Monday, March 8, 2010
Punjabi Paneer Makhani
I was going to make Chicken Kadai, but the lady who comes to help me with cooking n’ cleaning (she comes 3 days a week) was coming today n’ she doesn’t touch non-veg (at all) so I thought might as well make something I can take her help on. I wish I hadn’t asked for her help, I asked her to make tomato puree in the mixer grinder n’ a portion of my kitchen was splattered with tomato puree, she had stuffed too much into the small jar n’ hadn’t closed the lid properly before turning it on. :( So anyway we had a lot of cleaning work along with cooking in the 90mins she comes to work….so I got busy with cooking n’ she got into cleaning. I like finishing my cooking for the day in the morning before I go off to work that way when I reach home I don’t have a mountain of work waiting for me.
The first recipe book I ever bought was Nita Mehta’s Indian cooking. The reason I got it was to learn some north Indian cooking for my husband….i have never tried this recipe before n’ it’s shame that I hadn’t tried it before….there is something so alluring about a simple recipe. I guess after all that struggle (in my case just mental) today morning when a dish comes out well, that’s rewarding enough. I have deviated from the original recipe a little, but I have clearly mentioned them so you can avoid those steps if you feel like it. Do try this recipe…its really nice.
1. Paneer- 250 gms ( cut into cubes)
2. Tomato- 500gms (I used only 3medium ones) or (if you are using ready made tomato puree I guess ¾ or 1 cup will do)
3. Cashew- 3 tbsp (coarsely crushed)
4. Jeera- 1tsp
5. Ginger Garlic Paste- 2tsp (preferably fresh)
6. Ghee/ Oil- 2tbsp (I used a non stick pan n’ used only 2tsp)
7. Kasturi Methi leaves- 1tbsp
8. Tomato Ketchup- 1tsp
9. Kashmiri Chili powder- ½tsp (reduce the amount if you are using ordinary chili powder)
10. Coriander Powder- 2tsp
11. Garam Masala- ½tsp
12. Milk- 1 ½cup
13. Cream- ½cup (optional)
14. Salt- 1tsp or according to your taste
15. Water- as required
16. Oil- 3tbsp (to lightly fry the paneer cubes, again this step to fry paneer is not there in the original recipe, I thought I’d like it better if its ever so lightly fried)
17. Green Chili- 2nos (finely sliced) the original recipe does not ask for this, but I was scared the sweetness of the dish won’t suit us, so you can skip this if you want.
18. Sugar- as required or ¼ spoon (this is not there in the original recipe either)
Step 1: Soak the cashew pieces in hot water (half a cup) for 10-15mins. Adding a little water (2-3tbsp) grind the cashew into a thick paste. Keep it aside.
Step 2: If you are making Tomato puree at home, cut each tomato into 4 and boil it for 5mins in half a cup of water. Keep it aside to cool. Make a thick paste in the grinder.
Step 3: Fry the paneer cubes in oil and keep it aside.
Step 4: In a pan heat Ghee and add jeera to it. Once jeera turns brown add the ginger garlic paste to this and fry it till the color changes.
Step 5: Add the tomato puree to this and fry it. (till the mix becomes dry and dark in color n oil starts oozing out) I added my chopped green chili and fried it along with the puree.
Step 6: Add kasturi methi and tomato sauce to this. (on low fire)
Step 7: Add coriander powder, chili powder, garam masala, and salt. Since I had reduced the amount of ghee to 2 tsp I had to add some water at this stage as the mixture was really dry. Stir it till the masala is cooked well.
Step 8: Add the cashew paste to this n’ mix well. Taste it to see if its too sour n’ add a little sugar to balance the taste.
Step 9: Heat the milk to be added (just 1 min in the microwave will do) and pour the warm milk into the above. Stir well. The original recipe asked us to keep the gravy aside to cool n’ then add the milk. But I figured adding hot milk to the hot gravy will do the trick as I was running out of time.
Step 10: At this point the gravy will look really rich n’ thick n’ smell nice. Add the paneer pieces to this gravy stir it for another 4-5mins. The curry is ready.
Step 11: If you are adding cream, do so at this stage and stir lightly (more like folding). And take off the fire immediately. Add a dash of cream on top before serving.
I'm posting this recipe before my husband eats it for lunch today, normally i will wait for his verdict. But i'm sure he will love this with chapathi..:) I think this will be best served with Chapathi or Tandoori Roti or Jeera Rice...