Paneer Butter Masala (Cottage Cheese Curry)

Many people live to eat and take life as it comes. They are usually a very happy-go-lucky lot. Like they used to say back in Hyderabad,India, ‘lite le yaar’ meaning take it easy, friend. Half their problems are solved by not worrying over them.

Check out these kids being blissfully unaware of their surrounding and enjoying their chocolate bar. The expression on the third girl’s face is hilarious.For the uninitiated, they are dressed for a dance show called Bharatanatyam.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFSpaJdTZ3o

This following advert has a woman biting into a Lindor Truffle. Makes you want to grab a chocolate and pop it into your mouth and attain Nirvana(state of transcendence) if only for a while.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKSvm32GLRI

I will probably eat my way to Nirvana too. I didn’t have chocolate, so I had to make-do with paneer. Paneer is soft and delicious, especially if made at home. The recipe for that is a topic for another day. Here is a cottage cheese curry. I used paprika in the curry to get the nice colour.

Paprika and Paneer – What an idea, Sirji !!

serves 4

Ingredients

2 big tomatoes(I mean big!)chopped
1.5 cups paneer(cottage cheese)
1 large onion(chopped)
1 bay leaf
11/4 tsp ginger minced
3/4 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp red chilli powder/paprika
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi)
1 tsp tandoori masala
salt  - to taste
2-3 tbsp butter
2-3 tsp gram flour/Besan
fresh coriander or  mint (chopped)- garnish
1 cup skim milk or reduced fat milk
1 tsp sugar or honey

Above is my dollop of butter. I had a hard time adding it.

Directions:

Heat oil in a wok . Once the oil is hot, add mustard and jeera. Once they start spluttering, add the chopped onions. AOnce they are light brown, add ginger and garlic paste. add the tomatoes and cook for a while about 7 minutes(Why 7, you say.I like that number). Add chilli, cumin, coriander and tandoori powder and saute to coat them. Also add salt to taste. Cover and cook for a while (less than 5 minutes). After this, add milk( you can add almond milk too) with gram flour and mix to not form lumps.Add this mix to the cooked tomatoes. Add some sugar and lemon juice and you are all set. Both are optional but adding them bring out the flavour better.

Now for the paneer. You can cut them and saute them in butter or you can cut them and fry them in butter. It is necessary to have them nice and brown. Add them to the gravy before serving.

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