Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Paneer Makhni

Paneer dishes are often ordered in restaurants and most of the time it is Paneer Makhni that gets chosen. Paneer Makhni is a tomato based gravy dish that includes cream and cashew nuts along with butter that goes well with hot buttery rotis. The paneer can be substituted with chicken to make Chicken Makhni.
My friend who is a Filipino loved Paneer Makhni and would ask me to make it for her. But I was not confident of making it from scratch, then. So I was happy to find a pack of Sanjeev Kapoor's readymade masala for Paneer Makhni at an Indian store nearby and tried it. Thankfully, it came out well and she loved it. Today, I wish we stayed in the same place like before, just so I could share this dish with her. This Paneer "Mac"ni (that's how she pronounced it) goes to "J", my funny friend.
Paneer - 200 gms
Tomato - 3, medium
Cashew nuts - 10 to 12
Onion - 1, small
Capsicum - 1/2, small
Garlic - 5 cloves
Cinnamon - 1 small piece
Bay leaf - 1
Turmeric pwd - 1/2 tsp
Red chilli pwd - 1 tsp
Thin Cream - 3 tbsp
Kasuri Methi - 2 tbsp
Oil - 1 tsp
Butter - 2 tbsp
Slice the paneer in big blocks and apply little oil on both sides. Cut the onion is wedges and separate the layers. Dice the capsicum in 1 inch squares.

Wash the tomatoes and lightly make cuts only the skin of each tomato from top to bottom. Heat a small saucepan with water and dunk the tomatoes in it. When the water boils take it off heat and peel the skin off the tomatoes. Add the tomatoes, garlic, cashew nuts into a blender jar and blend to a fine paste.

Heat a ridge griddle, and grill the paneer turning both sides so that grill lines are made on both sides of each slice. Remove from pan and let it drain onto paper towels. Add the capsicum and onion pieces and sauté and when they turn glossy,take off the heat.

Heat oil and butter in a pan and when hot add the bay leaf and cinnamon stick. After a few seconds add the ground tomato cashew nut paste and on medium heat sauté this paste till the oil separates and the raw smell of garlic goes. When the masala mix is fried add the turmeric and red chilli powders and sauté. Add a little water and salt and mix. Add the paneer, onion and capsicum pieces and mix well. Let it cook for 5 minutes and then add the thin cream and kasuri methi leaves and mix well.
Serve hot with rotis. 

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