Paneer butter masala

Paneer butter Masala

You know my favourite part of doing yoga? At the very end of the class, when you lie down, stretch out, close your eyes and relax. It looks like I am not the only one who feels that way. Many friends thought the same too. People liked having somebody instructing them to rest. It feels legitimate. It feels delicious. You’ve done your yoga and you’ve earned it. My biggest fear is that I might fall asleep on the yoga mat and somebody’d have to kick me awake. I take my yoga very seriously. Yeah, I started taking yoga classes a couple of weeks back. I thought you’d never ask. I am really enjoying these yoga classes. It feels like I was always meant to do yoga. Would you believe that I set out to learn yoga last year when I planned to lose weight? I let myself be convinced that it wouldn’t work for me – that I won’t ever be able to make it on time to a scheduled class and that I wouldn’t lose weight with yoga. I am regularly late for class and I am not sure I’ve lost weight. But I am enjoying doing yoga. I am not even doing it that well. That’s like unconditional love. I am posting this article today and today is International yoga day. That surely must be a sign.    Happy International Yoga day people! I frequently get excited about something new that’s caught my fancy and I can’t stop talking about it. Thanks for reading that! I am ever grateful for your support. If you’re here for the paneer butter masala, please read on. At the risk of adding one more recipe to the already inundated world of Paneer butter masala, I present to you my Paneer butter Masala recipe; the recipe that I came up with after many many iterations and which probably bears a strong similarity to 95% of the recipes out there.     How different can a Paneer butter masala recipe be? They all involve cooking down onions and tomatoes to a nice smooth sauce, they all call for a mix of spice powders to be cooked until the raw small goes away and they’re all unmistakably delicious, yummy and drool-worthy. Having made that impressive pitch on why you should try my recipe, let me warn you that it’s one of the simplest versions out...
Asian stir fry paneer and veggies

Asian stir-fry of Paneer, sweet corn and Vegetables

I didn’t make much of it when in our early days Jagan’d say often how he loved travelling to far-off places, driving all the way. He loved being behind the wheel. Little did I know that that meant me becoming the ‘cleaner’ buckled into the passenger seat for hours together, fishing for change for toll booths, operating the GPS navigation keying in destinations and via-points and handing around water, snacks and cooling glasses, only relief being when the kids had to pee and I got to stand straight. I have a strong feeling I’ve taken the shape of XUV’s bucket seats after 5 days of travelling from morning till night. Every morning we’d wake up, shower, eat, pack up and pile into the car. We’d drive all day, reach our destination just in time for dinner, eat and sleep. Wake up next morning and drive to the next one. 5 nights – 5 places. We covered around 2000 km in just over 5 days. He has all the makings of a champion truck driver no doubt. It’s been more than a week since we returned. I still grope around for the seat belt even when I sit in my office chair and I feel faintly irritated whenever somebody asks me to sit. Thippanahalli home-stay in Chikmagalur The only time I willingly sat down was for the delicious home-cooked Malnad food – fresh Kadubus (rice balls), Akki rotis (rice flour rotis) served with a lip-smacking hot chutney, fragrant Tomato Rasam, steamed rice and Chicken Saaru in Chikmagalur. Heavenly! We stayed at an absolutely wonderful home-stay “Thippanahalli” set amidst a huge coffee estate in Chikmagalur.  Coffee beans, grown on the Thippanahalli estate I stalked the cook and helpers for the recipes the entire time I was there and managed to extract a quick abridged recipe rundown from the host’s mother who must have thought ‘Silly Apprentice cook – doesn’t know even Tomato Rasam’. My Maamiyaar must think the same thing too. I make a few nice rasams but I’ll go after every good rasam out there, think what people may. Rasams are some of the simplest yet soul-stirring foods there are.  Taking a walk through the coffee estate The recipe today is not from our drive-athon trip though (it’ll come soon). This is a simple light stir-fry that is great for after-trip guilt. Having stuffed my face with all the good food...

Paneer Tikka Masala

This is no internet researched rehashed recipe. My grandmother did not hand me this recipe. She never made Paneer Tikka of course, she made adhirasam, urundai kuzhambu and kola uzhundai.   ‘Cos we’re hip-hop Tamizha. Still this Paneer tikka masala tastes absolutely fabulous and is as close as it can get to the Paneer Tikka that I’ve tasted in really good restaurants. I used Madhur Jafferey’s recipe for the marinade from her famous curry nation book. The gravy, I made up by myself and it’s not rocket science but I was thrilled to be able to replicate the restaurant style perfectly rounded, creamy gravy. You know how the restaurant gravies have that well rounded taste that’s ever so slightly sweet with no jagged spicy edges – well this paneer tikka masala fits that bill. It’s brilliant. I served this paneer tikka with poori (that’s because of a strange family handicap that makes poori ok, but roti/chappathi not okay) but it goes best with chappathi/phulka or pulav. Marinate the paneer for 4 hours or overnight for the best results. I just toasted the paneer pieces on a tawa before adding them to the gravy. You could grill them in an oven or in a barbecure if you wish. Prep time: 15 minsCooking time: 30 minsMarinating time: 4 hours or overnightServes: 4 Ingredients Paneer/Cottage Cheese – 200 gm cut into cubesRed chilli powder/Degi mirch powder – 1-1/2 tspCumin powder – ½ tspTurmeric – ¼ tspSalt to tasteGaram Masala powder – ¾ tspSugar – 1-1/2 tsp (adjust)Cream – 2 tbsp (optional)Oil – 3 tbsp Ingredients – gravy Onions – 2 large chopped roughlyTomatoes – 2 large chopped roughlyGinger – 1 inch piece choppedGarlic – 6 large clovesCinnamon stick – 1 inch piece Ingredients – Marinade Fresh Cream – 3 tbspGinger-Garlic paste – 1 tbspRed chilli powder – 2 tspTurmeric – ¼ tspGaram Masala powder – ½ tspCumin powder – ¾ tsp Method 1.      Whisk together all ingredients under marinade in a bowl. Drop in the paneer cubes and mix well so that the paneer pieces are nicely coated in the masala. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. 2.      In a kadai/wok, heat 1 tbsp oil and when hot add the cinnamon stick. Then add the ingredients under “gravy” – ginger, garlic and roughly chopped onions. Fry till the onions turn translucent. Then add the tomatoes and cook till the tomatoes turn soft –...

