Butter Croissants and Coffee

One of the most best aromas on a beautiful morning

Samosa Chaat

Snack a little

Seekh Kabab

Try something different!

Decadent Chocolate

Do not forget to indulge once in a while

Steamed goodness

Various cooking methods bring variety in your palette

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Shahi Paneer

This is another version of Shahi Paneer that I tried last night from The Novice Housewife. I found it while browsing through Pinterest. It was so creamy and delicious, I couldn't wait to get this up on my blog. Also prepping is easy. The ingredients need to be only roughly chopped and boiled, as it will be pureed into a smooth paste.

The novice houswife's recipe also gives out many handy tips worth reading.
The ones I liked:
Soaking the paneer to soften it.
Marinating and broiling the paneer.
Another option is to fry the paneer. The broiling or frying is done to prevent the paneer from crumbling into the curry. Or you can use it as it is.
The more you cook the gravy, the better flavour you get, but ensure you dont allow it to stick to the pan. Keep stirring the gravy.
If making ahead, make the gravy and broil the paneer. But reserve adding the paneer to the gravy till the day of serving. Also make the gravy a little thinner, as it will thicken with time. If you do add the paneer, reheat in microwave or oven. Reheating on the stove,  might lead to the paneer breaking into pieces while stirring.
Ketchup is added for sweetness and a reddish color. Or you can use a pinch of sugar instead.

For broiled Paneer:
Paneer - 250 gms
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Kasoori methi - 1 tsp
Yoghurt - 1 cup

Onions - (1 large onion), quartered (250 gm)
Coriander seeds - 1/2 tsp
Green chillies - 3-4 ( if you prefer less heat, deseed the chillies)
Tomatoes - (2 small roma tomatoes or 1.5 large tomato) (125 gm)
Cashew nuts - 50 gm
Butter - 2-3 tbsp
Ginger-garlic paste ( 1 inch ginger & 4 cloves garlic) - 1 tbsp
Roasted cumin powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
1 tsp sugar or 1 tbsp ketchup
Milk - ½ – ¾ cup
1 cup warm water (I used the reserve liquid from boiling the ingredients)
a handful of kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
3-4 tbsp finely chopped cilantro leaves
a very small pinch garam masala (optional)
salt, to taste

If you're using store bought Paneer (I've rarely made Paneer at home), then soak the paneer in hot boiling water and some salt for about 10 minutes. It makes the paneer soft.
Also marinate the paneer with yoghurt, turmeric, cumin seeds, kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves), red chilli powder and salt for 15 minutes. Bake them in an oven at 350F for 7 minutes. Broil it for 3 minutes. Flip and broil for another 2 minutes.

Grind the ginger and garlic with ½tsp of water to make a smooth paste.
Wash the tomatoes, and cube them roughly.
Put the tomatoes, onions, coriander seeds, green chillies, and cashews in a big enough sauce pot. Add enough water to cover the vegetables and let it come to a boil (about 10 minutes). Drain the water and blend it to a paste. I generally keep a cup under the strainer and reserve some of the liquid to put in the gravy later. You could remove the skin of the tomatoes if you like, but it is fine even if you don’t.
In another pan (I use the same sauce pot), heat the butter (I used oil). Once hot, add in the ginger-garlic paste. Fry till golden. Add the onion-tomato paste.
Fry on medium heat for about 15 minutes, or until the oil separates. Be careful, it will splutter.
Add salt, turmeric powder and red chilli powder. Let cook for another 15-20 minutes on medium-low flame. Add ¼ cup of the reserved warm water. Cook for 5 minutes and keep adding the rest of 1 cup of water every 5 minutes, for the next 15 minutes.
Add the roasted cumin powder and kasoori methi in the sauce and mix well. Season with salt and add sugar if required. You can add a little ketchup as well. The ketchup adds a little sweetness, and a little red colour to the gravy.
When ready to serve, reheat the sauce. Add the paneer, and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add finely chopped cilantro, the milk and if required a little more warm water. Adjust seasoning. You can add a pinch of garam masala at this point, if you like. Serve hot with naan, or roti.


Naan is an Indian bread that I've been wanting to try making at home for a long time. It's traditionally made in a Tandoor which is a hot clay oven. Obviously a commoner like me won't have a clay oven at home, so we usually had them at a restaurant. But my mom used to make a similar one at home on a stove top when I was a kid. It used to be one of her specials served with keema matar, made specially for her children. :)
I tried a recipe from vahchef. He shows two options - an oven technique and a stove top technique. Since my stove is electric, I couldn't follow that one, although he says its the better tasting one. I opted for the oven technique and it turned out good anyway. I may try the stove top version when I get a grill.
I served it with Shahi Paneer for dinner.

All purpose flour (Maida) - 3 cups
Instant dry yeast - 1 sachet
Water - 1/2 cup (lukewarm)
Milk - 1 cup
Egg - 1 (optional)
Sugar - 1/2 tsp
Salt - a pinch
Oil - 2 tbsp
Extra flour - for rolling out

Sieve the flour into a bowl.
Prepare the yeast mixture first. In a small bowl filled with 1/2 cup lukewarm water, add the instant yeast. Stir with a plastic spoon to mix, the yeast will start to get activated. To help this, add in the salt and sugar. Let rest for 5 minutes. Add the milk, and egg if using. Egg will make the naan softer. Also add a tablespoon of oil in the mixture.
Pour the yeast mixture a little at time into the bowl of flour and knead with your hands. The video shows that you need to get a very sticky and smooth dough, so its ok if its sticks a lot on your hands. I did not have to use the entire yeast mixture to get the consistency shown in the video (that's why I use only 1/2 cup water in this recipe). Drizzle some oil over the top so that it doesn't dry when letting it rest. Rest for about 1/2 hour or even an hour, to let the dough rise. In the meantime, I prepared the curry that I would serve with it.
Preheat your oven to the highest possible temparature (broiler mode). Flour your work surface and your hands. Start pulling out portions of the sticky dough and form a rough ball with it. The extra flour will help prevent it from sticking to your hands. Once you've made the balls, cover them with a kitchen towel and rest again for about 10 to 20 mins. Then take eash dough ball and flatten them out with your palm. Keep tossing them between your palms like you would a pizza dough. The video shows you how to do this. Beware he's goofy, so it's hard to take him seriously at first lol!

Place them on a non-stick cookie sheet or on an oiled pan. If you like garlic naan, spread minced garlic over the naan at this stage. Bake it in the oven for 2 and a half minutes. Anymore and you will burn the naan (Oven temperatures may differ so keep a close eye on the first batch to calculate what works best). Take it out and flip it, and place it back in the oven for only 30 seconds. Get them out and immediately dab salted butter on it, if you like butter naan.
Serve hot with your favorite curry.