In my childhood, I hadn’t even seen paneer!😁
As I grew up, so did my friend circle. Was first introduced to paneer through the dish… Mutter Paneer at my friend’s place whose mom had learnt it’s recipe from her Punjabi neighbour.
It was only after marriage that I was introduced to Paneer Makhani at restaurants! Though I myself still love our traditional homemade simple food, my family loves such exotic dishes. So learnt to make it at home itself! After all…. Homemade is always better than Restaurant food!!!!
Paneer i.e. Cottage Cheese is an extremely healthy food item. Combined with tomatoes, we get an extremely delicious and nutritious dish, ‘Paneer Makhani’.
If you like such recipes, do try the following recipes too…………..
2) Murg Makhani
RECIPE (I) :
- 250 GM Homemade Paneer (Cottage Cheese)
- 3 Large Tomatoes
- 1/2 Onion
- 1 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste
- 10 Cashewnuts
- 1 tbs Magaz Seeds (Dried Melon Seeds)
- 2 tsp Sugar (to be adjusted)
- 2 tsp Cream (Optional)
- 1 tsp Bedgi Red Chilli Powder
- 1 tsp Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder
- 1 tsp Corriander Powder
- 1/2 tsp Cumin Powder
- 1/2 tsp Punjabi Garam Masala
- 1 tsp Kasuri Methi (Dried fenugreek leaves)
- Salt to taste
For The Tempering :
- 1 tbs Oil
- 1 tbs Butter (Homemade / Store bought)
- 1 Star Anise
- 2 Small Cardamoms
- 2 sticks Cinnamon (1″ pieces)
METHOD ( I ) :
1. To begin making the Paneer Makhani gravy, soak the cashews and magaz seeds in hot water for about an hour.
2. Drain and grind to a smooth paste.
3. Heat sufficient water in a pan for blanching the tomatoes. At the smooth end of the tomatoes make a small cross sign with a knife. This helps easy peeling after blanching. When the water is hot, add the tomatoes and immerse for approximately 4-5 minutes.
4. Remove from the hot water onto a plate. The peels at the end where the cross sign was made will start coming off. Peel the tomatoes and grind to a puree.
5. Grind the onion to a smooth paste.
6. In a kadhai, heat oil. Add butter and heat. Now add the whole spices. When they splutter add the onion paste and cook.
7. Cook till it changes colour. Now add the ginger garlic paste and saute.
8. Add the tomato puree and mix. Bring to a boil and cook. Add the spice powders and salt.
9. When the tomatoes are cooked add the cashew magaz paste and mix well. Cook for a while. Add sugar and some water to bring the gravy to a medium consistency. Check seasoning.
10. Add the paneer pieces and mix well. On a hot griddle spread the kasuri methi for about a minute. Crush it with fingers and then add to the gravy.
11. Turn off the heat and add the cream and mix well.
12. Serve hot with khastaa paratha or jeera rice.
RECIPE ( II ) :
- Same as Recipe I
Additional INGREDIENTS for Recipe II :
2 tsp Oil for sauteing the onions and tomatoes
Whole Spices To Be Roasted :
- 4 Cloves
- 4 sticks Cinnamon (1″ each)
- 4 Green Cardamoms
- 4 Black Peppercorns
- To make the Paneer Makhani gravy, first soak the cashews and magaz in sufficient hot water for about an hour. Drain and grind to a smooth paste. Keep aside till further use.
- Slice the onions and chop the tomatoes.
- Heat a Kadhai and add the oil to it. Add the whole spices to be roasted i.e. cloves, cardamoms, cinnamoms and peppercorns. As soon as they splutter add the sliced onion and saute.
- When the onions turn translucent, add the chopped tomatoes and saute till the tomatoes turn mushy.
- Switch off the flame and transfer the mixture to a plate and cool. When cooled grind to a smooth paste.
- Heat a saucepan and add the oil to it. Add the butter too. Butter is optional. Add the whole spices mentioned for tempering.
- As soon as they splutter, add the ginger garlic paste and saute for a while.
- Now add the ground onion tomato whole spices ground paste and saute. Cover and cook for a while.
- Add the ground cashew magaz paste and saute well.
- Add all the mentioned spice powders and mix well. Give it a good stir. Cover and cook the mixture stirring occasionally till it thickens.
- Heat a small kadhai and switch off the flame. Add the kasuri methi to this hot kadhai and stir immediately to prevent it from burning.
- Transfer to a plate. You will get crisped methi leaves. Crush them between your palms and add to the gravy. This also enhances the flavour of the methi.
- Add, sugar, cubed paneer, salt to taste and mix well.
- Check seasoning and add some more water if needed to get a gravy of thick consistency.
- Add the cream and switch off the flame. To avoid cream, some milk can be added to the gravy to enhance the flavour of the dish!
- Serve this delicious Paneer Makhani with Parathas or some Jeera Rice or Veg Pulav or even with some Paneer Vegetable Pulao.
Honey can be substituted for sugar, but it is said that cooked honey isn’t good for one’s health . Hence I have preferred to use sugar. Again to reduce the use of cream, milk can be used to thin the gravy instead of water. Then, it is necessary to stir constantly till the gravy reaches a boiling point. Else the milk will split! The gravy can be cooked in oil sans butter, and still tastes the same. These are the tricks I use while cooking this yummy gravy.