So, I love Paneer... I think its way better than meat. I can't emphasize enough on how easy it is to whip up a paneer dish when your stomach is in the throes of insane hunger and you want some awesomely divine food that can send you into a rapture. (Talking bout rapture, here's a really funny article I came across when the whole 'world is going to end' drama was in full swing a few weeks ago.)
First, we'll work on the marinade for the paneer. In a bowl, combine thick yogurt with little cumin, coriander and chillie powder. Add salt too and mix this marinade paste well.
Cube the paneer and drop it into the marinade, mix them up well and stick the bowl in the fridge for a few minutes while you get to work on pureeing the tomatoes.
Wash and roughly chop up a few tomatoes, blend them well with a little water and set aside.
Now shallow fry only the paneer pieces in oil, till they get a slightly brown tint at the edges. Save the yogurt masala paste leftover in the bowl to use in the gravy.
Here they are all fried up and looking delicious, these are totally irresistible. They can be served as starters too... folks will love them.
In a pan, saute finely diced onions and green chillies.
Drop in some ginger garlic paste...
Saute them well, till they become a soft and mushy mess.
Pour in the tomato puree that you blended earlier and give it a mix.
Now add a teaspoon or two of sugar, and give it a mix. Sugar is added to balance the acrid taste of the tomato puree, so if you've used a lot of puree make sure to add a little extra sugar. [Instead of sugar you can also add a spoon or two of honey.]
Now add the leftover yogurt marinade and let it simmer for a few minutes. [I dropped in the paneer too, thinking it would absorb the flavour and taste better, but please don't do that. The paneer is already fragile, mixing it around in this gravy will only break it up into pieces. Add the paneer at the very last step.]
The gravy would have attained a deeper red colour by now, be generous and pour in some fresh cream. In case you don't have fresh cream handy, pour in some thick yogurt. While pouring the yogurt, its better to first transfer the pan to the other unlit stove and drop in a spoonful at a time, mixing after each addition, so that the yogurt doesn't curdle and form white specks in the gravy. [Check if the salt and hotness quotient is okay, if not, add necessary salt and chillie powder.]
Ideally this is how it looks, the oil separates on top and then you switch off the stove.
Garnish with fresh coriander and a dollop of butter, and then its time to dig in. It's nirvana in the palate... I kid you not.
Oh, this is the show off picture... I wanted to show off my homemade wine. In case you are curious bout that picture frame, take a peek here.