The Indian subcontinent enjoys a day off. The capital city has the Republic day parade. Schools and other educational institutions have celebrations to mark this day.
I miss those days back in school when we had to wear our white uniforms, sing the national anthem, the small march past followed by some cultural events.
This dish has no particular significance to republic day. Honestly, I do not know if there is a dish specially made for these occasions. Since it’s a day to celebrate, I prepared this dish for the occasion. Paneer is cottage cheese in Hindi, Malai refers to cream and Kali Mirch refers to black pepper corns.
Preparing this dish does take some patience, but it sure is worth all the patience.This is a thick, creamy and rich dish, with hints of fenugreek, crushed black peppercorns. The curry base mainly consists of onions and tomatoes’ in Indian spices. The cashew powder, milk & cream give it the rich creamy texture. It’s slightly sweet from the onions and a pinch of sugar which is added. This is a true delight to all cottage cheese lovers.
This dish is always accompanied with some Indian breads. But if you intend to eat this with rice, then Jeera/ Cumin rice or Vegetable Pulav compliments well this with dish.
Ingredients: (Serves 2-3) Preparation Time: 30-35 mins
Paneer – 200 gms, cubed
Onions – 2 large, finely chopped
Tomatoes – 3 large, finely chopped and made into a puree, I used 1 cup ready puree from the market, roughly about 150 ml
Garlic – 2 cloves, peeled and crushed using a pestle
Green Chilli – 2 medium-sized, finely chopped
Coriander powder – half tsp
Cumin/Jeera powder – half tsp
Garam masala powder – half tsp
Turmeric powder – a pinch
Kasuri methi (a variety of dried fenugreek leaves) – 1 tbsp
Black peppercorns – 1/2 -1 tbsp, freshly crushed
Milk – 60 ml – 100 ml
Cream – 2 tbsp
Cashew powder – 1 tbsp
Cooking oil – 2 tbsp
Salt to taste
Heat oil in a deep bottom fry pan. Set it to medium heat. Add the crushed garlic when the oil is hot. Sauté it for a few seconds, till you can smell it’s aroma. Do not let it get brown. Now add the finely chopped onions.Add some salt to fasten the onion frying process. Add a pinch of turmeric as well. Add the chopped green chilli’s. Fry the onions till they begin to turn brown. Now add the coriander & cumin powder. Mix well. Lower the heat now. Add the tomato puree. Mix and let the mixture cook for a minute. Now add water equivalent to the amount of tomato puree added. Let this mixture cook now. Keep mixing every few minutes so that it does not begin to burn at the bottom. Also keep mashing up the mixture with your spatula so that the onions blend with the tomatoes to from a gravy.
The water needs to evaporate. Then the mixture thickens & the oil needs to begins to separate out. The onions would have all blended and combined well with the tomatoes.This is when you add the garam masala powder & crushed black peppercorns.Let the masala fry for a few minutes. Add the cashew powder followed by the milk (60 ml for now, if you need to make the curry less thicker later on, use more milk.) and the cream. Add the sugar. Mix well. Check and adjust the salt. Add the paneer cubes. Let the paneer cook along and absorb it flavours.
When you achieve a nice thick consistent gravy, crush the kasuri methi between your hands and add them to the curry.
Garnish with some chopped coriander leaves if you wish to.
Serve hot with Indian breads.
Dig in, I’m sure you will lick off any curry off your fingers.
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