Paneer Masala

    Paneer is homemade cheese that is similar to pressed Ricotta cheese except the curd is drier and has no salt added. It is
    one of the primary protein sources for those on a vegetarian diet. It is used in curried dishes and in stir-fry because it
    does not melt. It is also used in preparation of popular Indian desserts because of its delightful texture - and complete
    lack of salt - making it an ideal base for sweet recipes.

    Serves 6:
    Preparation Time: 30 minutes


    Ingredients:
  • Paneer, cut into cubes – 700 gm
  • Oil – ½ cup
  • Cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Onion, finely chopped – 1 large
  • Green chillie, finely chopped – 2
  • Tomato puree – 3 tablespoon
  • Ginger paste – 2 teaspoon
  • Garlic paste – 2 teaspoon
  • Turmeric powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Red chillie powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Garam masala – 2 teaspoon
  • Cumin powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Salt – 1½ teaspoon or to taste.
  • Warm water – ½ cup
  • Fried onions – 3 tablespoon
  • Coriander, finely chopped – 1 small bunch.


    Method:
  • Heat oil in a pan and fry the paneer until slightly brown on all sides. Remove and put aside. Do not drain the excess oil.

  • Add 1 teaspoon cumin seed, onion, green chillie to the same oil and fry for 1 minute. Then add 3 tablespoon tomato
    puree, 2 teaspoon ginger paste, 2 teaspoon garlic paste, 1 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon red chillie powder, 2
    teaspoon garam masala, 1 teaspoon cumin powder and fry until all the ingredients are golden brown. Cover the lid and
    reduce heat. Let it cook for 2-3 minutes.

  • Add the fried paneer, 1½ teaspoon salt and stir well. Cover the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally,
    until the spices have mixed well.

  • Add ½ cup of warm water and cook for 2 minutes. Add fried onions and mix well. Let it cook for another minute
    before removing from heat.

  • Garnish with freshly chopped coriander, rice or naan.


    Variation:
    Add peas to the fried paneer to make ‘Muttar Paneer’. You can also substitute oil for butter and add cream at the end
    to make ‘Butter Paneer Masala’.

    Tips:
    Be careful when frying paneer as it usually tends to splutter! Cover with a lid leaving it slightly ajar to avoid hot oil
    from spluttering.