paneer is the only special treat for vegetarians ...as it is perceived here in India.....and a whole lot of paneer recipes are made in Indian homes....mostly because it blends well with all types of flavors, just like eggs and potatoes.....but strangely enough i have not posted many recipes of paneer here, many of them are in my drafts though but when i made this safeda paneer , which is actualy paneer in a white gravy, i could not stop myself from posting it here almost immediately, well that is within 5 days after making it...:D:D.
paneer safeda is made in many versions using different types of nuts for their subtle flavors and the taste differs in each of those versions.....this recipe is a simple and quick one , like all my recipes which is good for everyday cooking and the flavors are so exotic that it is fit for a formal dinner as a main course dish ...actually last time i made this dish for a large family get together of 20 people...i choose this dish at that occasion because a few family members did not eat garlic n onion at that time and also because i wanted a quick n tasty recipe.....no need to tell that this dish became the talking point at the table.....
this is a special recipe , which presents delicately flavored aroma of spices and goes well with butter naan or roomali roti....this time i served it with thin whole wheat chapatis which complemented the dish very well.....also this recipe is certainly rich because it uses cashew nuts , but it is not a fatty paneer curry which gives you those guilt pangs after a cosy dinner.......the amount of cashews per serving is very low..ie..5 cashews and the amount of fat( i used fresh cream as a cooking medium) is also low ...ie..1/2 tbsp of fresh cream per serving.....yeah i calculated the amounts carefully this time and now you know how a rich gravy can be healthy too..........read on...
( serves 4)
paneer 250 gm
cashews 20 nos.
fresh cream ( i used fresh malai from whole milk)2 tbsp
salt to taste
masala made in to a paste
black pepper corns 20 nos.( white peppercorns are better but i didn't have)
green cardamom 3 nos.
black cardamom 1 no.
cinnamon ctick 1 inch long
cloves 5 nos.
bay leaf 2 nos. ( scissor cut into fine shreds)
all these ingredients are to be made into a paste with some water in a spice grinder .
cube the paneer into rectangular pieces and keep aside.
make a fine paste of cashews with some water and keep aside ...cashews can be soaked for a few hours for making fine paste but do it instantly most of the times...you just have to run the grinder for a little more time.
now pour the fresh cream into the pan ...(i used a steel kadhai) and filter the masala paste right into the kadhai.....place a sieve on top of the kadhai and pour the masala paste into it n let all the masala extract pour into the kadhai....(reserve the masala filtrate to flavor some daal etc.)
now keep the kadhai on flame and let the mixture boil...
now pour in the cashew paste....
and let it boil again ...it just takes 5-6 minutes....
i took all these pics because this is an unconventional way of making a gravy....and i wanted the procedure to be more clear....
now add salt and the paneer pieces and let it boil again...just for 2 minutes ...cover the kadhai, put off the flame and let it rest for 5 minutes so that the flavors get seeped in..
serve hot with any kind of flat bread....we did not have any side dish this time as it was meant to be a light but special dinner ...it truly was....you'll agree when you try it...
this recipe goes to the weekend wokking : cheese event held by Yasmeen of Healthnut as the paneer is completely cheesy in this recipe..he he..