Monday, 24 November 2014

Shahi Paneer from Jayati's kitchen

The other day one of my friends from school called me and yelled into the phone "How come there is nothing with paneer, on your blog?" I had only taken the first sip of my morning cuppa, my eyes were still heavy with sleep and my voice groggy. "Ummmm...there isn't," I mumbled. "No, nothing. What am I going to do now?" "I didn't realise..." I said, feeling guilty, though I was not sure how my culinary crime (I had begun to feel that my blog wasn't any good without paneer) had put my friend in a sticky spot. "My in-laws are dropping in, I had planned to smply open your blog and cook up a storm, the MIL loves paneer and there is no paneer. Now what?" By now my senses were wide awake. "Don;t worry, just get a pad and a pencil." I quickly gave her a quick paneer recipe, something I often cook at home. She was happy, I was relieved. But I couldn;t stop thinking about my blunder. 

So, this week when I had to cook something from my fellow blogger Jayati Saha's blog Jayati's Food Journey for the second week of Kolkata Food Bloggers event Know Your Blogger , I decided to try out one of her paneer dishes. Unlike my blog, Jayati's has an impressive assortment of Paneer Specials. Initially I was eyes Jayati's Dum Paneer Kali Mirch but finally settled for her Shahi Paneer, paneer cubes simmered in this creamy saffron infused, cashew nut-enriched curry sauce!

Jayati is the ideal modern Indian woman, effortlessly managing a thousand things - a mother, a professional 
Hey blog is the go-to destination if you are looking for traditional Bengali food. But that's not it, she effortlessly doles out delicacies from across the country, including rarer treats like Masor Tenga, an Assamese fish preparation to die for. In fact, if you love fish you have all the more a reason to check out Jayati's Food Journey for its rich repertoire of fishy delights (punned ya!) 

I followed Jayati's recipe mostly, adding a few personal touches here and there and it turned out great! Here's how I did it


Paneer (cut in cubes) - 500 g
Onion - 1 large
Minced garlic - 1 tbsp
Minced ginger - 1 tsp
Cashew nuts - 50 g
Sesame seeds - 1 tbsp (my addition)
Tomato puree - 4 tbsp
Yoghurt - 100 g
Fresh cream- 4 tbsp
Bay leaves - 2
Cardamom - 2-3
Cinnamon stick - 1 (2 inch)
Cloves - 2
Whole dry red chilies - 4
Salt and sugar to taste
A large pinch of saffron threads
Ghee - 4-5 tbsp
White oil


Make a fine paste with the cashew nuts and sesame seeds and keep aside.

Boil the onion in water and grind into a smooth paste.

Deep fry the paneer cubes until a perfect golden. In a bowl of warm water add a couple of teaspoons of salt and toss in the fried paneer cubes.

Heat ghee in a heavy bottomed pan. Add bay leaves, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and dry red chilies. Once the spices release their aroma, add the boiled onion paste, followed by the garlic and ginger paste. Fry until oil separates.

Add the tomato puree and fry for another couple of minutes. Next add the cashew-sesame paste and the yoghurt which you must whip into a creamy texture. Add salt and sugar to taste.

Fry the masala until oil separates. Now stir in 2 cups warm water, scraping off the bits stuck to the pan. Bring to boil and a few minutes later add the paneer cubes. Reduce heat and let all simmer for 8-10 minutes.

Add the saffron strands and cream. Stir and mix. Remove from heat and serve hot with rotis or paranthas.

Find original Recipe here

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