We recently visited Goa with some of our very close friends. The balmy beaches, the soft sand, the tall coconut trees and the twinkly night skies made the trip relaxing. We didn't get to explore much of Goan cuisine during our stay but we found enough time to browse through spices at a local market. One such spice mix that caught my eye was "Xacuti masala".
Ever since we got back, I have been wanting to make a curry with the Xacuti masala mix that we brought back with us. It all came along beautifully in this paneer curry with coconut milk as its base!! We found the flavors subtle and the spice mix does not overpower any other ingredients in the recipe. If you want to make your own "Xacuti masala", there are plenty of recipes on the web or just ask a Goan!! I found that the nuttiness of the wild rice compliments the creamy texture of the curry, but plain rice will go along well too!
For the Herbed Wild Rice-
1 cup uncooked wild rice (You can use basmati rice)
1/4 cup finely chopped raw mango
4 cloves of peeled garlic, chopped finely
Handful of mint leaves, roughly chopped
Handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
1 TBS butter
Salt to taste
For the Goan Paneer Curry-
1 TBS olive oil
1 TBS xacuti masala
1 bay leaf
1 cup coconut milk
1 pod green cardamon
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup paneer, cubed (You can use tofu)
Salt to taste
Herbed Wild Rice-
Cook wild rice as per the instructions on the box. (I combined 1 cup rice, 2 cups water, 1 TBS butter, salt as per taste and bring it to a rolling boil, cover and simmer for 45 minutes)
Mix raw mango, garlic, mint, cilantro and lemon with the cooked rice just before serving.
Goan Paneer Curry-
Heat olive oil in a sauce pan. Add xacuti masala and bay leaf.
Then add the coconut milk and mix well. Add cardamon, turmeric, chill powder, sugar and water. Bring it to a slow simmer. Add salt as per taste.
Now add the cubed paneer and mix well. Simmer to about 5 minutes. Add more salt if needed.
Serve the wild rice and curry, piping hot! You could also serve the curry with any bread/roti of your choice.