I'm back from the vacation. Had a great time with my family, enjoyed my stay in the busiest city in the US. Now it's time for some blogging.
When your vacation plan involves too many things to see/visit within a short span of time, you always end up feeling the need for another vacation at the end of it. Our vacation this time was one of those. And on return, you find yourself with too many chores, loads of laundry that one need to finish. Moreover, you hardly have the supplies to cook something elaborate. Usually before going for any vacation I always make sure that I have stored some fish, meat, eggs and paneer in the refrigerator, so that the need to rush to the groceries isn't there and you can put together a quick meal using these.
For my Friday dinner, I chose the easiest of them all, Paneer, and made paneer butter masala, quick, easy and yummy..
Paneer butter masala or paneer makhani is a popular North Indian dish, a perfect blend of mild spiciness and creaminess. The tomato based gravy brings a vibrant red color and tangy taste to the dish. I love to wipe off the last drop of gravy with roti or naan or bread. It is very similar to butter chicken, but much quicker as paneer is the main ingredient.
Things needed to make Paneer Butter Masala:
- Paneer: 100 gm
- Tomato: 3 large
- Garlic: 1 tbsp
- Ginger: 1 tbsp (divided)
- Green chilies: 1-2
- Mace: a floret
- Green Cardamom: 2-3
- Bay leaves: 2
- Kashmiri red chili powder: 2 tsp
- Kasuri methi: 1 tbsp
- Garam masala powder: 1tsp
- Honey: 2-3 tbsp
- Fresh cream: 4-5 tsbp
- Salt to taste
- Butter: 4-5 tbsp
Steps of making Paneer Butter Masala:
1. Cut paneer into long thin slices. For the best result use homemade paneer.
2. In a large flat pan heat butter (1/2 tbsp), as the butter melts fry the the paneer pieces till surface brown. Do not overcook the paneer. Boil water in a large deep pan with cover, add a teaspoon of salt to the water. Take it out the fried paneer and dip in hot water for 15-20 min. This helps to keep the paneer soft.
3. To prepare the gravy, cut tomatoes into quarters. Heat a tablespoon of butter in the same pan used for frying the paneer.
4. As the butter melts, add mace, bay leaves and green cardamom, cook for 1-2 min. Add the tomato and garlic, cook till the tomatoes are done. Let this cool down. Discard the bay leaves, and make a smooth puree of the tomato, strain and discard any seeds or pieces of mace.
5. Drain the paneer and keep aside.
6. In a pan or kadhai, heat 2 table spoon of butter, as the butter melts add julienned ginger and green chilies, cook for 1 min, add the tomato puree, salt, kashmiri red chili and cook over low heat for 10-12 min. If the gravy looks too thick add few tablespoons of hot water. Add honey, mix well. Add the fried paneer, kasuri methi, garam masala powder and mix gently. Add fresh cream and cook for 5 min over low heat. Transfer to a serving bowl and enjoy with some bread or roti or naan.
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