About this recipe:Spring is here. The season brings with it the freshness of all that is new. So here is a brand new preparation of the paneer masala called the achari paneer masala. Easy to cook , simply delicious and a very healthy meal that would leave all your guests licking their fingers!
• 250 grams of paneer, finely choppped into cubes or squares
• 1 cup of fresh whole milk curd about 240 grams
• 1.5 tsp of ginger-green chili paste
• a generous pinch of asafoetida/hing
• 1 medium sized tomato, chopped about ⅓ cup tightly packed chopped tomatoes, 75 to 80 grams of tomatoes
• ½ tsp kasuri methi/dry fenugreek leaves
• 12 cashews or 2 tbsp cashews or 2 tbsp cashew powder
• ½ tsp coriander powder
• ¼ tsp turmeric powder
• ½ tsp red chili powder
• 2 tbsp rice bran oil or sunflower oil or mustard oil or ghee
• 1 tsp chopped mint leaves
• salt as required
The pickling spices need to be taken in a pan first. This mixture consists of 1 tsp cumin seeds/jeera, 1 tsp fennel seeds/saunf, ½ tsp nigella seeds/kalonji,¼ tsp fenugreek seeds/methi dana and 1 tsp mustard seeds/rai or sarson
Roast the spices by heating the pan over a low flame until the spices are fragrant. Do not over heat it so that it turns brown.Once cooled the spices have cooled, pour the spice mixture into a grinder and then grind the mixture until it is reduced to a semi fine powder.Then remove the achari masala powder and keep it aside in a bowl.
In the same grinder, then add 10 to 12 cashews.Grind the mixture to a fine powsder. If oil gets released in the process of grinding then its fine.Take 1 cup fresh whole milk curd/yogurt and whisk it till it is smooth. Be careful while using the curd. It should be fresh and not sour curd.Heat 2 tbsp mustard oil or sunflower oil or ghee in a pan.
Heat on a low flame, and add 2 dry red chilies and a generous pinch of asafetida. Then saute it for some seconds till the red chilies change color.Next, add about 1.5 tsp ginger-green chili paste – which consists of about ½ inch ginger + 1 or 2 green chilies crushed to a paste in mortar-pestle. Stir it and then saute till the raw aroma of ginger goes away.Then add ⅓ cup of tightly packed chopped tomatoes.
Stir and add ¼ tsp turmeric powder, ½ tsp coriander powder, ½ tsp red chili powder and ¼ tsp cumin powder.Stir very well and saute the tomatoes again till the tomatoes soften completely and become pulpy. you should also see oil releasing from the sides.Add the cashew powder. If you happen to be using the stored cashew powder, then add 2 tbsp cashew powder. Do check the shelf life of store brought cashew powder before adding.
On a low to medium flame, stir and saute the mixture for 2 minutes after adding cashew powder.Reserve 1 tsp of the ground achari masala and add the rest. Stir very well.Add 1 tbsp besan. we are adding besan so that the curd does not curdle.Stir the besan very well and incorporate it into the rest of the masala.Keep the flame on a low and add the beaten curd.as soon as you add the curd, begin to stir the mixture quickly and fast. stirring quickly, incorporate the curd well into the rest of the masala.
Add salt as per taste.Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes on a low flame.Add the paneer cubes. 250 grams paneer chopped in cubes.Cook the paneer cubes for about 2 minutes.Then add 3 tbsp low fat fresh cream and ½ tsp kasuri methi, which has been crushed. stir very well.Switch off the flame and add 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves and 1 tsp chopped mint leave & stir again.While serving sprinkle the reserved achari masala from top and garnish it with a coriander or mint sprig. serve achari paneer with naan, tandoori rotis or chapatis.
Serve all the paneer in an elegant My Borosil Serving plate and have a great feast with your family and friends!