Methi Malai Paneer

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Its raining here incessantly in Bangalore and all I was craving was a bowl of comforting paneer curry with some fluffy rotis. And such delicious cravings need to get fulfilled and hence Methi Malai Paneer happened in my kitchen. Being an ardent fan of paneer, this recipe is one of my family favorites. A few handful basic ingredients in the kitchen come together beautifully to make a stunning curry. The lush methi leaves, the delectable gravy and my ever favorite grilled paneer cubes.

So just when you thought paneer dishes are all the same and quite boring, this recipe is a winner. Try it and you’ll fall in love with it.

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 3 – 4 people)

  • 200 grams paneer, cut into cubes
  • 2 cups fresh fenugreek/ methi leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 15 – 16 cashew nuts, soaked in a small bowl of water
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 1/2 tsp chopped ginger
  • 1 green chilli, split lengthwise
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 3/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp dhaniya powder
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1/3 cup fresh cream
  • 2 tbsp dried kasuri methi leaves

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METHOD:

  • In a kadhai take 1 tbsp oil and put it on medium flame. Add cumin seeds and saute it until it crackles.
  • Now add onion and saute until its translucent to light brown. This would take about 3 – 4 minutes.
  • Now add tomatoes, garlic, ginger, green chilli, cashews and a little bit of salt and saute it until the tomatoes are cooked and mushy.
  • Take it off the stove and allow it cool down completely.
  • Once cooled, mixer grind it into a smooth paste. You can add 1 – 2 tbsp of water if required.
  • Now take another kadhai on medium flame and take 1 tbsp of ghee in it. Add the tomato – onion puree in it. Add turmeric powder, dhaniya powder, red chilli powder, garam masala and a bit of salt and let the paste cook until its releases some oil.
  • Now add 1/3 cup water to this an let it cook for another 3 – 4 minutes.
  • Now add the fresh cream and keep stirring it until its well incporporated into the paste to avoid the cream from splitting.
  • Add methi/ fenugreek leaves to it and let it simmer for 4 – 5- minutes.
  • Now add paneer cubes and honey and let it simmer for 2 – 3 minutes. Alternatively you can grill the paneer cubes on a griddle pan and put it inside the gravy righe before serving.
  • Garnish with kasuri methi leaves and serve.

 

Matar Paneer Ki Sabzi

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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.

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RECIPES

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

METHOD:

  • 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.

Enjoy!

Methi Matar Malai (Peas and Fenugreek Curry)

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Hello folks! It’s been long since I shared my experience in the kitchen and the recipes with all of you. And now when I am penning down what I have cooked in the past few days, I am sure you will thoroughly enjoy cooking it.

A beautiful weather and more so beautiful vegetables available in the grocery store always urges me to cook something that incorporates the true and fresh flavors of the veggies. And what better can you think of during winter season other than Green Peas. The sweetness and the tenderness is embodied in these tiny gems that it makes you crave for more. I usually (like other people) end up freezing green peas which I use until the next produce is on its way. During the season I end up putting peas in atleast one dish – be it a salad, a soup, a side dish or a curry. One of my all time favourite curry involving pea is Methi Matar Malai. Its extremely flavorful due to the infusion of spices in the creamy gravy and the sweet peas. While the gravy is elegant, the peas along with the fenugreek leaves add vibrancy to the dish. A must try dish before the winter is gone!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 4 people)

  • 2 cups fresh green peas, boiled
  • 1/2 cup dried fenugreek leaves (dried methi leaves)
  • 1/3 cup coriander leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh cream
  • 20 cashew nuts, soaked in water for 30 minutes
  • 1 green chili, split into half
  • 1 cardamom
  • 1 tsp mace (javitri)
  • 3/4 inch ginger, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp ghee/clarified butter
  • t tsp red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • salt, to taste
  • water

METHOD

  • In a blender, add cashew nuts (drain the water), green chili, ginger, mase, cardamom along with 5 – 6 tbsp of water and blend to form a smooth paste. Add little more water if required.
  • In a saucepan heat the ghee or clarified butter on medium. Add the above paste and stir for a couple or minutes.
  • Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, sugar and salt and stir well for another 2 – 3 minutes.
  • Add the green peas and sauté for 2 – 3 minutes. Then add milk and mix well for 4 – 5 minutes.
  • Add milk and keep stirring for 4 – 5 minutes. Make sure the heat of the stove is on medium to avoid the milk from burning. Add the dried fenugreek leaves along with the coriander leaves and stir well.
  • Add the fresh cream and mix well.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with flatbreads or rice.