Paneer is a Shahi(Royal)dish, normally people make these dishes for parties and get together. I really don’t mean we don’t eat it on day to day life, but still paneer dishes like kadai paneer, paneer tadka, paneer tikka, paneer butter masala are dishes which we normally ordered at restaurants or made on special occasions.
My first take on achari paneer masala, it is tangy and super tasty. Not at all difficult to make but it’s a little time consuming. We need to take extra effort to make something special.
I have used ricotta cheese instead of paneer. Ricotta is not firm enough, so before marinating it I cooked it on a pan with very little oil to make it firm.
It worked well, but if you are using homemade paneer or firm paneer please skip this step and directly marinate the paneer with all ingredients and cover and refrigerate it for few hours.
Fill a pot with water and add peeled onions and tomatoes in it. Boil them till they are cooked , the onions become tender and tomatoes skin crack opens.
Blend them in puree separately. In a pan add oil, cumin seeds and then add the onions and salt. Saute it till pinkish in colour then add the tomatoes and tomato paste. Further cook till oil separates from the mixture.
Make achari masala by lightly roasting all the spices, make sure not to over roast them. Once the aromas are released, remove from flame and grind them.
Cook the marinated paneer on a flat top or pan. It takes around 3 to 4 minutes each side, try to cook it from all sides.
Mix in any left marinate in the gravy and let it simmer, at this stage you would need some water to get the correct consistency of the gravy. Add the paneer and cook for 2 minutes, make sure not to mix too much or else the paneer will break.
Garnish with ginger wedges and fresh coriander leaves. Serve hot with Roti or Naan..
Everyday Meal Ideas for you – Simple & Easy.. Enjoy!!
Achari Paneer Masala
- 2 ½ Red Mustard
- 1 tbsp Fennel seeds(saunf)
- ¼ tsp Fenugreek seeds (Methi seeds)
- 3 dried Red chillies
- 1 Aniseed (Saunf Ke Beej)
- 250 grams Paneer ( I used Ricotta Cheese)
- 1 cup yoghurt
- 2 ½ tbsp Cornflour
- 1 tsp Turmeric powder
- 1 tsp Red Chilli powder
- 1 tsp Coriander powder
- 2 tbsp Achari Masala
- ½ tsp Garam Masala
- Salt to taste
- Big pinch Kasuri Methi (crushed between palms)
- 1 ½ dried Mint leaves
- 1 tbsp Olive oil
- 3 Onions
- 2 Tomatoes
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp oil
- ¼ tsp Asafoetida (Hing)
- 1 tsp Cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
- 1 green chilli, chopped
- 1 Capsicum, chopped (I used red)
- ½ tsp Dried mango powder (Amchur)
- 1 ½ tbsp Achari Masala
- Ginger and Fresh Coriander for garnish
- As I mentioned earlier, I used ricotta cheese which is not at all firm, so I cut them in cubes and pan fried them with very less oil till they got a light brown colour and became little firm. But if you using a firm paneer, please skip this step.
- Cut paneer in cubes and marinate them with all the ingredients mentioned and keep it covered in the fridge for few hours.
- To make the achari masala, lightly roast all the ingredients and then grind them.
- Fill a pot with water put the peeled onions and tomatoes in it and let it boil, till onions gets tender and tomatoes skin crack open.
- Once done, peel the skin from the tomato and grind onions and tomatoes separately into paste.
- In a pan add oil, once the oil is hot add cumin seeds. Let the cumin seeds splutter then add the onions and ginger garlic paste and sauté them till they are pink.
- Then add the tomato, tomato paste and salt sauté and cover. Keep mixing in between and cook till the oil separates form the mixture.
- Add capsicum, green chillies, amchur, achari masala and mix well. Add some water and let the gravy simmer.
- Meanwhile, remove the paneer from refrigerator. Heat little oil in a pan and cook the paneer on all sides till brown. Remove and keep it aside.
- Add any extra marinate left in the gravy and balance water according to the gravy consistency you looking for. Do not make it very watery.
- Once the gravy is done, taste test it and then add the paneers and cook for further two minutes, garnish with ginger wedges and fresh coriander.
- Serve it with Roti or Naan.. enjoy!!