My first encounter with Paneer Pasanda was a hilarious one. Still remember the time when as a kid we were dinning at a restaurant and my dad ordered Paneer Pasanda from their menu. On the arrival of our meal, the first thing that I said to my dad was – this is a double decker paneer swimming in sauce. Everyone including the service staff busted in laughter but the dish was truly scrumptious and delicious!! Their dish was called shahi paneer pasanda and true to its name, paneer slices were packed with cashews, coconut and khoya/mawa mixture and the preparation was quite rich and creamy to what I am sharing today. This recipe is truly inspired from that great restaurant.
RECIPE DETAIL – For easy understanding, I have divided the recipe in two parts. First step would be to prepare paneer – cut paneer in triangles or lengthwise – you can choose to cut thin and small paneer slices. Assemble all the ingredients mentioned under paneer preparations and make a thick, spreadable mixture. Apply this mixture on paneer and place another slice over it. Toss paneer slices in cornflour mixture and pan cook until evenly brown, this way paneer pieces will bind together. Other way would be to make a paste of cornflour and water – dip paneer slices in it and shallow fry until light brown in color.
!For Brown Paste:
- ½ tbsp oil
- 2 onion julienne
- 1 bay leaf
- 1.5 tbsp melon seed (magaz)
- 3 green cardamom (choti elaichi)
- 1 black cardamon (badi elaichi)
- 2 tbsp broken cashewnuts (kaju tukda)
- 1 tbsp water
For Red Paste:
- 4 medium sized tomatoes
- 1 inch ginger
- 5 to 6 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp oil + 1 tbsp oil for shallow frying paneer
- 1 tbsp caraway seed
- 1 t/s cumin seed
- 250 gms cottage cheese (paneer)
- ½ t/s turmeric (haldi)
- 1 tbsp garam masala powder
- 1 tbsp kashmiri red chili powder
- 1 tbsp fennel seed powder (saunf powder)
- 100 gms curd mixed with 1 tbsp water
- 1 cup water
- 1 tbsp fresh cream
- salt as per taste
- 1 t/s sugar ( I used organic sugar)
- fresh mint leaves Or coriander leaves for garnishing.
- dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi)
How to make
- Take oil in a frying pan place on medium heat. Once oil is hot saute onion until light brown in color.
- Once onion is light brown add rest of ingredients stated above for white paste. Saute until onion color changes
- to dark brown but not black 😉 Grind into a smooth paste add water if required.
- Combine tomatoes, ginger and garlic. Grind separately until they all blend well.
- Take paneer cut into squares Or cubes. Add oil to a pan and shallow fry the paneer until golden brown.
- Now take another wok Or vessel place on medium heat. Once oil is hot add caraway seed , cumin seed and sugar.
- Once they crackle add the onion paste. Keep stirring and cook until oil leaves from edges. If the mixture is getting dry add little water.
- Add half of red chili powder, turmeric, garam masala powder and fennel seed powder.
- It’ s time to add tomato paste. Cook for 5 to 7 mins more.
- The gravy should be thick so add water only if required. However if you like thin consistency add water as per your preference.
- Switch off the gas and add curd mixed with water + cream. Combine all nicely.
- Switch on the gas on low heat. Cook on low heat for 2 mins add shallow fried paneer.
- Garnish with mint Or coriander leaves. Sprinkle kasuri methi rest of chili powder over the gravy.
- Serve hot with naan, kulchas, parathas, pooris Or rice.