Wednesday, February 11, 2009

PANEER SHABNAM - DELICIOUS VEGETARIAN GRAVY RECIPE

This recipe is one of the handiwork of my mother-in- law, whom I refer to as 'Amma' ( I refer to my mother also in the similar manner).
Paneer is an Indian cottage cheese available at all Indian grocery stores. It has a very bland taste and can be homemade by curdling hot, whole-milk with lemon juice and straining it till all the whey water is drained and you are left with just the milk solids.This is later pressed into a box to form a block of cheese. I saved myself the trouble of this process and took a short cut. I opted for store bought paneer.
I cook frequently, infact, on a daily basis and I have noticed that I have days when I'm just unable to decide what to prepare for the day.And there are days when I'm as lazy as a log.(ring a bell?)Well, I use this recipe on one of those days.
In India, Amma(referring to my mother in law here) makes this recipe on days when she wants to finish cooking in a snap. It has very simple ingredients and takes just about 15 mins to prepare. Hubby dear, who is usually finicky when it comes to food loves this gravy and so do I . Saves so much of time. Though a simple recipe, chances are that this preparation will be an instant hit in your home and a frequent dish on your table.Great for when guests turn up too.
I don't like to deep fry the paneer, so I toast it. In that way, I avoid the use of alot of oil.

Toasting paneer:

Toast all sides of the block of paneer on a crepe pan/dosa pan (see pic).When it is seared and golden brown on all sides, cut into 1/2 inch cubes and set aside. (Toasting is done do prevent the paneer from disintegrating when put into hot gravy)

In this recipe, I have used store-bought paneer because it's for a lazy day. Remember? You can make it from scratch too. There are directions for making paneer in my rasgulla post. (click here for recipe). Curry powder is another ingredient in this recipe for which you can either use homemade powder or store-bought. ( click here for curry powder recipe)
Tip:
Those of you who don't like paneer..... cheer up. You can add boiled eggs to this gravy instead of the paneer. The curry will still taste just great.
Ingredients:(serves 3-4)
  • Paneer - 250 gms (My rasgulla recipe post has the recipe to make paneer. Click here see recipe)
  • Cumin seeds - 1 tspn
  • Green chilli - 1 ( slit)
  • Onions - 1 large (sliced)
  • Garlic - 2 large cloves(finely chopped)
  • Capsicum(green bell pepper) - 1 large(chopped into 1/2 inch pcs)
  • Curry powder - 3 tspns (Click here for recipe)
  • Chili powder - 1/2 tspn( or to taste)
  • Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
  • Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Chopped Tomatoes - 5-6 medium
  • Salt - to taste
  • Sugar- 2 tspns
  • Sunflower Oil - 2 tbspns
  • Chopped Coriander leaves- to garnish.
Directions :
  • Heat oil in a sauce pan and add cumin seeds and pop a slit green chilli into it( be cautious of splatters).
  • Add garlic and onions and saute.
  • Mix-in curry masala, chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt and sugar and saute well.(about 3 mins)
  • Add tomatoes and stir well.Pour in 1/2 a cup of water .
  • Cover pan and allow it to cook on a medium flame for abt 3 mins.
  • Add capsicum and cover and cook for abt 3-4 mins.
  • Add cumin and stir and when the capsicum is cooked turn off the flame.
  • Add the paneer pieces in the hot thick gravy ( since it is toasted it will not disintegrate).
  • Finally add coriander leaves to garnish.
Paneer shabnam is a tasty side for rotis, parattas, naans or...... on lazy days for BREAD :)
Luv 'n' luc'
Smitha

4 comments:

  1. Hope you enjoy it gail, it is a delicious prep.You don't have to bother to make the paneer and curry powder at home. It is readily available in all Indian grocery stores.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love the way you provide minute instructions..very detail oriented!

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  3. Hey Smitha, Just landed here! Wow loved all your recipes. My story is also similar to yours. A hubby who lives to eat good food n now 2 brats who also want something new every time! Keep up the good work!

    ReplyDelete

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