Late fall brings excitement over the return of soups, spicy meals, desserts, pies, and the opportunity to fill the kitchen with the heat and heady smells of herbs and spice. Winter follows with spectacular holiday celebrations, with friends talking around grand feasts.
This is one dish which is present always at winter parties and meat eaters adore it equally.
The orange hues always bring back fond memories of the early years in California. I’ve been thinking about those simple days, when it was all trying different cuisines, seeing places, exploring the city and care free night out with friends. It was also when I learnt to cook. I remember trying recipes from the internet and books and from my mum who was always on the phone directing me. Cooking and entertaining friends was a favorite pastime. I could tell stories of some spectacular culinary failure that culminated in me laughing and confused all at once, as we reached for the phone for takeouts. But for whatever reason, these catastrophes have never fazed me. A simple shrug of the shoulder later, a wipe down of the counters and I am usually ready to tackle my next attempt. And the friends ever so lovely and sweet.
There were few dishes in my repertoire which I made for parties in those good old days . The most popular were gobhi manchurian, navratan korma, chicken tikka, channa bhatura and paneer tikka masala among few others. What was common among all of them? They were all restaurant dishes, mostly eaten out. When we had get together, this is one of those dishes I always made. A good meal, a few ice cream scoops, and a game of Pictionary later was when we decide to call it night. And then would plan to go to a movie. Those days, so carefree, were exciting. A popular restaurant dish, made in your own home. A well loved one even now by my boys.
This is a well loved dish now by my boys. Although I don’t make restaurant style dishes a lot now, when I do I try to keep it as authentic as possible, cream and all.
As I was searching up the recipe to cook, I was surprised to see it my drafts shot 2 yrs back. I wonder why I did not post this recipe, but in any case I am so excited to be sharing this with all of you now. It’s an absolute dreamy dish which turns out amazing all the time, and what better time to make it than these cool chilly months?
It’s a dish which is slightly spicy and creamy and goes great with plain naan or rotis. Takes less time to make and packs an impression.
Happy cooking and sharing.
Have a wonderful week.
Love and Hugs
- For Paneer Marination:
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil or canola
- 2 tbsp ginger-garlic paste (7 garlic and 1 inch ginger)
- ½ tsp fresh garam masala(good quality)
- 1 tsp red chili powder
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ cup thick sour yogurt
- 200 grams or a 6'nch by 4 inch block Paneer cut to square shapes
- 2 Green Bell pepper or Capsicum cut to 1 inch square pieces
- ½ large onion cut to square pieces
- 2 tbsp Oil
- 2″ Inch Cinnamon Stick (Optional)
- 2 Black Cardamom (Optional)
- 4-6 Green Chili (Chopped into small circular pieces)
- 1 cup Cup Tomato Puree (any ready-made or grind tomatoes to fine paste at home)
- 1 tbsp kashmiri red chili powder(more for the color and the smoky flavor)
- 2 tsp Kasoori Methi (Dry Fenugreek Leaves)
- 1 tsp salt or as per needed
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp Cornflour
- 1 tsp Sweet Tomato Sauce/tomato ketchup
- 1 inch fresh ginger grated
- ½ tsp Cumin Seed Powder (Roasted) (You can roast cumin and then grind to make a powder)
- ¼ Cup Coriander Leaves finely chopped
- ⅓ Cup Heavy cream (Heavy Cream or Malai from Milk as commonly known in India)
- In a mixing bowl, add the oil and everything for the marination and marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
- In a non stick pan, add oil and let it get hot. Add the cinnamon stick and cardamom. Let it get lightly brown and then add the chopped green chillies. Then add the tomato puree, kashmiri red chili powder and saute and cook on medium to low heat until you see the oil ooze out of the sides.
- While that is cooking in another saute flat large pan, add 2 tbsp of oil and add the marinated paneer and bell pepper. Cook and brown it a bit until everything is lightly browned and paneer is golden brown.
- In a cup of water, add the cornflour, tomato sauce and mix well. Add this to the tomato puree mix and let it come to a simmer. Add the browned paneer. Crush some kasoori meethi, add the grated ginger at this point. Mix everything well. Add the cumin seeds powder and bring to a medium boil and thicken. Once it is thickened well. Turn off the heat and add the fresh cream, mix well, Garnish with cilantro.
- Serve with paratha, roti or naan.