Thursday, November 4, 2010

Paneer Pasanda/ Cottage Cheese in Onion Tomato Masala

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 :)

Serves: 4
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
Ginger: 1tbsp
Garlic: 1tsp
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
Cloves: 3
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.

Now add the paneer pieces and very little water and cook on reduced flame for couple minutes. Add the sugar .When done,stir in the fresh cream gently just before serving. Enjoy paneer with naan,roti,pulav or even plain basmati rice :)

Note: The gravy is thick and creamy .


  1. Delicious paneer dish,love the addition of sunflower seeds...


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