Thursday, March 25, 2010

Paneer (Cottage Cheese) Makhanwala

Cottage cheese is an interesting raw material for many tasty dishes and desserts. in India we use a lot of paneer to make a variety of dishes that go excellently with mainly roti and also with rice. i love a well-made paneer curry and steaming hot rice. for desserts paneer and condense milk is a beautiful combination. instead of mascarpone cheese or cream cheese we use paneer for our cheese cakes. i have a wonderful lemon cheese cake recipe to share with you. but let me explain the title i have up there. it's easy to make and has kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) which is apparently good for back aches.

250 gms paneer-cut into cubes
4 tbsp oil
3 onions
1 inch ginger
3-4 flakes garlic
3 tbsp readymade tomato puree (but i pureed two big tomatoes; so i can vouch only for that)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala
salt to taste
4 tbsp (50 gm) fresh malai or cream
11/2 tbsp salted butter
2 tbsp kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
1/4-1/2 tsp sugar

Deep fry the paneer pieces to a nice reddish brown. keep aside.
To prepare gravy, grind onions, ginger and garlic to a paste.
Fry onion paste in oil, on low flame, till golden.
Add turmeric powder, red chilli pd, garam masala and cook for 1/2 min.
Add tomato puree and cook for a min.
Add 2 cups water. boil. add sugar and simmer for 10 mins.
Add cream and mix well.
Add butter and kasoori methi. mix and add salt to taste.
Add fried paneer. give one boil and simmer for a while till the paneer becomes soft.
Remove from fire and serve hot with rotis.

NB: instead of cream you can add 1/4 cup milk. boil the gravy on high flame after adding milk for 5 mins till thick. i used one cup whey (the water that you get after curdling milk to make paneer; it is so nutritious it should be used in place of water when you make dal or any other veg dish but better not to store in the refrigerator for too long) and the rest water in place of two cups of water.

Courtesy: Nita Mehta's More Paneer

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