An Indian meal without a paneer curry seems almost incomplete. Be it paneer makhni, kadhai paneer, paneer bhurji or paneer tikka, each variation of paneer is mouthwatering. There is a plethora of recipes of paneer and each one loves the recipe most commonly cooked at their homes. Among the gazillion versions that I have tried, this easy paneer makhni recipe is my favorite.
Any special occasion at home, my mum used to cook paneer since we all loved it. With birthdays and anniversaries being special occasions in one’s life, mum never forgot to make each one’s favorite paneer recipe. It was a quintessential birthday dish! The mildly spiced curry, the creaminess from the cashew nuts, the earthiness from the peas and the softness from the cottage cheese makes this dish so comforting and sumptuous. It is aromatic, luscious and so vibrant in its color that you just can’t stop with one serving. Have it with parathas or rice, you will go back for more.
INGREDIENTS: (For 2-3 people)
- 3 tomatoes, roughly diced
- 1/4 cup broken cashew nuts, soaked in water for 15 minutes
- 200 grams cottage cheese, cut into cubes
- 1/2 cup peas, boiled
- 1 green chili, split length wise
- 1 small mace
- 1 inch fresh ginger
- 1 tbsp ghee
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 tbsp red chili powder
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 5 tbsp whole milk
- 2 tsp kasuri methi
- salt, to taste
- coriander leaves, for garnishing
- Drain the water from the cashew nuts. In a mixer grinder add the cashew nuts, green chili, tomatoes, mace and ginger and grind it until they form a smooth paste.
- Heat the saucepan and add ghee. Once its heated add the the cumin seeds. Let it crackle. Add the bay leaf and sauté for 30 seconds.
- Add the tomato – cashew paste made earlier and cook for a couple of minutes.
- Now add the turmeric powder and half the red chili powder and allow the mixture to cook for 5 minutes.
- Add salt, remaining red chili powder and garam masala and cook the mixture for another 2 – 3 minutes on medium heat.
- Once the masalas and mixture is cooked properly add the paneer cubes and boiled peas and let it cook for 3 -4 minutes.
- Add whole milk and let it cook for a couple of minutes.
- Now add half the kasuri methi and allow the curry to cook for 5 minutes so that all the flavors are well infused into the paneer.
- Garnish with coriander leaves and the remaining kasuri methi and serve the curry hot with parathas or rice.