And just like that sometimes magic happens…
Being back in Bombay is great, catching up with friends, eating Maa’s home cooked food and basically just being a lady of leisure.
One evening when my foodie best friend decided to come over, it was going to be an evening of endless cups of tea. Of course as we are both devout foodies it was not going to stop there. Moreover with paneer in the fridge beckoning to be cooked, we were in for some kind of treat.
On raiding my mum’s pantry, I found an assortment of beautiful fresh spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and the most fragrant, aromatic dried kashmiri chillies. Hence the name Kashmiri Paneer.
Ingredients: 15 Cooking time: 30 mins
- 500 gms of Paneer, cubed
- 100 ml of milk
- Two medium tomatoes, sliced
- Two medium onions, sliced
- 125 gms of cashew nuts, roasted
- Four cardamom pods, crushed
- Four to five cloves
- One cinnamon stick
- One teaspoon cumin seeds
- One teaspoon coriander seeds
- One teaspoon chilli powder
- Two to three dry Kashmiri chillies
- Quarter teaspoon asafoetida (hing)
- Three tablespoons of ghee or olive oil
- Salt to season
In a heavy based saucepan heat two tablespoons of ghee or olive oil. Add asafoetida, cloves, cinnamon, cumin seeds and coriander seeds. Once aromatic add onions and cook on a medium heat until translucent.
Add tomatoes and chilli powder. Cook until tomatoes are soft. Now add roasted cashews (keep a handful aside for garnish), cardamom pods, milk and one cup of water.
Simmer the gravy on a low heat for four to five minutes. Turn the heat off and blend the gravy until smooth. Add water if needed to bring the gravy to desired consistency. Season with salt to taste. Mix well.
In another pan add some olive oil and pan sear the paneer until golden brown. Drop the paneer chunks into the velvety smooth gravy. Note, frying the paneer is optional. The dish will taste just as good if you choose not to fry the paneer.
For the garnish, heat one tablespoon of ghee in a pan. Roughly chop remaining cashews and add to the pan. Break Kashmiri chillies into halves and add to the pan. Once aromatic pour the cashew chilli mix on to the gravy.
Your lip smackingly delicious Kashmiri paneer is ready to be devoured. It tastes best when served with flaky namkeen parathas, you can find the recipe here.