Paneer - From north and south
Paneer is a milk product made by separating curd by adding lemon juice or citric acid and it is widely used for preparing different varieties of side dishes. Here, I am telling you how paneer is prepared in north Indian and south Indian styles.
Paneer Butter Masala
Paneer Butter Masala is a typical North Indian vegetarian dish. But nowadays it is popular in all over India. It goes well with chappathi and roti.
Paneer small cubes - 1 small packet
Onion sliced- 2
Green chillies split into two- 2
Ginger chopped - 1/2 tsp
Garlic chopped - 1/2 tsp
Cashew nut - 10-15
Salt - As needed
Tomato - 1
Ghee or Butter - As needed
Kasoor methi - 2 pinch
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Kashmiri chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam masala powder - 1/4 tsp
Coriander leaves - For garnishing
Method of preparation:
Keep paneer out of refrigerator before starting the preparation.
Soak cashew nuts for 15-20 minutes.
Heat butter/ghee in a pan and add garlic, ginger, green chillies and onion and cook it till it becomes light brown.
Add turmeric powder and a freshly cut tomato to it and cook again for 4-5 minutes.
Add coriander powder, garam masala powder and chilli powder and stir continuously. Put the flame off.
When it cools, make a fine paste of it, along with cashew nuts.
Heat a little butter in a pan and add this paste to it. Keep stirring. Add salt.
When it boils, add kasuri methi and paneer cubes to it. Close the lid and cook it for 5-7 minutes.
Open the lid and add coriander leaves.
Note: You can also fry paneer cubes in ghee or butter before adding to the curry. If so, place it in cold water at least half an hour before being added. It will make your paneer soft.
Palak Paneer with coconut milk
Paneer cubes - 1/2 cup
Masoor daal or Toor daal - 1 cup
Palak - 3/4 cup
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Ginger-garlic paste - 1.25 tsp
Shallots or onion finely chopped - 1/3-1/2 cup
Green chillies sliced - 3
Dry fried coriander powder - 2 tbspn
Garam masala powder - 1.25 tsp
Pepper powder - 1/4 tsp
Tomato big sized sliced - 1
First coconut milk - 1 cup
Second coconut milk - 2 cups
Kasuri methi - a pinch
Coriander leaves - to garnish
Butter or ghee or coconut oil - for seasoning
Salt - to taste
Curry leaves - a little
Method of preparation:
Pour thin coconut milk (extracted second) in a pressure cooker. Add palak, daal, turmeric powder, green chillies and salt. After the first whistle, cook it in low flame for 3 more minutes. Put the flame off.
Pour oil or ghee in a pan. When it is heated add cumin seeds and saute for a moment. Then add ginger-garlic paste and fry till it is slight brown.
Add cut shallots or onion and fry till it becomes golden brown. Then add curry leaves and sliced tomato to it and cook again for 5 more minutes.
Add coriander powder, pepper powder, garam masala powder and kasuri methi. You can also use crushed masala instead of masala powder. Keep stiring.
Add a little water or coconut milk, close the lid and simmer it for 3 minutes.
Add boiled palak-daal mixture and paneer pieces to it, stir well and close the lid. Heat with medium temperature and wait for few more minutes till it becomes thick.
Add first coconut milk and allow it just to boil. Coconut milk gives slight greenish yellow colour to the dish.
Garnish with coriander leaves.
Note: If we are using shallots, it tastes best. It tastes best with chappathi, appam, roti or idiyappam.