March 7, 2019

Methi Paneer

Methi Paneer is a gravy side dish for Chapati or Jeera rice. Chunks of cottage cheese in a flavorful onion-tomato gravy that is enriched with fenugreek leaves – I cannot ignore this. Simply love it! Fenugreek or methi has a distinct and slightly bitter taste to it and this gravy is filled with methi flavor. We enjoy Methi leaves for dal too. Some people dislike Methi because of the bitterness, but when paired with paneer or even potato (Aloo-Methi subji or Aloo-Methi Paratha) Methi is totally delicious.
I believe Methi Paneer can be prepared with Kasuri methi/dried fenugreek leaves too, never tried it because I am a bit apprehensive of the strong taste. If you notice dishes where we use crushed Kasuri methi, even a spoonful of it gives amazing flavor! You can use frozen fenugreek leaves if fresh ones are not available.
Jumping to the recipe, it is a basic gravy with onion and tomato. I sautéed the onions and made a paste first and then used raw tomato puree. Of course you can sautee onions and tomatoes together. I just chose to fry the methi leaves and then cook with tomato puree so that the leaves are not overcooked yet combine well with the gravy. Also, well-roasted onion paste gives a fuller texture to the gravy.

Onion – 2 small (around 1 cup sliced)
Tomato – 2 small
Paneer – 180 gms
Fenugreek/Methi leaves – 1 cup chopped
Cloves – 1
Green Chilli - 1
Turmeric powder – 1 pinch
Coriander powder – 1 tbsp
Garam Masala – 1tbsp
Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
Oil – 1 tbsp + 2 tbsp
Ghee – 1 tsp

How I prepare:
  1. Take 1 tbsp oil in a pan and fry the onions, clove and green chilli until onions for 4-5 minutes. Once cool, blend to a paste adding water.
  2. In the same pan, use 1 tsp Ghee and fry paneer till brown/golden on both sides. Since this time I used a non stick pan, I was able to get paneer beautifully fried.
  3. Again In the same pan (don’t we all accuse the husbands of using too many utensils/vessels in cooking??😂 We gotta lead with examples!!!), add 2 tbsp oil and fry roughly chopped Methi leaves.
  4. Make puree of tomatoes and add into the methi. Add turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala, red chilli powder and salt and let it cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Next add the onion, clove and chilli paste to the methi mixture. Mix well and cook for a few minutes covered.
  6. Taste test the gravy and add the fried/roasted paneer. Give it a stir and boil; and done!
Oh! How I miss the last step in most of our Indian recipe procedure, guess what that is?😆 Yep, coriander leaves or cilantro!! Since Methi paneer has enough leaves, I don’t add coriander leaves in it. Enjoy this tasty Methi Paneer full of texture and delicious flavour of Methi and Paneer; which anyway is a winner without a second thought.

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