PANEER GHEE ROAST

I had been to Little India three days back and sourced some Malai Paneer from Moghul Sweet shop at Little India Arcade. I had not exactly decided what to do with the Paneer,  but was sure not to prepare the usual Matar Paneer or Paneer Butter Masala. While brainstorming on what to cook I got to see Paneer Ghee Roast on Raji's space and went on to experiment.  

Result: I really liked it a lot is a lesser adjective. That said, I will make this again when I want to go Paneer snacking. This recipe, what I felt is very close in taste to Mushroom Pepper Fry - a delicacy served at Sree Annnapoorna Group of Hotels @ Coimbatore. And that makes me like this even more. Kindly note that the recipe is quite heavy on the tummy. I couldn't eat more than 4-5 cubes. So, a 1/2 kg Paneer block should definitely serve 4 to 5 people on a lunch date.Paneer Ghee roast seems to have a Mangalorean recipe root ( courtesy Google) and is apparently inspired by a Chicken dish. 

While I post this...... it is also interesting to note that Paneer Ghee Roast was part of the dinner menu served to the Chinese President Mr. Xi Jinping at the India - China summit held at  Mahabalipuram on Oct 11th and 12th 2019 hosted by our Honorable Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi. That was a coincidence and I was amused. Click here   to have a look at the dinner menu for the event. 
Read on now....  

Preparation time: 5 min
Cooking time: 20 min
Category: Appetizer
Cuisine: Mangalore
Spice Level: Medium/ Spicy
Source : Raks Kitchen
Serves : 2-3 or more 
Nutrition Facts
Servings 4.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 325
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 27 g42 %
Saturated Fat 16 g82 %
Monounsaturated Fat 2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 67 mg22 %
Sodium 144 mg6 %
Potassium 73 mg2 %
Total Carbohydrate 5 g2 %
Dietary Fiber 1 g5 %
Sugars 1 g
Protein 14 g29 %
Vitamin A20 %
Vitamin C15 %
Calcium35 %
Iron16 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.
INGREDIENTS
  • 250 - 300 gm Paneer ( Regular or Malai, but use fresh Paneer)
  • 2 tbsp ghee plus 1 tsp
  • 3-4 tbsp of thick Yoghurt 
  • 2-3 flakes garlic
  • 4-5 Red Chillies ( Kahsmiri red chillies or equivalent) 
  • 1.5 tsp Coriander seeds
  • 3/4th tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp Fenugreek Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper corns
  • 4-5 granules Carom seeds ( Ajwain/ Omam - totally optional)
  • 1 tsp Besan flour (optional - see notes)
  •  1/2 tsp Raw sugar / Pounded Jaggery
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • Tamarind ( size of a small gooseberry)
  • Half a lemon
  • Salt to taste
  • A sprig of Curry leaves 
METHOD
  • Roast all the spices ( coriander, cumin, fenugreek, pepper, chillies) leaving tamarind and garlic in 1 tsp ghee and turn off heat.
  • Once done add tamarind and garlic into the hot pan and let it sizzle and cool down.
  • Meanwhile, cut Paneer into cubes and set aside.
  • Whisk Yogurt with turmeric, besan and salt and set this aside as well.
  • Grind the cooled spice along with tamarind, garlic and jaggery/ sugar into an almost fine powder and mix into the prepared yoghurt paste. 
  • Mix well to make it lump free. Squeeze in the lemon. 
  • Dunk the Paneer cubes into the above mixture and gently stir to coat well. Let it sit for about 30 to 45 min. 
  • Heat a seasoned  iron pan or a non stick pan and heat 2 tbsp homemade ghee. Throw in the torn curry leaves when hot. 
  • Gently transfer the Paneer cubes and mixture into the hot ghee and cook until the spice paste condenses and coats all side to become a semi dry curry. 
  • Use a pair of tongs to turn cubes now and then to ensure even cooking. 
  • Once done transfer to a plate or bowl and serve immediately with a fork or toothpick.
NOTES
  • The recipe calls for Kashmiri chillies. if you have a higher spice tolerance add regular chillies along .
  • Use real thick yoghurt. Hung curd should also work. If you have curds with higher whey water content, add besan to thicken it ( while this will impart a mild nutty flavour to the recipe,I don't think it would change the recipe outcome  to a great extent. Besan and Carom seeds are however not added in the original recipe.
  • Always use fresh Paneer for Paneer recipes. Frozen paneer tends to lose lot of whey and disintegrate during cooking( my experience) and resembles scrambled eggs while cooking.Fundamentally, loses texture.
  • Marinate the Paneer : Whilst this step is optional, I recommend to do so as I feel the masala seeps in better. 
  • Use a well seasoned iron pan or a good grade non stick pan. Else , the Paneer tends to stick to the cooking surface. So, do not move around until you finish cooking.

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