Paneer, a favourite amongst most vegetarians was never a part of our diet until our little fellow grew up to love it. Now, I buy it almost every week from Lulu supermarket as making it at home is not an option (I must try it soon though). Since he prefers eating paneer to fish I don't mind buying it every week if need be as it is a good source of protein. I try a lot of recipes but somehow I never got around to posting most of them. Just recently I was trying to look for a suitable recipe that would taste different. We had already tried Palak Paneer, Tawa Paneer, Paneer Kurma and Paneer Butter Masala (links to some of these recipes are given below) and now I wanted to try something new but also something that would be accepted without a fuss.
Since green masala based curries are a favourite at home I decided to fall back on my mum's famous recipe for it. The proportions of the ingredients are so perfect in her recipe that almost every dish turns out a hit. Having tried her chicken biryani (which is also a favourite amongst readers) and green curry (for mutton, chicken or beef) and also a marinade for fish fry, I decided to take the plunge and try the same masala base for paneer as well. Although the hubster doesn't like Palak Paneer too much he loved the Green Masala Paneer a lot!
I just mildly tweaked the masala base of the chicken biryani recipe and arrived at this one. You need to make sure that you don't use too much of the coriander leaves or you'll end up with a masala that is too dark green in colour. I served this curry with chapathis but you can serve it along with dosa, neer dosa, rice or pulao or plain parathas too. Hope you enjoy it!
Love paneer? Have you tried these recipes?
Prep time: 20 mins | Cooking time: 15 mins | Serves: 3
- 300 grams (approx 2 cups when cubed) paneer (cottage cheese)
- 1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
- 2 medium sized tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons yogurt, whisked till smooth
- 1-2 tablespoons oil or ghee
- 1 cup coriander leaves
- 1/8th cup mint leaves
- 1-2 small green chillies (adjust to taste)
- 2" piece ginger
- 5-6 fat cloves of garlic (with skin)
- 1/8th cup cashewnuts
- 3-4 methi seeds
- 4 peppercorns
- 1 small onion
- 3 cloves
- 1" stick of cinnamon or cassia bark
1. Using 1-2 tablespoons of water grind all the ingredients mentioned under 'For the masala' to a fine paste. Reserve the masala water from the mixer grinder.
2. Heat oil or ghee in a wide based pan and fry the onions till translucent. Add the tomatoes and a little salt and fry until the tomatoes turn mushy and the oil separates. Add the ground green masala and fry for a couple of minutes. Now add the whisked yogurt and cook on a medium-low heat.
3. Remove pan from heat and allow to cool for a bit. Blend the mixture into a smooth puree and keep aside in a bowl.
4. Heat some oil in the same pan and lightly fry the paneer cubes for a few seconds (optional step). If you do not want to fry the paneer pieces, just add the pureed mixture to the oil and cook for a minute. Then add the reserved masala water and adjust the consistency of the gravy by adding extra water if required. Adjust salt to taste. Sprinkle some lime juice to adjust the tanginess of the gravy.
5. Bring the gravy to a boil, reduce heat and add the paneer pieces, mix gently, cover and simmer for 2 minutes.
6. Remove from heat and serve hot garnished with fresh cream (if desired). This dish goes well with chapathis, neer dosa or white rice.