Friday, September 2, 2011

Paneer / Cottage cheese recipes..

Navratan korma :::
Navratan korma or nine-jewels curry is very popular Moghlai dish where it gets the name because of using nine different types of vegetables,fruits and nuts. You can choose your own favorite vegetables, fried nuts and add paneer too. I tried to use the true Moghlai fashion preparing cashew nut paste and cream for gravy. But you can always use healthier version too but once in a year for a special occasion we can have little more calories. 

Ingredients :::
for 10 people..
12 pieces medium size paneer / cottage cheese,
one big of mixed cubed vegetables ,
one small pineapple pieces,
1 tbsp raisins,
one cup cashew nuts,
one big cup onion slices,
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste,
1 tsp turmeric powder, white pepper powder, coriander powder each,
a pinch of garam masala,
half cup heavy cream,
4-5 tbsp whole milk,
1/4 tsp sugar, 
3 tbsp oil.

for seasoning..
4-5 nos. broken green cardamons,
3-4  nos. cloves,
2 inch cinnamon,
one bay leaf.

for garnishing..
fried cashew nuts,
fresh or whipped cream.

Method :::
1. Heat oil in a pan, add turmeric powder and salt and fry all the paneer pieces in small batch until all the sides become light brownish. Keep aside.
2. Boil onion slices and cashew nuts in two cups of water with little salt till onion becomes very soft. Once done, strain onions and cashew nuts and keep the water aside. When it gets cold, make a smooth paste out it adding the same water.
3. In another saucepan, boil all the vegetables with little salt till all the vegetables become soft.
4. Heat oil in a wok or deep-bottomed pan. Add cardamons,cloves, cinnamon and bay leaf and add saute a little and then add cashew nut-onion paste adding little boiled water what you used for boiling onions and cashew nuts or little warm water. Cover the pan and let it cook on medium flame for 5 mins.
5. When oil starts oozing out , add ginger-garlic paste and fry for half a minute. Then add all the dry spices and if needed add some more boiled water from step 2. Let it cook 5 minutes.
6. Add the boiled vegetables and stir carefully to coat the vegetables. Add salt and sugar and let it cook until oil oozes out or 5-6 minutes. Now add fried paneer pieces, pineapple chunks and raisins. Let it simmer while stirring occasionally. 
7.  Now add garam masala , cream and milk to the curry and stir carefully and let it simmer for some more time. Once done, garnish with fried cashews and little cream. Serve hot with paratha or naans.
I use beans, carrots , peas, potatoes and different bell peppers / capsicum. These vegetables and nuts are all optional and you can omit pineapples too. If you don't want to use cream then use milk little more. I wanted little spicy so added green chilies too.

Matar paneer :::

Another very famous delicious vegetarian preparation from North-Indian cuisine which needs no introduction for any Indian and all over the world. Cottage cheese or Paneer and fresh peas or matar cooked in tomato gravy with creamy blend of spices goes very well with roti, paratha or naan.
Ingredients :::
10 medium sizes of paneer / cottage cheese cubes,
one small cup fresh or frozen peas,
one medium onion, finely chopped
one medium tomato, finely chopped or pureed
1/2 ginger-garlic paste,
1 tsp turmeric powder,
1 tsp red chilli powder,
1/2 tsp coriander powder,
a pinch of whole cumin seeds,
1/2 tsp garam masala powder,
1/3 tsp crushed kasuri methi / dry fenugreek leaves,
salt to taste,
oil for frying. 

Method :::
1. Heat oil in a pan, sprinkle little turmeric powder and salt and then fry paneer cubes until both the sides become light brown in color. Take out from pan and keep aside. 
2. Add 1tbsp oil to the same pan, add cumin seeds and let it crackle. Then add ginger-garlic paste and saute for half a minute. Then add chopped onion and sprinkle little salt and saute till onion becomes translucent. Now add chopped tomato or puree and green peas to the pan and mix everything nicely while frying on medium flame. Fry for 2 minutes.
3. Add rest of turmeric powder, red chilli powder and coriander powder and add 1/4 cup of warm water and mix thoroughly and let it simmer for 7-8 minutes on low-medium flame.
4. Now add fried paneer cubes and sprinkle garam masala and mix carefully and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Then rub kasuri methi / dry fenugreek leaves in between your palms and then add to the gravy. Mix carefully and then serve hot with chapati , naan and paratha.

