Monday, 3 August 2015

No Onion No Garlic Paneer Curry

It was my Mother in Law's fifteenth death anniversary today and while she was a very sweet lady and had known her since my childhood, one thing I remember about her, among other things, is she was a big foodie. She loved my Mom's cooking and always used to keep longing for a daughter who would cook and serve her favourite dishes. Today, fifteen years after she left for her heavenly abode, I finally got an opportunity to make some yummy dishes for her and make her soul happy. The priest who had come home for the prayer service was absolutely delighted with the menu and I hope that she feels happy and satisfied seeing someone relish the dishes prepared in her fond remembrance. This no onion no garlic paneer preparation was one of the stars of the menu which everyone enjoyed thoroughly. 
500 gms paneer cubed
1/4 cup cashew 
3-4 Kashmiri red chilli 
2 tsp ginger paste (fresh)
2 each of cardamom, cloves, bay leaves, and 1" cinnamon 
1 tsp cumin seeds 
1 tsp saunf
1/2 tsp heeng/asafoetida
1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder 
1/2 tsp turmeric powder 
1 1/2 tsp kitchen king masala (you can substitute it with an equal mix of cumin powder and coriander powder)
1 large tomato 
1-2 tbsp cream (optional)
1 tsp sugar (optional)
1 tbsp roasted and crushed kasuri methi
1 tbsp oil

Soak the cashew and whole red chillies for 10 minutes. Grind them to a fine paste along with the tomato. Keep aside. 
In a pan, heat oil and splutter the cumin seeds, saunf, and whole garam masala. Now add the ginger paste and heeng and fry for a few seconds and then add the cashew and tomato paste. Mix well and fry till oil starts appearing from the sides. Now add the dry spices except the sugar and kasuri methi and mix. Add about 1/2 cup water and bring the gravy to a boil. You can add more water as per your requirement but do not make it too watery. The gravy is supposed to be thick. Now add the paneer cubes and cover and cook on a medium low for 5-10 minutes till droplets of oil start appearing on top. Add the sugar and check for the seasoning. Add the cream if using and the crushed kasuri methi. Mix and remove from heat. Serve hot!