Have you ever been in a situation where you have liked a dish served at a restaurant so much that it got so etched in your memory, compelling you to recreate a similar one by yourself? Though it has happened to me few times the one that I recall very well is Paneer Mushroom Masala served at a vegetarian restaurant in Pune, India. If you have read my previous posts you would be knowing my craze for non-veg dishes and how much I preferred having non veg dishes rather than veg dishes. But this particular dish completely caught me off guard and I found myself going to the restaurant ever since, for the sole reason of having their Paneer Mushroom Masala.
After few futile attempts at recreating the dish, ever since I started cooking, I should say that this one came very close! After all, it was the proper ratio and combo of ingredients that mattered and I learnt it the hard way. The blend of freshly powdered spices with sauteed ground onion-tomato-cashew mixture gives a lot of flavour to this creamy rich gravy. As in other dishes, I have made this with my choice of ingredients. I love the taste of golden stir fried paneer in my dishes and the flavour imparted by green bell pepper. The use of butter instead of oil gives a rich taste to the dish but since I wanted to cut down on butter, I used it only for stir frying paneer. This dish goes well with Chapati/Roti/Naan.
Paneer - 10 oz(283 g)
Big White onion - 1 chopped
Tomatoes - 2 pureed
Green bell pepper(Capsicum) - 1 chopped
Mushrooms - 10 oz(283 g) sliced
Bay leaves - 2
Ginger Garlic paste - 2 tsp
Chilly Powder - 3/4 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander Powder - 1/2 tsp
Cumin Powder - 3/4 tsp
Garam masala - 3/4 tsp
Salt to taste
Cashews - 2 tbsp
Poppy seeds - 1.5 tsp
Kasoori methi(Dried Fenugreek Leaves) - 1 tsp
Milk - 3/4 cup
Tomato Ketchup - 1 tbsp
Chopped Cilantro - for garnish
Oil/Butter for cooking
Butter for stir frying paneer
To dry roast:
Cinnamon stick - 2.5" long
Cloves - 6
Cardamom seeds - 1/4 tsp
Star anise - 1
- Dry roast the ingredients mentioned above on medium heat until the colour slightly changes and you get the aroma of roasted spices.
- Cool and grind well. Keep aside.
- Grease the cooking pan with enough butter over high heat(gas 8) and stir fry paneer until golden brown. Keep aside.
- Heat oil/butter in the same pan and saute onions till brown.
- Add ginger garlic paste and saute till raw smell goes.
- Cool and grind to a paste. Keep aside.
- Grind cashews and poppy seeds to a paste adding enough water.
- Heat oil in the cooking pan and saute bay leaves for some time.
- Add the onion paste and ground spices kept aside before. Saute for few seconds.
- Add tomato puree and mushrooms and continue cooking till mushrooms are cooked well.
- When the mushrooms are half cooked add the chopped green pepper.
- Add chilly powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, garam masala, enough salt and saute till raw smell of spices go.
- Add crushed kasoori methi. Mix well.
- Add cashew-poppy seeds paste along with milk and enough water.
- Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low and add fried paneer pieces.
- Cook for few minutes with closed lid.
- Open the lid and add ketchup and mix well.
- Garnish with cilantro and remove from heat.
- Serve hot with Roti/Naan/Chapati.
This goes to Weekend Wokking:Cheese hosted by Yasmeen of Health Nut and started by Wandering Chopsticks.