Paneer Jhalfrezi ::::

Jhalfrezi preparations had become famous from British empire and people says, it is a combination of Bengal cuisine and British culture. An Indian curry preparation with lots of vegetables sauteed in oil and selected spices. This recipe is combination of three different recipes what I used according to my time and availability of ingredients.

for 4-5 servings... 
7-8 pieces of paneer , cut into 2" rectangular shapes
one medium size onion, thick slices
one cup of different color capsicum / bell pepper, thick slices
one tomato, thin slices
1/2 tsp ginger-garlic paste,
1 tsp red chilli powder,
a pinch of whole cumin seeds,
1/2 tsp turmeric powder,
2 tbsp tomato puree or tomato sauce,
1/2 tsp coriander powder,
a pinch of garam masala powder,
1/2 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar,
1 tbsp kasuri methi or dry fenugreek leaves,
1/2 tbsp sour cream,
salt to taste, 
a pinch of sugar,
oil to fry.

1. Heat oil in a pan. Fry paneer pieces slightly sprinkling turmeric powder. Once done, keep in a paper towel.
2. In the same oil, add cumin seeds. When splutters, add sliced onions and saute for 2-3 min. Then add ginger-garlic paste and fry for a little.
3. Now sprinkle turmeric powder,coriander powder and red chilli powder. Saute for 2 min and then add salt. Add sour cream to the pan.
4. Add tomato puree and fry for a minute. Then add sliced bell pepper and onions and saute for 2-3 min on low-medium flame. If necessary , cover the pan for 2-3 min. 
5. Add fried paneer pieces to the pan and toss well sprinkling kasuri methi / dry fenugreek leaves. Add little water if needed.
6. At last, sprinkle garam masala and lemon juice /vinegar and toss again on high flame. Once done, serve hot with chapatis, naan or paratha.
I don't like to use tomato sauce but if you like the taste add before adding paneer pieces and you can use thick slices of beans, carrot and peas too.

Shahi Paneer ::: 
Shahi Paneer is a combination of right proportion of cream, tomatoes and spices. It  is very common and popular north-Indian cuisine and because of its richness and color it gets the name shahi means royal.  You will find lot of recipes in internet website. But I prepared it in my way and took very less time and came really good in taste. 

Ingredients :::
10 medium pieces of paneer / cottage cheese.
one small size onion, sliced,
one small ripe tomato, slice,
1 tsp ginger sliced,
3 nos. cardamon, slightly crushed,
1/2" cinnamon,
2-3 nos. cloves,
4-5 nos. green chillies,
1/2 tsp dry mango / amchoor powder,
1 tsp red chilli powder,
1/2 tsp coriander powder,
1/4 tsp garam masala powder,
1/3 tsp turmeric powder,
a pinch of whole cumin seeds,
5 tsp whole milk,
1 tbsp kasuri methi / dry fenugreek leaves,
salt to taste,
a pinch of sugar,
oil to fry.
1. Heat oil in heavy bottomed pan, fry paneer pieces until all the pieces become light brown in color. Keep aside.
2. Now add whole spices,sliced onion,tomatoes,ginger pieces and green chillies and saute for 3-4 minutes. Then add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder and salt and mix thoroughly and fry on medium heat for 4-6 minutes or until moisture goes off. Switch off the heat and let it cool and then make a smooth paste of the mixture adding half cup of water.
3. Again heat little oil in the same pan and then add cumin seeds and when it starts spluttering , add the paste and add milk and amchoor powder and fried paneer pieces. Cover the lid. Let it simmer for 10 minutes.
4. When done, take dry fenugreek leaves or kasuri methi on your palm and rub it to make powder and sprinkle all over the curry. Adjust salt here and serve with any Indian breads like roti, paratha or naan.
This is my version of shahi paneer and I try to use less fat contents in day to day preparation and if you want, you can use ghee or clarified butter instead of oil and full cream instead of milk. 

