Updated: Mar 14, 2021
I consider paneer as a versatile food as it is used in both sweet and savory dishes. If you are a vegetarian and someone who loves to cook, you can easily prepare a three-course meal with paneer; an appetizer, main course, and a dessert.
Today's recipe is a bit different from almost any of the paneer recipes you might have tried in your life unless you have some connection to Kashmir. The fascinating part of the recipe is that it is cooked in a spiced Paneer broth that includes both whole and powdered spices and no onions or tomatoes. Of all the paneer dishes I grew up eating, this was possibly my favorite.
The recipe I have listed below serves 4-5 servings with a 5-7 mins preparation time and a cooking time of 50-60 minutes.
The key ingredients for this dish are patience and commitment. The rest can be bought online or from your nearest supermarket.
Paneer – 500grams(sliced)
Mustard oil – 4 tbsps
Hot water – 1 bowl. We'll be soaking the Paneer in this, so pick a decent-sized bowl.
Zeera/Cumin – ½ tsp
Heeng/Asafoetida – ¼ tsp
Laung/Cloves – 3
Tej Patta/Bay leaf – 2
Elaichi/Green cardamom – 3 (crushed)
Badi Elaichi/Black cardamom – 1 (crushed)
Haldi/Turmeric – ¼ tbsp
Saunth/dry ginger powder – ½ tbsp
Saunf powder/fennel powder – 5-6 tbsps
Salt – as per taste (1½ tbsp)
Milk – 125ml
Heat 2tbsp of oil on medium heat in a pan.
Take your paneer and slice it as you desire. Sear it in the pan till it gets brown on each side. Put it in the bowl of hot water after it has seared well. The reason is simple; paneer tends to become a bit hard when we pan-sear it. We immerse it in hot water to keep it soft.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in another pot on medium heat and bring it to its smoke point. Once the oil is hot, add asafoetida, cumin, cloves, bay leaves, cardamoms, and black cardamom. Make sure you crush both cardamom and black cardamom before adding it to the pan to release the flavor.
Once the whole spices have released their aroma and flavor, add turmeric, dry ginger powder, fennel powder, salt, and mix well.
To prevent the spices from getting burnt, add some water from the bowl in which the paneer is soaked.
After a while - say a minute or two - add the remaining water in the bowl and the Paneer into the pot and give everything a good mix.
Let it reduce for a while till you get a thick consistency of the broth.
Once reduced, immediately add milk and keep mixing and stirring it with a ladle to stop the milk from curdling.
Wait till it broth starts to boil again, and then simmer it.
Serve with a hot plate of Basmati rice.
Do try and leave your comments and feel free to add anything you like.