A paneer recipe with soft paneer cubes in a lovely smooth gravy made with onions, ginger, garlic, ripe red tomatoes, fenugreek and milk!
My special paneer recipe is a little tangy (that big, fat tomato), a little creamy and a lot yummy. It is ‘special’ because of the addition of two ingredients. The first is milk. Just one cup of milk transforms an ordinary dish into an extraordinary one. Milk adds a wonderful creaminess and texture to the gravy and it tastes great!
The other ingredient which gives the recipe a lot of depth is qasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves). A spoonful of crushed fenugreek leaves is enough to totally change the taste of paneer from ‘meh’ to ‘wow’! You just need to be careful while adding this little known herb because if you go overboard with it, it has the potential to completely ruin the dish. How? Fenugreek is quite bitter (try eating one seed!) and the bitterness is there in the leaves too. One teaspoon is enough and adds a wonderful flavour, but any more and you will taste the bitterness on your tongue.
I must admit here, this trick of adding milk and fenugreek leaves to Indian cottage cheese was taught to me by my sister-in-law, Sabiha, who is one of the best cooks I know. Since then, I have always used these ingredients to add a rich flavour and aroma to an otherwise commonly prepared recipe.
So now you know the secret to making my Special Paneer. Go on, give it a try and give yourself a special treat!
special paneer recipe
A paneer recipe with soft paneer cubes in a lovely smooth gravy made with onions, ginger, garlic, ripe red tomatoes, spices and milk!
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings
- Category: Lunch
- Cuisine: Indian
- 12-ounce paneer, cubed
- 1 big and ripe tomato
- 1 medium onion
- 1 tbsp ginger, chopped roughly
- 6 or 7 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 tsp red chilli powder
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- ½ tsp garam masala powder
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tsp dry fenugreek leaves, crushed
- 1/3 cup cooking oil
- paneer shavings for garnish (optional)
- Puree the onion, ginger, garlic and tomato to a fine paste in a blender or food processor.
- Heat the oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds. Follow with the paste prepared in step 1.
- Sauté for 5 minutes and add the powdered spices and salt. Cover and cook on low heat till all the water has evaporated and the oil has left the sides of the pan. Let the gravy cool down.
- Add the cottage cheese cubes, milk and fenugreek leaves and cook for 8-10 minutes. Garnish with the paneer shavings if you want to. Serve hot with rotis or rice.
- Fenugreek leaves or qasuri methi is easily available in Indian grocery stores. Crush them in your hand and put them in the gravy. Don’t add too much since they have a slightly bitter edge to them.
- Choose the reddest tomato you can find for a deep, rich coloured gravy.
- Warm the milk slightly if it is straight from the fridge. If you want a slightly thinner gravy, add half a cup of water to the milk and then tip the diluted milk in the pan.