We North Indians love our paneer (cottage cheese). We literally put it in everything – curries, pulav’s, cutlets, etc…the list is endless. Let’s agree…paneer is delicious.
However, when you add this delectable homemade cheese to a gravy of cashew and tomatoes, it attains a flavour that is unmatched. Add a bit of butter and viola – you get yourself a dish fit for the king.
Erm…in my case, fit for a princess for this is a favourite with my younger daughter.
FOR THE WET MASALA
1 tbsp oil
2-3 green cardamoms
3 medium onions, cut into fours (no need to chop)
3 medium tomatoes, (chopped)
Salt to taste
1 tbsp fresh coriander (if not then add 1 tsp coriander powder)
½ to 1 tsp kasimiri red chilli powder (add as per taste)
1 tsp garam masala
Preparation for wet masala – add oil to a pan and add 2 green cardamoms. Add the onions. Stir fry them till they start to turn pink. Add the tomatoes and salt. Keep stirring till the mix turns soft (to speed up this process, you can add 2 tbsp water with the tomatoes and cover the pan with a tight lid). Once the tomatoes are cooked, add all other ingredients for the wet masala except garam masala. Cook till the masala emits an aroma and oil separates a bit (the tomatoes will still be pinkish). Cool it and then grind with about 1/2 cup if water. Stir in the garam masala.
FOR THE BUTTER MASALA
Whole spices – 1 piece cinnamon, 2 green cardamom pods, 1 bay leaf, 2-3 cloves
2 tbsp butter (unsalted/if salted then adjust salt in the dish acc)
1 ½ tsp ginger garlic paste
½ tsp red chilli powder
Paneer (about 250 to 300 gms/more also can be added)
¾ tsp kasuri methi
2 tbsp cream
Coriander leaves for garnish
Preparation of the dish – In a pan add butter. Add the whole spices and fry for about ½ min. Then add ginger-garlic paste and mix for a few seconds. Add the wet masala mix that we prepared above. Add more water if needed. Cover and cook. If you use kashmiri red chilli then the gravy will attain a yellowish orange colour. Once done, tip in the paneer and kasuri methi and mix well for about a minute. Once that is done, remove from heat and add the cream and garnish with coriander leaves.
I usually do not use cream. It tastes fine. If you like your butter masala sweet then add ½ tsp sugar.
You can serve this with Naan (indian flatbread) or even with zeera rice and Daal lahsuniya (https://onsonalstable.com/daal-lahsuniya/)