Quick and easy Paneer Bhurji/Paneer Podimas – Somberi series

I love quick, simple recipes because basically I am lazy (a somberi). I am always on the lookout for lazy ass recipes that I can whip up quickly and which will be well received by the family. This Paneer Podimas recipe qualifies on all counts. It is super quick, can be prepared in 5 minutes and tastes so good. It’s fresh, clean and delicious. I served it with poori. You could serve it with roti or pulav also. I am thinking of compiling a Somberi series of recipes, like the Dummies series. This somberi series would include quick, easy and simple recipes that do not involve a whole lot of time or skill – no flamboyant tossing of dough in the air, no hand le thatting and delicately dropping in oil, no stuffing and no piping. I don’t mean the kind of cheat recipes that you find in “GoodFood” magazine where everything (spice paste, coconut milk, frozen shrimp etc) is store bought and you just have to put them together. That’s not quick, that’s readymade. Halloumi cheese, malt vinegar, canned tuna, crème fraîche, polenta.. (ponga da neengalum unga recipes um). These recipes are not meant for you and me to cook at home. I would have to spend a fortune at Amma Naana and N2H and still wouldn’t be able to find all the ingredients. I’d have to personally import them from Italy or China or some such place. And if I ever make these dishes at home, I can imagine what my family would do; they’d expel me from the kitchen forever. These recipes are for the peters and marys,the ultra-suave to memorize so that they can describe what they had at that fancy new Japanese restaurant. Why does the “India” edition have such recipes? I told you, its not for you and me. Feel free to suggest recipes for this Someberi series. I will try to update this series as often as I can, lazy that I am. Preparation time: 2 mins Cooking time: 5 mins Serves: 4 Ingredients Paneer – 250 gm crumbled or gratedOnion – 1 large chopped fineGreen chillies – 2 chopped fineTurmeric – 1/4 tspSalt to tasteOil – 2 tbsp Method 1.      Heat oil in a kadai/skillet. When hot, add chopped onions and green chillies. Sauté till the onions turn translucent. 2.      Drop the crumbled paneer into the skillet. Add turmeric and salt and mix well....

Paneer Peas masala – Spicy side dish with Pooris or Rotis

Whenever we go to restaurants, there are certain dishes that we order almost involuntarily. Top one has to be biryani (my husband’s all-time favourite), second top would be paneer butter masala. He’d go through the entire menu, front to back, back to front and then order biryani. These are dishes that no matter how many times we’ve had, we order again. The paneer peas masala dish that I am posting today is not a restaurant style paneer peas masala. It tastes even better and is definitely restaurant grade. It is a smooth, zesty curry infused with freshly ground masala and is an excellent side with roti, poori or pulav. I have to thank my dear friend Priya and her mother, who so generously wrote down multiple copies of this recipe for me and my recipe crazy friends. Priya’s tiffen box is hugely popular at work especially for this trademark gravy. I served this Paneer peas masala with Pooris. You could easily substitute the peas and paneer with boiled potatoes or par-boiled cauliflower. This is a versatile gravy base that you can improvise and apply to your needs. Preparation time: 10 minsCooking time: 40 minsServes: 4 Ingredients Paneer – 250 gm cut into cubesPeas – 1-1/2 cupsCinnamon – 1 inch stick Kalpaasi (Seaweed) – ¼ tspCloves – 2 Chilli sauce – 1 tspSoy sauce – 1 tspTomato sauce – 1 tspChilli powder – 1 tbspTurmeric powder – ½ tspGaram Masala – ½ tspButter – 1 tbspSalt to tasteOil – 2 tbsp Masala Onion – 1 large, roughly chopped Tomatoes – 2 large, roughly choppedCashewnuts – 7Fennel seeds/Sombu – 1 tspCinnamon – 1 inch stickCloves – 2Cardamom – 2Ginger – 1 inch piece peeled and choppedGarlic – 6-7 podsGreen chilli – 1 chopped Method 1.      Grind together all the ingredients called for under “Masala” and set aside. 2.      Heat oil in a kadai/skillet and when hot, add cinnamon, cloves and kalpaasi and stir around for half a minute. Tip in the ground masala, and cook on high for 10 mins.   3.      Add chilli powder, turmeric powder, and salt and mix well. Cover and cook on high initially and then on low till the oil separates. This takes around 20-30 minutes. Use a non-stick skillet to quicken the process. 4.      Add chilli sauce, tomato sauce and soy sauce and mix well. Drop in the paneer and peas. Cover and cook till the peas...
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