Methi Malai Paneer

Methi Malai Paneer

This one is for mom. While growing up paneer based dishes used to be a staple in our house and I cannot even remember how many different kinds my mom, grandmother and my aunts could make! (I grew up in a large family and shared about 12-13 wonderful years under one roof with my parents, brother, grandparents, aunts and uncles, great grandmother and most adorable cousins.

Few weeks ago we had planned a dinner with our friends and I don’t know from where I started thinking about this indulgent paneer dish my mom used to make. I thought of giving it a try, trying to remember the flavors and ingredients.

The paneer came out very flavorful and fragrant (thanks to Kasoori methi) and I think was very close to what my mom used to make. Next day I called my mom to confirm the recipe and to my surprise I was pretty close- only my version had a little extra step – she never used any onions and I did. I liked the flavor of lightly browned onions. Last week I made it again and wrote down the recipe (I did use onions again!)

You need:

3 tbsp oil (I used Canola)
1 1/2 medium/1 large onion, thinly sliced
4 medium tomatoes, chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup Kasoori Methi (dried Fenugreek leaves, I used MDH brand Kasoori Methi)
3/4 + 1/4 cup whipping cream
1 lb paneer (Indian cottage cheese), cubed – for this dish I bought the paneer form an Indian store but you can make the cottage cheese at home as well
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp MDH Kitchen King Masala
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 Water
2 tbsp Maggie Hot n Sweet Chili Sauce (optional)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
A pinch of Asafoetida powder
1/2 tsp Garam Masala
1-2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Directions:

1. Heat oil in a wide wok or Karahi
2. Add Asafoetida, followed by garlic and onions
3. Cook on medium heat until onions are slightly brown, stirring every couple of minutes
4. Add tomatoes, and continue cooking on medium heat until tomatoes are soft and onions and tomatoes mixture start leaving the sides of the wok/karahi leaving oil on the sides.
5. Add salt, turmeric, MDH Kitchen King Masala, Kasoori Methi and saute for couple of seconds.
6. Add 3/4 cup cream and cook for 2-3 minutes.
7. Add water and milk and bring it to boil. Simmer on low heat for about 5 minutes.
8. Till this point the sauce is almost cooked and is very mild. At this point I took out some for my son and added few cubes of Paneer for him separately. Since he liked his version, I amalso tagging this post as ‘Toddler Friendly’
9. Take out few table spoons of sauce in a cup, Add Maggie Hot n Sweet Chili sauce and mix well. Put it back in the Karahi and mix well. This is optional – only if you like mild hot and sweet flavor. If you don’t have this chili sauce on hand you can also try regular ketchup with 1 tsp sugar and 1/4 tsp red chilies.
10. Add paneer cubes, stir in 1/4 cup cream and simmer on low heat for about 2-3 minutes. Do not overcook the paneer as the cubes will start breaking
11. Sprinkle the garam masala and chopped cilantro

Serve hot with Naans or Roti (Indian Flatbreads)

Note: You can adjust water / milk quantities as per your liking. This recipe makes a medium consistency curry –not too dry and not too watery either

Total Preparation Time : Approximately 30 minutes