I had this impressive sounding dish at a star hotel (Sheraton) (Ahem!) in Dubai when one of our uber rich relatives daughter got married and we went to the reception. It was my third experience in a 5 star hotel and first in Dubai. When my provincial self could take my eyes off the Decor and the bride’s jewelry, there was the food spread out in fancy whatamacallit's with those Bunsen burners at the bottom. I really wished I had a bovine digestive system at that time.......Anyway there was this absolutely creamy looking paneer dish with such a long name. My daughter was in a paneer crazy phase at that time and she loved it. I thought AHA a perfect dish to fatten up my skinny girl. So I went home and due to the helpful long name giving a hint to all the ingredients in it, I set upon experimenting to get the smooth texture of the gravy and the taste. So tan ta dain here I present the result which my Hubby assures me has the same taste.
Ingredients: (Serves three to four)
Paneer - 200 g ( I use frozen )
Peas (I use frozen) - 1 cup
Onions - 2 Big nos
Tomatoes - Three Nos
Green Chilies - 2 Nos
Ginger Garlic Paste 1 Tbsp
Red Chilli Powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander Powder - 2 tbsp ( I used Malli Masala)
garam masala powder - 1 tsp
Kasuri methi - 1 tbsp or more if you like the flavour.
Malai (Milk Cream) - 2 - 3 Tbsp
Oil - as reqd
Heat a kadai. Add around half to one cup oil. Fry the paneer cubes till edges go golden in colour. Drain on a paper towel. Parboil peas with a little salt. Meanwhile chop onions tomatoes and green chilies’ and keep separately. Pour away all but around 1 - 2 tbsp of oil. Keep kadai back on the heat. Add chopped onions and green chilies’. Sautee till onions are browned. lower heat, add ginger garlic paste and stir a little till the raw smell goes. then add salt, chilli powder , coriander powder, turmeric powder and 1/2 tsp of garam masala powder. then add chopped tomatoes and stirr well till the tomatoes are cooked and the oil separates.
Cool a little and use a blender to puree the masala. If it is an occasion you can strain the puree through a sieve, but I have full faith in my mixie and we need the fiber so I dont do it. Pour the puree back into the kadai, rinse and put away the jar. Let it simmer. Be careful if it boils it will splatter and you have to clean the stove and everything near it. add the paneer, green peas and mix well. Crush kasuri methi between your palms and add that also to the gravy. Check for salt, add the rest of the garam masala. Just before serving, add slightly beaten cream mix well to distribute uniformly. Sprinkle chopped coriander leaf and serve with chappati, parotta, roomali roti or Naan.
P.S. 1: When reheating leftovers don’t bring to boil or the cream will separate giving it a curdled look.
P.S. 2: Reduce till the gravy is dry. Crumble the paneer and use as stuffing for samosas the next evening as a snack.
For healthy version, use nonstick to shallow fry the paneer, use low fat yoghurt (drain whey in a strainer) instead of milk cream.