Monday, March 31, 2008

Paneer Butter Masala - Restaurant Style Recipe

I can eat Paneer Butter Masala almost every day, but this saturday, our cravings were at a peak-time high as there was light rain outside. Everyone knows I just love Paneer Recipes, and this weekend I decided to make the eternal favorite Paneer Butter Masala, that velvetty-smooth gravy that has all the goodness of indian spices combined with cubes of cottage cheese and garnished with cream and coriander! Now do I have your attention??! Paneer Butter Masala is similar to other paneer gravies, except that as the name implies, it is more rich due to butter and the gravy is thickened by using onions, tomatoes and cashew paste rather than just cream. You cannot go wrong with this, try it for yourself and see!

Believe me, paneer is such a versatile ingredient in Indian cooking, you could make an entire meal using just this, right from appetizers to main course to dessert! Hey maybe they should choose paneer as the next secret ingredient for Iron Chef!:) Till then, try this mouth-watering recipe (adapted from Sanjeev Kapoor's cookbook) at home and enjoy its taste as it lingers on your tongue and your senses!

Ingredients
3 big tomatoes - pureed
250 gms paneer - cubed
2 big onions
1 bay leaf
2 cloves
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
1 tsp red chilli powder
3 tbsps cashewnut paste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp dhania powder (dry coriander powder)
1/2 tsp kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves)
1 tsp tandoori masala (optional for color)
2 tsp garam masala powder
salt and lemon juice - to taste
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp fresh cream
fresh coriander - chopped for garnish

Method
Skin the onions and blanch them in hot water for 3 mins, then ouree them to form a paste. Do the same with tomaotes, unless you are using tomato puree directly.

Take 1 tbsp of ghee, heat in a pan for 2 mins, the saute the paneer cubes in it till golden brown; Now take 1 cup hot water, add a pinch of salt and turmeric powder to it and immerse the paneer cubes in it for 10-12 mins. Then remove the pieces, drain them on a tissue paper and keep aside.

Heat 2 tbsp of butter in a pan, add the bay leaf and the cloves, then add the onion paste and saute till light-brown. Add ginger-garlic paste. Saute for 3 minutes. Add chilli powder, followed by the cashew paste and fry for 5 mins.

Add tomato puree, crushed kasuri methi,coriander powder, turmeric powder, garam masala and salt. Stir and let it simmer for some time.

Add the paneer cubes and simmer for 4-5 minutes. Add a small cup of water and let it cook on medium heat till you get the desired curry consistency. Remove from fire, stir in remaining butter and fresh cream.

Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve the Paneer Butter Masala with any bread of your choice, pulao or simply jeera rice.

More Paneer Recipes:
Savoury Muffins with Paneer and Sun-dried Tomatoes
Achari Paneer Tikka Wraps
Paneer and Ajwain Paratha
Shahi Paneer
Spicy Chilli Paneer

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