Friday, July 03, 2015

Paneer Butter Masala(Without Butter)

For pure vegetarians, paneer or cottage cheese is a delicacy, an alternative to eggs and chicken. Paneer Makhanwala or Paneer Butter Masala is the most popular North Indian gravy dish formulated by the Punjabis and made rich by the Mughals. The Punjabi verision of Makhanwala has heavy use of butter/cream while the Mughalai version has cashew rich gravy with added cream/butter.

Tomato puree is common among both the versions, and it gives the gravy a sweet tangy taste and  adds substance to the gravy. Makhanwala can also be made without added butter or cream.
Paneer Butter Masala without adding butter or cream was basically Meena's idea. Off the usual, she wanted to make a nice creamy dish without adding extra fat. Amount of oil that goes into this curry is very less compared to traditional butter masala/makhanwala. You must make this to believe that it tastes as good as the original Paneer Butter Masala they serve in dhabas!

The dish shown in the pictures has butter floating in it, for I love my makhanwala with lots of butter!

Paneer - 200 gms cut into 1/2" cubes
Oil - 1 Tbsp
Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 Tsp
Onions - 150 gms finely chopped
Tomatoes - 150 gms  finely chopped
Coriander Powder - 1 Tsp
Red Chilli Powder - 1 tsp
Kashmiri Chilli Powder - 2 Tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
Tomato Puree - 2 Tsp
Cashewnut paste - 2 Tsp
Salt - To taste
Kasuri Methi - 1 tsp
Heat oil in a pan and fry chopped onions with ginger garlic paste until onions turn golden.
Add chopped tomatoes and fry until tomatoes are mushy.
Add all the powders and fry for 1-2 mins.
Grind to a fine paste in the mixer.
Transfer the ground paste back into the pan and add tomato puree and cashewnut paste.
Fry until oil leaves the sides. 
Add cubed paneer and half cup water.
Bring to a boil, add salt to taste and simmer for 5 mins.
Finally sprinkle crushed kasuri methi and serve hot with choice of roti or rice accompaniment.
If you want the gravy to be rich, drop 50 gm butter into the hot curry.

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