Food Talk

Hot & cheesy

Hot & cheesy

Paneer Pasanda. istock

Pushpesh Pant

Kali mirch, or black pepper, is our favourite spice in the winters. It packs in a pleasant heat minus the pungency of red chillies. The aroma is no less enticing. What we love to indulge in to our heart’s content is murgh kali mirch. While there is still a nip in the air and bird flu scare hasn’t left some of us completely, let us try a variation of this recipe and savour a vegetarian pasanda. The pan grilling does create an illusion that the recipe is headed the paneer tikka kali mirch way, however, the real joy of this dish is in the peppercorn-laced gravy. Resist any temptation of adding garam masala.

Paneer pasanda kali mirch

Ingredients

  • Paneer...............................................................................400g
  • Curd..............................................................................1/3 cup
  • Onion (chopped).....................................................................1
  • Ginger-onion paste...........................................................1 tsp
  • Black peppercorns...........................................................1 tsp
  • Cloves.......................................................................................2
  • Green cardamom...................................................................2
  • Bay leaf.....................................................................................1
  • Royal cumin seeds......................................................1/2 tsp
  • Ghee/oil.......................................................................1/4 cup
  • Salt to taste

Method

Cut paneer into broad rectangles resembling pasanda (boneless fillets). Whisk the curd and keep aside. Heat ghee in a thick-bottom pan and add to it the whole spices, except the bay leaf and royal cumin seeds. Add to it chopped onions and stir fry till golden. Add the ginger-garlic paste and stir fry for another minute. Remove from flame and grind in a blender. Lightly pan-grill the paneer. Reheat the pan in which the onions were stir-fried and add the bay leaf and shahi jeera. Add the onion-spice paste to the pan. When the seeds splutter, add the ground spice paste. Stir-fry until fat begins to separate. Slowly add the curd, mixed with a little water, to avoid curdling. Add the paneer. Sprinkle ground black pepper and cook for two minutes. Do not stir. Remove from flame. Enjoy!

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