Tag Archives: paneer

Palak Paneer

The addition of paneer to palak masala creates this more elaborate dish.

This is one of Noor’s favorite subzis – she loves to eat it with phulka and lots of yogurt to mix in to the spinach- and this is what we had for dinner tonight, with some daal and carrot salad on the side.

I usually make a little more than we need of the spinach and the daal, as the leftovers are great for kneading the dough for the next day’s phulkas.

Palak Paneer

4 tablespoons of sunflower oil

400 grams of frozen spinach leaves

2 medium sized onions, chopped fine

2 medium sized tomatoes, chopped fine or 4 tablespoons of canned tomato pulp

1 or 1 and a 1/2 teaspoons each of ginger paste and garlic paste (or equivalent amounts of freshly grated ginger and garlic)

1/2 teaspoon each of turmeric powder, kashmiri chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder

3 pods of green cardamom, cracked slightly (optional)

salt (about 1 and a 1/2 teaspoons, or to taste)

2 teaspoons of melted ghee

100-150 gms of paneer cubes

Defrost the spinach leaves. When they are at room temperature chop them fine  in a food processor.

In a large frying pan, heat the oil, then add the cardamom pods. When their aroma starts to spread, add the onions and fry till they start to go from a golden brown to a darker brown – but not longer than that. Add the ginger and garlic pastes, fry for a couple of minutes, then add the tomatoes (or pulp). Fry this mixture till the oil starts to appear on the sides. Add all the dry spices next and fry for a minute. Add the pieces of paneer and fry for a minute to coat them well. Add the spinach now, season with salt, and cook, covered, till it is soft enough. A minute before you take the pan off the fire , add the ghee and mix it in.


Leave a comment

Filed under Everyday Subzis

Achari Paneer


This dish really does have a deliciously tangy, chatpata taste -akin to that of pickles – that does justice to its name. Shri and our guests on Saturday liked it a lot.

When I first came across this recipe, in  a fantastic cookbook called “The Art of Indian Cuisine”, I was delighted because a) it uses all the spices that make up my beloved  paanchphoron b) other than the time required to make the paneer – which in fact in many places can be bought in a store – the rest of the process seemed pretty simple and quick.

But on closer reading I saw that it also requires quite a large number of green chillies. I couldn’t quite get my head around the surprising – to me – number specified and so I used far fewer (and I substituted kashmiri chilli powder for regular red chilli powder) when I cooked this dish on Saturday.

Achari Paneer

600 gms of paneer (the recipe for matar paneer describes how to make paneer; you’ll need 4 liters of milk and 400 ml of yoghurt to make this quantity of paneer)

400-500 gms of yoghurt (the original recipe says 1 cup but I wasn’t sure how much that meant. So I sort of  eyeballed the paneer and decided to use 500gms which worked out fine)

3 medium sized onions, chopped fine

4 tsp of fennel seeds

2 tsp of cumin and mustard seeds

1 tsp of fenugreek seeds and nigella seeds

2 (or a few more, if you like) green chillies, slit lengthwise in half

2 tsp each of sugar, turmeric powder and kashmiri red chilli powder

3-4 tsp of dry mango powder (amchur)

3 tsps each of garlic paste and ginger paste

salt to taste

5 tbsp of sunflower oil

Cut the paneer in to 1″ or slightly larger cubes. Mix the sugar and the 3 dry spices in to the yoghurt and whisk it well.

In a large frying pan, heat the oil, then add the 5 whole spices in the sequence I have suggested for paanchphoron.

Once the whole spices start to crackle and turn brown, add the green chillies and the onion and fry  till golden brown. Add the garlic and ginger pastes next, and fry for another couple of minutes.

Turn down the heat a little now, and add the yoghurt mixture, and cook till the yoghurt is cooked/absorbed. At this stage, the cooking oil will rise to the surface, and you’ll see it has a lovely rich red color. Add the paneer pieces and salt, and fry everything together for 4-5 minutes. Add a cup and a half of boiled water, turn up the heat a little, and simmer till the gravy is as thick as you’d like, turning over the paneer pieces once in a while.

This dish needs to be made at least 3-4 hours ahead of eating, to allow time for the paneer to soak in the flavors, and for the “achari” taste to develop.

There is lots of yummy flavor here to savor. Enjoy !

Leave a comment

Filed under Curries

Matar Paneer

I was delighted to see how much the girls enjoyed this too, last weekend.

Matar Paneer

For the paneer:

1 liter of whole milk

125 gms of whisked yoghurt

2-3 tablespoons of lime juice

For the gravy:

2 small onions, chopped very fine

2 large tomatoes

½ a tsp, or a little more, of grated ginger

2 large cloves of garlic, grated

½ a tsp of cumin seeds

½ a tsp or a little more, of coriander powder

½ a tsp of turmeric

½ a tsp of kashmiri red chilli powder

½ a tsp of garam masala powder

1 or 2 tbsp of cashew nuts, roughly crushed (this is an optional ingredient)

salt to taste

3-4 tbsp of sunflower oil

1 cup of frozen, shelled peas

To make the paneer, boil the milk in a thick-bottomed pan. When it has come to a full boil, turn the heat down very low, add the yoghurt and the lime juice, and stir these in thoroughly till the paneer begins to form. Now drain the paneer through a sieve that has been lined with a large, fine piece of cloth. Keep some of the whey by collecting it in a vessel placed under the sieve. You can use this later to add to the curry; some say it adds to the taste, and it is full of good things anyway.

Place the cloth with the paneer in it carefully on a large chopping board, and form it carefully in to a large square shape. Fold the cloth over this, and press the paneer down with a heavy weight (typically a large vessel full of water) that places uniform pressure on all parts of the paneer’s surface, for 20-30 minutes, so that all the excess water drains out and the paneer becomes firm. When the panner seems set, cut it in to 1/2 ” or 1″ squares.

Make a fine paste of the cashew nuts. To do this, first boil them in 1/3 cup of water for 7-8 minutes, then grind them fine either with a hand-held blender or manually with a rolling pin (this is messier though).

Boil the tomatoes in a little bit of water till the skin starts to break. When the tomatoes have cooled, peel off the skin and puree the tomatoes.

To make the curry, heat the oil in a frying pan, add the cumin seeds, and when these start to release their aroma put the onions in. Fry these till they start to turn golden brown, then add the ginger and the garlic and fry for another minute. Then add the cashew nut paste and fry the mixture till the onions turn a darkish brown. Now add the tomato puree and cook till everything is well-blended and the puree starts to dry. Add the spices and fry for a further minute. Finally, add the peas, salt to taste, and fry everything together for a few minutes. Now add a cup or a little more of the whey or boiled water, and pressure cook the curry for 5-7 minutes.

When the cooker has cooled enough for you to be able to open it easily, add the paneer pieces and simmer the curry for a little while so that the gravy is not runny.

For an everyday version of this curry, I skip the cashew nuts, and I use them only for a more formal meal like Saturday’s; they add a slightly sweet, and quite rich taste.


Filed under Curries