Paneer or cottage cheese is made by curdling milk with lemon juice and straining the whey out. 'Thick curds portion' is further drained of excess whey by placing a weight over it. Paneer is rich in calcium, sodium and vitamin A. In the mid nineties or thereabouts, I took a great fancy to paneer, and started learning and trying out paneer recipes. Some of these tried and tested recipes became popular with my family members. Paneer-do-pyaza is one of those recipes and is made with plenty of onions, preferably small button onions also known as pearl onions. The combination of spices and paneer give a rich taste to this gravy, which can be served with pulka, roti, chapatti and or type of paratha.
Paneer or cottage cheese – 200gms, cubed
Button onions – 15-20 no*
Tomatoes – 5 no, cubed
Curds – 2 tablespoons
Turmeric powder – ½ teaspoon
Cumin powder – 1 teaspoon
Kashmiri chilli powder – 1 teaspoon
Garam masala powder – 2 teaspoons
Ginger julienne – 1 tablespoon
Salt – to taste
Oil – 2 tablespoons
Cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon
Cardamom – 6 no
Coriander leaves – chopped, 1 tablespoon
* HereI refer to small Bellary onions, also called pearl onions (See the picture below). DO NOT use shallots (sambar onions) for this recipe.
|Button onions being fried in oil|
Method: Cut the edges of onions and peel the skin. Make 2-3 shallow slits on the surface. DO NOT cut them. Keep aside.
Wash and cut tomatoes into cubes. Grind them into a fine paste. Cut ginger into thin 1” long strips and keep aside.
Remove the seeds of 2 cardamoms and powder them finely. Beat the curds well. Add turmeric powder, kashmiri chilli powder, cumin powder and garam masala to the curds. Mix well and keep aside. Cut paneer into 1” long cubes.
Heat oil in a kadai, add cumin seeds and four cardamoms. When they crackle, add the whole onions and sauté on medium flame till they start to brown. Outer layers of a few onions may separate. At this stage add the tomato paste and cardamom powder. Mix well. Cover and cook on medium flame till the paste thicken and oil separates. Now add the curd mixture, salt and ¼ tumbler (50ml) water and mix well. Bring it to boil. Add paneer cubes and simmer for 3 minutes. Switch off the fire. Garnish with coriander leaves and ginger julienne. Serve hot with chapatti or paratha and salad.
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