It is Sunday today & it being December, the weather is a little nippy with high’s in the 50’s. And I am making this Delish Paneer in creamy nutty sauce that will be devoured in a matter of hours by the entire family. Believe me it’s not easy to please everyone, especially with my little monkeys being such picky eaters. Now when it comes to a paneer dish, I might as well serve them shallow fried paneer seasoned with salt n’ pepper. Because they love paneer a lot….like who does not?
Ask any Indian!! Paneer entrees are revered in every household, every restaurant. Paneer entrees are the emperors, the king of the kings. If it is a birthday party, how to please the birthday boy or girl…make paneer. If guests are coming, what specialty dish should we cook…..paneer. Invited to a wedding, what people like eating the most at weddings….you guessed it, PANEER!!!
HISTORY OF PANEER & PANEER IN CREAMY NUTTY SAUCE
For people unversed with what Paneer is. Freshly made paneer is a kind of cheese that is soft, creamy, mild and unsalted (think Tofu but more firm). It is extensively used in Asia, mainly India and other Asian countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal & Bangladesh.
The actual term “Paneer” comes from the word “Peynir” that just means “Cheese” in Turkish and Persian languages.
Unlike other cheese available around the world, Paneer is made without rennet.
Although in India all kinds of religions are practiced, Hinduism has remained quite predominant. Since cows are a sacred part of Hinduism, rennet cannot be derived from unweaned calves.
During the Indus valley civilization, Paneer was made by curdling milk using various herbs, green leaves, berries & yoghurt. However, modern methodology of making Paneer mainly involves “breaking” milk with an acid like lemon juice, yoghurt or citric acid. The curdled and coagulated milk is collected in a muslin to drain the extra whey. Once drained, the block or cube of Paneer is then cut into cubes & used in various dishes as protein.
VARIATIONS OF PANEER:
Paneer (Indian cottage cheese) is more versatile and one of the important items, either for daily use at home, social get-together or weddings. It is used in a tremendous variety of dishes from India and the surrounding regions. Although this Paneer in creamy nutty sauce is an exclusive recipe from the house of RECIPEFORTE. What makes this recipe unique is the “ZERO USE” of cream. Unlike other Paneer recipes that always are made with cream, this recipe was developed keeping in mind the health conscious readers of RecipeForte. Some of the other, most well known and popular dishes are:
- Palak Paneer
- Saag Paneer
- Paneer Tikka Masala
- Butter Paneer
- Shahi Paneer
- Matar Paneer
PANEER – A TRUE INDIAN DELICACY
With its long history and versatility, Paneer is a true delicacy of Indian subcontinent. It can not only be used in a variety of vegetarian dishes, it is also Vegan and keto friendly (when consumed in moderation). You can easily substitute Tofu with this Indian cheese and cook in cashew based curries or any other vegan curry.
CHECK OUR VIDEO ON DELISH PANEER IN CREAMY NUTTY SAUCE!!!
Need step-by-step instructions and all the details, checkout my video below for all that and a lot more recipes. Excited about receiving new, interesting recipe emails in your inbox? Simply subscribe to my website and my YouTube channel and click on notifications bell!
The best part about any Paneer gravy dish is that you can make ahead the gravy a day or two before actual use. Simply store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container. The day you intend to use the gravy, warm it on the stove top or in the microwave. Deep fry or shallow fry the paneer, add to the gravy & simmer on low for 15-20 minutes before serving.
Delish Paneer in Creamy Nutty Sauce
- 2 ⅙ Cups Onions roughly chopped
- 2 ⅙ Cups Tomatoes quartered
- ⅓ Cup Melon seeds or magaz
- ⅓ Cup Cashews
- 20 pieces Peanuts
- 400 gm Paneer
- 2 + 1 Tbsp Oil
- ¾ Tsp Deggi mirch powder or cayenne powder
- ½ Tbsp Coriander powder
- ½ Tsp Kashmiri red chili powder or Paprika powder
- ¾ Tbsp Garam Masala grounded
- 1 Tsp Turmeric Powder
- 1 ½ Tsp Ginger & Garlic paste
- 1 ½ + 1 ½ Cups Water
- ½ Tbsp Sugar
- 1 Tbsp + 1 Tsp Salt
- ½ Tbsp Kasuri Methi or Fenugreek leaves
- 2 Green chilies (optional for extra spiciness)
- 2 Tbsp Butter
- Take cashews, melon seeds, and peanuts in a bowl. Pour hot water on them, cover & let sit for at least ½ an hour.
- After ½ an hour the nuts will become soft. Drain the water out & keep it as a reserve.
- Put the nuts in a blender, use the water reserve to blend into a smooth paste. Keep aside.
- Take 2 Tbsp oil in a pan on medium heat, add onions to it & saute till translucent.
- Add tomatoes, saute for 10-12 minutes till mushy. Now add cashews, melon seeds, and peanut paste; cook on medium heat for 5 minutes and turn off the heat.
- Cool down the mixture, blend into a smooth puree using little water and keep aside.
- Transfer the puree in a saucepan and cook on low.
- Meanwhile, take 1 Tbsp oil & 1 Tbsp butter in another pan. Add ginger/garlic paste, sauté for 2 minutes. Now add Kashmiri red chili powder, deggi mirch powder, garam masala, turmeric powder, coriander powder, green chili (optional) to the oil, mix thoroughly. Sauté on low heat for 2 minutes.
- Add 2 Tbsps. of water & turn off the stove. This keeps the masala mix from burning.
- Add masala mix to the blended puree. Add approximately 1- ½ Cup of water to the masala pan to scrape off any leftovers. Add it to the saucepan. Simmer for 2 minutes.
- Add sugar and Salt. Cover and simmer for half an hour on medium heat.
- Add butter and kasuri methi. Then add paneer. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- Paneer in creamy, nutty sauce is ready to be served hot.
This basic gravy can be customized in so many ways. Below are few suggestions you might want to try:
- You can add tofu to the vegan gravy, to turn it into a true vegan entrée.
- When it comes to using nuts, the other options you can use are – almonds (soaked in hot water). Similarly you can also omit certain nuts as you please.
- Some of my close friends have also used this vegan gravy & added a medley of vegetables – broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes, carrots, peas, bell peppers etc. in place of paneer.
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