My first encounter with Paneer Pasanda was a hilarious one. Still remember the time when as a kid we were dinning at a restaurant and my dad ordered Paneer Pasanda from their menu. On the arrival of our meal, the first thing that I said to my dad was – this is a double decker paneer swimming in sauce. Everyone including the service staff busted in laughter but the dish was truly scrumptious and delicious!! Their dish was called shahi paneer pasanda and true to its name, paneer slices were packed with cashews, coconut and khoya/mawa mixture and the preparation was quite rich and creamy to what I am sharing today. This recipe is truly inspired from that great restaurant.
RECIPE DETAIL – For easy understanding, I have divided the recipe in two parts. First step would be to prepare paneer – cut paneer in triangles or lengthwise – you can choose to cut thin and small paneer slices. Assemble all the ingredients mentioned under paneer preparations and make a thick, spreadable mixture. Apply this mixture on paneer and place another slice over it. Toss paneer slices in cornflour mixture and pan cook until evenly brown, this way paneer pieces will bind together. Other way would be to make a paste of cornflour and water – dip paneer slices in it and shallow fry until light brown in color.
Second step is pretty straight forward. I have prepared the gravy by combining caramelized onion – tomato mixture and spices. Sauteed until oil separates from the mixture and added water to make a thick gravy. Later flavored the gravy with kasoori methi, added sugar and cream to give it a creamy and velvety taste. Finally add paneer pieces, take it off the flame and let paneer soak in all the flavors. Before serving you may need to add more water if the gravy has thickened. Enjoy Paneer pasanda with warm rotis and Jeera rice.
Cut paneer in triangles or long pieces. You can choose to cut thin and small paneer slices.
Heat oil in a pan and slightly toast paneer slices. Set it aside.
In a bowl combine all the ingredients mentioned under paneer ingredients, except oil and cornflour. Add enough cream to make a thick mixture. Mixture should be thick and spreadable and not watery.
Apply mixture on paneer slices and place another slice over it making it look like a sandwich. Press them together.
Take cornflour in a bowl. Roll paneer pieces in cornflour, dust of the excess and toast them again in oil. Set them aside. Other way would be to make a paste of cornflour and water - dip paneer slices in it and shallow fry until light brown in color.
Assemble all the gravy ingredients.
Assemble all the spices.
Heat oil in a pan.
Add onions and..
Cook until caramelized. Allow them to cool down completely.
In a mixer add tomatoes, green chili..
And caramelized onions.
Grind it to a smooth paste.
Heat oil in a pan. Add bay leaves, black cardamom and cumin seeds. As they start to crackle add ginger-garlic paste. Saute for a minute on a medium flame. Pour in onion-tomato mixture.
Saute for 1-2 minutes and mix in all the spices one by one.
Mix and cook for another 3-4 minutes until the mixture is thoroughly cooked. How to tell? Mixture will be reduced to half and oil will start to appear on the edges of the mixture. Mix in salt and garam masala powder.
Add kasoori methi..
Pour enough water to make a thick gravy.
Cover and let it simmer for another 3-4 minutes. Adjust seasonings and add sugar and cream.
Lower the flame and start adding paneer pieces. Gently coat paneer pieces in gravy and take it off the flame.
Cover and let the paneer pieces soak in all the flavor.
Just before serving, warm up, add water if the gravy has become too thick, adjust seasonings.
Serve warm with tandoori roti or white jeera rice.