Paneer Capsicum fry ::: 

This is very simple stir fry and dry preparation when you have less time to cook or want to add another dish for your lunch or dinner party for vegetarian friends. This preparation goes very well with paratha or chapathi or you can use as stuffing for your normal sandwich too. 

Ingredients ::
one small packet or 10 cubes of paneer,
one big size of green capsicum / bell pepper,diced
one medium size onion, diced,
1/2 tsp garlic paste or garlic powder,
a pinch of cumin seeds / jeera,
4-5 nos. slitted green chillies,
1/2 tsp coriander powder,
1/4 tsp red chilli powder,
1/2 tsp tandoori masala powder,
salt to taste and oil to fry.

Method :::
1. Heat oil in a frying pan, add cumin seeds,slitted green chillies, garlic paste and saute for some time. Then, add diced capsicum and onion together and sprinkle all the red chilli powder,cumin powder, salt.
2. Mix everything nicely and fry until capsicum pieces are almost done on medium flame. Do not use water.
3. Now add paneer cubes and sprinkle tandoori masala powder and fry for 2-3 mins or until paneer cubes become light brown in color and get coated with all the spices. Mix carefully to avoid breaking paneer cubes. When done, take off from heat and serve hot with any breads like paratha, naan or simply jeera rice.
You can sprinkle garam masala powder instead of tandoori masala powder. And, adjust red chilli powder according to your taste bud.

Methi Malai Paneer ::::

Last month I wanted to make a good menu for our vegetarian friends who are coming for dinner at home and that also some dishes without onion and garlic. I saw this recipe somewhere but only the name what I remembered and while surfing internet I got three recipes from different websites and I tried to improvise the recipe and it came very good.

Ingredients :::
7-8 medium pieces of paneer or cottage cheese,
half cup of kasoori methi or dry fenugreek leaves,
4-5 tsp of malai or heavy whipped cream,
12-15 whole cashew nuts,
1/4 tsp cumin seeds,
2 tsp of powdered white pepper ,
3 nos. green chillies,
half cup of milk,
oil for frying ,
salt to taste,
a pinch of sugar and turmeric powder.

Method :::
1. Soak cashew nuts in a half cup of warm water for 15 mins. Make a smooth paste of cashew nuts and green chillies.
2. Heat oil in a deep bottomed pan, slightly fry the paneer pieces and keep aside.
3. Now in the same oil, add cumin seeds and when it starts splutter, add dry fenugreek leaves crushed by hand and saute for a little and then add cashew nut paste and let it cook covered for 6-7 mins on medium flame.
4. Then sprinkle salt,sugar,turmeric powder and pepper powder and mix nicely and again cover the pan for 2 mins.
5. Now in a bowl,mix milk and cream or malai with warm water and add to the pan and mix thoroughly and let it cook covered on slow flame for 10mins.When oil starts coming out, add paneer pieces and let it boil once and take off from flame. You can sprinkle little dry fenugreek leaves while serving.

If you can add paneer pieces just before serving and give it one boil or warm in a microwave. You can also adjust the spice level with or without using green chillies. Dry fenugreek leaves are the best option for this dish. And at last, you can heat oil in a separate pan and add cumin seeds and then while serving just do tempering with the same.


  1. Hi Kaberi
    we have met on FB, now here...I love paneer dishes..;-)) your looks delicious and tasty!!

  2. kaberi durdanto dekhei lagche.....mmmmm mouth watering.....sure try korbo.....ty:)))))

  3. all the recipes look sooooo yummmyy!!!will definitely try them ...thank you very much for sharing....:-)