Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Seyal Paneer

Once during one of my conversations with a lady in my condominium, she mentioned how much she relished the "Seyal Paneer" she had ordered at a local Indian restaurant over the weekend. I wasn't even sure I heard the name right and on my next trip to that restaurant (intentional) I made sure the dish was ordered. It indeed was very delicious but a little too spicy for my palate. I came back home and tried to search for the recipe and interestingly, there were no recipes at all. All I could find out was that it was a Sindhi dish. Thankfully, I have a few Sindhi friends from Facebook and they helped me out with their mother's recipes and with a little tweaking from my end, the "Seyal Paneer" was finally prepared. I am still not sure if that's the actual name of this dish or just a name given by the restaurant. Whatever it may be, I can assure you that this is the easiest paneer you would ever make and one of the most delicious too. I put everything in a pan, lowered the flame to minimum, covered it, and went for my shower. When I came back after 20 minutes, my masala was ready (without any stirring) and the paneer cubes were ready to go in and ready to eat in 5 minutes!! It is this unbelievably easy. Now go make it!
300 gms paneer cubes
3 big onions finely chopped 
2 tbsp chopped garlic (green garlic is used traditionally, use it if you can find it)
1 medium tomato 
2 tbsp tomato puree (or 1/2 medium tomato)
1 tsp Kashmiri Chilli powder 
1/2 tsp turmeric powder 
1/2 tsp garam masala powder 
2 tsp coriander powder 
1 tsp cumin powder 
1 tsp cumin seeds 
3 tbsp Fresh coriander leaves chopped 
1-2 green chillies (optional)
1-2 tbsp ghee 
Take a pan and heat the ghee. Add the cumin seeds and let them crackle. Now lower the flame and add the finely chopped onions, garlic, tomatoes, puree (if using), dry spices, coriander, green chillies and salt. Mix them all together. There is no need to make anything soft or fried. Just mix and cover and leave it on the lowest flame for 15-20 minutes. This is how the masala gets it's taste and flavor through undisturbed slow cooking. When you see the oil droplets appear on top and along the sides, give a stir and add the paneer cubes. You can add 1/4-1/2 cup water at this point if you find the masala too dry or you intend to eat it with rice. Once the paneer is added, give a stir, and then cover again and leave again for 5-7 minutes till the paneer is well soaked and the gravy looks good to serve immediately. Serve hot with rice or roti/naan/paratha. 

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