If you have invited friends over for dinner/lunch ,your menu has to be planned around Non-Veg . You have to have either the hor douveres/Appetizers or at least one meat dish in the main course ( A good host is all about good food in India :) BUT if the friends happen to be vegetarians than Paneer/cottage cheese becomes the natural choice. So basically for a non-vegetarian it could be fish ,chicken or goat meat sometimes egg is also categorized under non-vegetarian and Paneer will be considered a rich dish for a vegetarian .
That said - I always encouraged my daughter to eat paneer,she is a vegetarian mostly ( will try chicken sometimes) but I believe I over encouraged her :( I put 5 pieces of Paneer on her plate and she will barely eat corners of one piece and when asked why she did not finish it her refrain is," Mamma I like the pieces to be very small and soft " I will quickly make a note of it mentally. Next time it is small pieces and soft ones and this time two pieces have been nibbled at the corners :) I have now accepted the fact,that there will be days when she will eat corners off a single piece of paneer and than there will be days when to please me she will take a nibble at two and then there are times when it gets too much and she says,"leave me alone mamma"
I continue to cook paneer and both me & my husband love it and Manasi enjoys the paneer gravy :)
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Oil: 2 tbsp olive oil
Paneer/Cottage Cheese: 1 pound cut into 1 inch pieces
Onion: 1 large or 2 medium
Coconut: 1 tbsp unsweetened flakes or fresh grated 1 tbsp
Coriander seeds: 1 tbsp
Sunflower seeds: 1 tbsp
Poppy seeds/Khus Khus: 1 tbsp
Cumin : 1 tsp
Cinnamon: 1 inch
Red pepper; 1/4 tsp
Tomato puree: 1 cup
sugar: 1 tsp
salt: 1/2 tsp
Fresh cream: 4 tbsp or sour cream
Cilantro: To garnish
Roast coriander seeds,poppy seeds,cumin,cinnamon,cloves & sunflower seeds on a skillet. When you get a pleasant whiff of roasted spices,add the coconut flakes and roast them for a couple minutes. If you are using fresh coconut than please do not roast it. Let these spices cool and than grind it to a fine powder in a coffee grinder.
Now take a kadai /Pan add oil and when hot add the grated onion. When the onion is a nice golden brown color add the ginger & garlic and cook for 5 minutes. Now add the ground masala powder to this along with the coconut . Cook for a minute or 2 and then add the tomato puree along with salt and red pepper.
Note: The gravy is thick and creamy .