Why not try out Paneer Butter Masala / Indian Cheese Curry. Best option to any non vegetarian dishes and easy to prepare.
Paneer is similar to Cottage cheese and is very famous in vegetarian cooking in India. Whenever I Prepare vegetarian meal, I prefer to substitute meat with paneer or mushrooms. You can almost prepare any recipe out of it whether it is Indian style or Chinese style, it tastes fabulous. Paneer is prepared by curdling the milk using lime juice. The curdled milk is then strained and tied up using thin muslin cloth for about an hour till all the whey is drained and you get nice , thick and dry paneer. Store in in the refrigerator and use whenever required.
Paneer can also be replaced by tofu . Earlier I had prepared Paneer korma and today let’s see how to prepare Paneer butter masala. The recipe goes same for butter chicken. Normally, I use home made paneer, but this time I was in a rush, so used store bought one. This gravy goes well with Indian bread or rice. You can adjust the consistency of the gravy by increasing or using less water. I prefer it to be thick.
First, Paneer is cut into small cubes. I like them shallow fried until slightly browned , but you can totally skip frying . The gravy is prepared using tomatoes,onions and cashew nuts. The spices used in this recipe, gives it excellent aroma . I have not used cream for it , but this recipe also tastes good if you add some heavy cream into it. May be just 2 tablespoons.
Preparation time: 20 Minutes
Cooking time: 25 Minutes
Serves : 3 People
- 1 lb(400 grams)Paneer
- 1 Big onion chopped rougly
- 3 Tomatoes
- Handful of cashew nuts soaked in water for 10 minutes
- 1 Teaspoon grated ginger
- 1 Teaspoon grated garlic cloves
- 1/2 Cup Milk
- 2 Teaspoons cooking oil
- Finely chopped coriander leaves /cilantro for garnishing
- 1 Teaspoon garam masala powder
- 1 Teaspoon Coriander Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder(adjust according to how hot you want)
- 1/2 Teaspoon Turmeric powder
- 3 Tablespoons butter
- 1 Inch cinnamon stick
- 1 Small green cardamom
- 3 Cloves
- 2 Black pepper corns
Cut paneer into small cubes .
Boil 2 cups of water and add tomatoes. Let them cook on medium high heat for 10 minutes. Then remove the peels. Grind them into smooth puree.
Grind the chopped onion using 3-4 tablespoons of water to fine paste.
Grind the cashew nuts using a tablespoon water to smooth paste.
Heat butter in a saucepan. Once butter melts, add the ingredients mentioned in tempering like cinnamon stick, cloves,cardamom and black pepper corns.
Fry on medium heat for few seconds till you get nice aroma, then add onion paste.
Saute it for about 5 minutes on medium heat and add grated ginger garlic. Saute for a minute.
Add cashew nut paste and saute on medium heat till the raw smell goes away. For about 2 minutes.
Now add tomato puree and all the powdered spices like Coriander Powder , red chili powder and Turmeric powder . Don’t add garam masala yet.
Mix and cook for few seconds.
Now add garam masala , mix and cook until the gravy gets all dried up and starts leaving the bottom of the pan.
In the meantime, add 2 teaspoons of oil on a skillet and arrange all the paneer cubes. Cook on medium heat until they are slightly browned, flipping the sides in between.
Add these cubes into the tomato gravy and mix.
Add milk ,coriander leaves and mix.
Simmer on low heat for 5-6 minutes .
Sprinkle some salt to taste and remove from heat.
Enjoy with any Indian bread or rice.