• Ghee or oil – 2 tbsp
• Black mustard seeds – ½ tsp
• Cumin seeds – 5 tsp
• Minced fresh ginger – 3 tsp
• Hot green chilies, minced – 1 or 2
• Ripe tomatoes, peeled and diced fine – 8 large
• Ground coriander – 1 tbsp
• Turmeric – 1 tsp
• Ground fennel – ½ tsp
• Garam masala – ½ tsp
• Brown sugar – 1 tsp
• Chopped fresh coriander leaves or parsley – 3 tbsp
• Chopped fresh mint leaves – 1 tbsp
• Homemade curd cheese (panir) made from (2 litres) milk, pressed until firm and cut into small cubes ghee or oil for deep-frying
• Cooked fresh or frozen peas – 2 cups
• Whey or water – 2 cups
• Tomato paste – 2 tbsp
• Salt – 1½ tsp
1. Heat 2 tablespoons ghee or oil in a 5-litre/quart saucepan over moderate heat.
2. Saute the mustard seeds until they crackle. Add the cumin seeds and stir until they darken a few shades. Add the ginger and green chilies and saute momentarily. Add the chopped tomatoes, powdered spices, sugar, and half the herbs. Partially cover and, stirring occasionally, simmer for about 15 minutes or until the tomatoes break down and turn pulpy.
3. Heat the ghee or oil in a pan or wok over moderately high heat. When hot (185°C/365°F), deep-fry the cubes of panir cheese a batch at a time until golden brown. Remove and drain.
4. Add the peas and water or whey to the tomato and spice mixture. Boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook uncovered for 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and salt and mix well; then add the panir cubes and simmer for 5 more minutes. Before serving, add the remaining herbs. Serve hot.