Paneer Masala

Paneer Masala is a North Indian recipe made using paneer, onions, tomatoes, and a variety of aromatic spices. This rich creamy Paneer gravy is easy to make and does not need a lot of preparation.

I found this recipe in one of the cookbooks back in the day and gave it a try. Over time I have added a few more ingredients to this recipe per my liking. This recipe is a crowd-pleaser for its simplicity and amazing taste… Enjoy!!

EFFECTS

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cup Paneer
  • 1 tablespoon Oil or Ghee for a more authentic taste
  • 1 cup finely chopped Tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup Fresh Cream (optionally can use whole milk)
  • 1-1/2 to 2 tablespoons Honey
  • 1 tablespoon Kasuri methi

For the Gravy

  • 1 small Onion about 3/4 cup
  • 5 whole Cashew
  • 3 teaspoon Poppy seeds (khus-khus)
  • 2 tablespoon grated Coconut, (preferable fresh, if not unsweetened desiccated coconut will do)
  • 6 whole dry Kashmiri red chilies
  • 4 cloves of Garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon Cumin seeds
  • 1 Cinnamon stick
  • 4 Cloves
  • 8 Peppercorns

How To:

  • Add water to a small pot and set it to boil. Cut the onions into quarters, add it to the boiling water and let it simmer on medium heat for about 10 minutes. Remove the onions and let it cool for about 5-10 minutes before blending them.
  • Add all the ingredients for the gravy into a blender, blend it together to form a smooth gravy. Add a little water if needed making sure the gravy is not too runny.
  • Heat oil in a pan, once it starts to sizzle reduce the gas to low and add the blended gravy to it. Cook the gravy well for about 15-20 minutes stirring occasionally so that it does not stick to the pan.
  • Add finely chopped tomatoes to the gravy. Cook it further over medium heat till all the ingredients come together, you will see a bit of oil separation towards the end. This should take about 20-25 minutes.
  • Turn the gas to low, add the cream to the gravy along with 1/2 cup of water, honey, Kasuri methi and salt to taste. Mix all the ingredients well and let it simmer on medium-low heat for about 10-15 minutes stirring occasionally.
  • While the gravy is simmering away, put a medium pot of water to boil. Once it starts boiling turn off the heat and add the paneer chunks to it. Cover and let it sit for about 10-15 minutes. Make sure the paneer is completely underwater this will make the paneer soft. Once the paneer is soft remove it from the water and cut it into small cubes.
  • Add the paneer cubes to the gravy, mix well and let it simmer for about 5 mins on low heat.
  • Check for seasonings, add more salt or honey if needed. Add more water if needed to adjust the thickness of the gravy.

Serving suggestion:

  • Sprinkle some cilantro over paneer masala and served with roti, paratha or naan
  • It also goes well with plain rice, jeera rice, biryani or pulao.

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Note:

  • Kashmiri chilies are known to be less spicy however they impart a lovely red color to the curry.
  • Do not re-use the water that was used to boil onions as it will be bitter in taste and will make the gravy bitter.
  • Make sure to grind the gravy ingredients into a smooth paste, this will impart the silky smooth texture to the gravy and is very important.

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