Paneer green masala is an adaptation of the North Indian Hariyali Paneer. This is made by simmering paneer in a masala of coriander, mint, cashewnuts amongst other spices. This is a lovely accompaniment to rice, pulaos, chapathis or rotis
300gramsapprox 2 cups when cubed paneer (cottage cheese)
1medium sized onionfinely chopped
2medium sized tomatoes
2tablespoonsyogurtwhisked till smooth
1-2tablespoonsoil or ghee
For the masala:
1/8th cup mint leaves
1-2small green chilliesadjust to taste
2" piece ginger
5-6fat cloves of garlicwith skin
1/8th cup cashewnuts
1" stick of cinnamon or cassia bark
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.
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.
Remove pan from heat and allow to cool for a bit. Blend the mixture into a smooth puree and keep aside in a bowl.
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.
Bring the gravy to a boil, reduce heat and add the paneer pieces, mix gently, cover and simmer for 2 minutes.
Remove from heat and serve hot garnished with fresh cream (if desired). This dish goes well with chapathis, neer dosa or white rice.