving life...

  4. Ok so I think you forgot who all gets this blog :) We share your love of asian food.. Be right there :)

  5. i hear ya Marcia. We'll look forward to it. ;)

    And Judith? Come right over! It's time we had another feast together anyway.

  6. Marlin cooks! I commend him and I will be holding that over Steve's head :)
    Tell Marlin that I put his post on a large Pinterest group board, but he shouldn't let that go to his head!!


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