Paneer Kaliya

I picked up this recipe a long time back from one of the newspapers. I have not stayed true to the original, and as always, added my own twist to the dish. Almonds have been replaced with cashews, coriander seeds with ajwain, milk with water, blanched palak for colour.

Cubed cottage cheese (paneer) 1 cup
Cashews 1 cup
Finely diced onion 1 cup
Roasted channa dal 1 1/2 tbsps
Ghee 2 tsps
Green cardamoms 2
Cloves 2
Crushed black peppercorns 5-8
Cinnamon 1 inch stick
Ajwain 2 tsps
Cumin seeds 2 tsps
Ginger julienne
Garam masala 2 tsps
Ginger-garlic paste
Blanched spinach 1 cup
Salt to taste
Fresh coriander leaves, chopped 1 tbsp
Ghee 2 tbsps
Olive oil 1 tbsp

1. Grind the cashews to a fine paste to pour it into a wok, allowing it to cook on low flame. 2. Add water as required to dilute the paste and keep folding it so that the paste does not stick to the bottom.
3. In a wok, heat olive oil and add the cumin, cardamoms, cloves, channa dal, ginger julienne, and black peppercorns. Saute for a few minutes.
4. Add the onions and roast it on low flame until they turn a lovely brown.
5. Remove the wok from the stove and allow it to cool before grinding it to a fine paste using little water.
6. Add this ground masala to the cashews that is already simmering. Fold the mixture well so that it meshes with the richness of the cashew paste.
7. In a wok, add olive olive. To this add the ginger-garlic paste, spinach and saute for a few minutes. Add the spinach to the gravy.
8. Grind the roasted channa dal to a fine powder. Add a tablespoon to the gravy that is simmering.
9. Add salt and garam masala to taste. Fold well.
10. In a small kadai, heat ghee, add the paneer cubes and sauté till the paneer turns a golden brown.
11. Pour the paneer along with the ghee over the gravy and turn once.
12. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve.


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