A favourite with the vegetarians, paneer made from milk is quite common, especially paneer recipes are quite popular in the Indian subcontinent. You can make it fresh, chhena – an another version or just use the ones that are readily available in the market to prepare everything from simple snacks, curries, sabzis, mithais, desserts and the likes. An ingredient that can be relished in the raw form too – try serving it as a starter just sprinkled with a little chaat masala, black salt and chilli powder. So here is the recipe:
- Paneer (cottage cheese) cut into 1 inch pieces 400 grams
- Black peppercorns 10-15
- Oil 3 tablespoons
- Dried red chillies 6-8
- Scraped coconut ½ cup
- Coriander seeds 1 teaspoon
- Cumin seeds ½ teaspoon
- Green cardamoms 3
- Cloves 2
- Cinnamon 1 inch stick
- Star anise ½
- Fennel seeds (saunf) 1 teaspoon
- Curry leaves 10-12
- Ginger paste 2 teaspoons
- Tomatoes chopped 3 medium
- Red chilli powder 1 teaspoon
- Turmeric powder ½ teaspoon
- Lemon juice 1 tablespoon
- Salt to taste
- coriander sprig for garnishing
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a non-stick pan and sauté red chillies, coconut, black peppercorns, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cardamoms, cloves, cinnamon, star anise and fennel seeds till fragrant. Cool and grind to a fine paste using water as required.
- Heat remaining oil in the same non-stick pan and add curry leaves and the ground paste and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add ginger paste and sauté for a minute.
- Add tomatoes, chilli powder, turmeric powder and cottage cheese and mix well. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Add 2 cups water, lemon juice and salt. Cover and cook for 2 minutes.
- Garnish with coriander sprig. Serve hot with boiled rice or paranthe.