Monday, 4 January 2010

Paneer curry

About the food:
This is not a traditional Bengali dish, though it has grown in much popularity of late. There is a typical Bengali variation of the paneer curry, which I will share with you very soon. This is a perfect dish for the vegetarian guests, which could be served as a main dish, accompanied by plain rice.

Preparation time: 30mins
Cooking time:

Ingredients: (serves 4)

1. Full cream milk 1 litre
Paneer 300 gms.
2. 2 big potatoes, peeled and diced in 1 inch cubes
3. 1 inch grated root ginger
4. Cumin seeds 1/2 teaspoon
5. Green chillies, slit through the centre
6. Whole garam masala ( 1/2 inch cinnamon stick, 4 cardamom pods, 4 cloves)
7. vegetable oil
8. 1 bunch coriander leaves finely chopped
9. 1 big tomato, finely chopped.
10. salt to taste
11. 2-3 large lemons
12. 1 pinch turmeric powder


1.Making the paneer ( Cottage cheese):

For a fresh flavour, you can prepare the paneer at home, following the steps below. Otherwise you can get them at the supermarkets.

a. Pour the milk in a big saucepan. Bring the milk to boil. Squeeze the lemon juices in a small non-metallic bowl. Discard the seeds. Pour this into the milk. The solid part of the milk would separate out, leaving a clear liquid. Until the liquid is clear, you should go on adding the lemon juice.

b. Line a colander with a cotton cloth. Pour the milk solution on it, and gather the solid part. Press the solid part to squeeze the water out. Tie the cloth tightly, and put some heavy bowl etc on top of it, to drain the water away. Keep it for atleast 2hrs.

c. Open the cloth, and you get fresh smelling paneer. Take it out from the cloth, and cut it into 1 inch cubes.

2. Heat oil in a pan for deep frying. Deep fry the paneer in batches until they are light golden in colour.Keep a bowl of water ready and put the fried paneer in this bowl. keep them for 5 mins in the water, then shift them to another container. This makes the paneer very soft.

3. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan. Add the garam masala and let them crackle. Add cumin, green chillies and tomato and saute them over a low flame. Add the potatoes, salt, and turmeric powder and continue cooking. Add the ginger paste and mix it well. Continue cooking for about 10mins or until the oil separates out. Add 1 cup of water, cover and simmer over low flame for about 15 mins or until the potatoes are well cooked. Adjust the water level if the water dries up. Add the paneer to the pan and bring it to boil.

4. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with basmati rice.

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