Paneer Pepper Masala

Let me get straight to the point, I was in India for two months and I hope that explains the long absence on the blog. Honestly, am kinda ashamed to come up with reasons for the radio silence here. I know… I sincerely hope it will change in the coming days, keeping fingers crossed!!

So, you know, how I always keep telling you how I wanna come back to Bahrain after a week or so of being away from here? It doesn’t matter, wherever I go, I wanna get back to Bahrain after a couple of days. Having said that, this time it was kinda different. I knew I had to stay longer in Kerala, so I prepared myself for that and so it was ok ;)

After all when you are open or ready to accept (be it situation, change, people…) everything tends to work out. Now, whether you want to accept it or not is the question. For me, when it comes to the theory part of anything, I do alright, but practicals is a different story ;) How about you?

Anyway, I don’t want to bombard you with loaded questions like “are you ready to accept change” or something like that, I know you’re here for the recipe, so let’s get to that now.  

Being Lent season, I thought I’d share a veg recipe here. This recipe was on my mind for quite some time. As I’ve said earlier, I tend to make Paneer Peas Masala all the time and I wanted a different flavour. We tend to have Paneer with Chapathi mostly and so I wanted a gravy side dish. This recipe worked out well. It goes well with rice too.

Btw, I’ve used coconut milk here, if you can’t just go with the combination of coconut milk and paneer, you can always use water ;) Hope you get to try this dish and like it too.

Here is the recipe…

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Paneer Pepper Masala

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Author: Maria Jose Martin

Ingredients

  • 200 – 250 gms Paneer
  • 2 med – big Onion (sliced)
  • 1/2 tbsp each Chopped ginger and garlic
  • 2 Green chilli
  • 3/4 – 1 tsp Whole black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 2 – 3 Cardamom (crushed)
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp Garam masala
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp Cumin powder
  • 2 tsp Coriander powder
  • 3/4 – 1 cup Thin coconut milk
  • 8 – 10 Cashew nuts (soaked in hot water for 10-15 mins)
  • 1 tbsp + 2 tsp Oil or Ghee (I used ghee)
  • Salt
  • 1 – 2 tbsp Chopped coriander leaves

Instructions

  • Heat 1 tbsp oil or ghee in a deep and wide pan. Add sliced onion and cook till it browns. 
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  • Add chopped ginger, garlic, green chilli and whole black pepper. Cook for 3-4 mins or until the raw smell goes. Remove from fire and let it cool for 15 – 20 mins.
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  • Grind the above mixture with 2-3 tbsp water to a smooth paste.
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  • In the same pan, add 2 tsp oil / ghee and add cumin seeds and cardamom. Add the ground masala with 1/4 cup water and cook for 2 – 3 mins.
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  • Add turmeric, coriander, garam masala and cumin powder. Mix well and cook for 2 – 3 mins, till the raw smell goes and oil starts appearing. 
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  • Add paneer pieces and mix well. make sure the paneer is coated with masala. 
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  • Add 3/4 – 1 cup thin coconut milk. Bring it to boil. Reduce the flame, cover and cook for 8 – 10 mins, till the gravy becomes thick. 
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  • Grind the soaked cashew nuts to a smooth paste. 
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  • Remove the pan from fire and add the cashew paste gradually (this is done to avoid curdling of the gravy). Mix gently, bring back to fire. Cook on lowest flame for 4 – 5 mins.
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  • Add chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot with rice or roti. 
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