I’m in India for more than two months now. To be precisely in Agonda; teaching anatomy, vinyasa flow, AcroYoga and Thai Yoga massage at Sampoorna Yoga and doing some work as a massage therapist for myself. Being here for such a long time I do find myself going to the same restaurants over and over and even eating the same dish a lot of times. One of my favorites is Paneer Makhanwala. I always eat it at Fatima’s Corner; across from the church.
Paneer Makhanwala is a curry with cottage cheese in a mild gravy of tomato and cashews. I normally it it with naan bread. The version they serve at Fatima’s Corner is nice, mild spicy. What I like about this dish at this restaurant it that it’s always freshly made and actually never tastes the same as the one I had before, because the amounts of herbs and veggies they use to make the curry is always a bit different.
Ingredients for the gravy of Paneer Makhanwala
- 1 medium to large onion, 3/4 cup roughly chopped onions
- 3 to 4 medium tomatoes, 1,5 cups roughly chopped tomatoes
- 2 centimeters ginger root, chopped
- 3 to 4 medium cloves of garlic, chopped
- 2 single strands of mace/javitri (Indian herb)
- 2 to 3 green cardamoms
- 3 centimeters of cinnamon
- 2 to 3 cloves
- 15 cashews
- 1 cup water
Ingredients for Paneer Makhanwala
- 250 to 300 grams paneer/cottage cheese, cut into cubes
- 1 to 1,5 table spoon red chili powder
- 1/4 cup low fat cream
- 1 Indian bay leaf
- 1 green chili, slit
- 1,5 cups water
- 3/4 tablespoon dry methi leaves, crushed
- 1/4 tablespoon garam masala
- 3 tablespoons butter at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon cream for garnishing
How to prepare Paneer Makhanwala
- Mix chopped onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, cashews, mace, cinnamon, cloves and cardamoms with 1 cup water
- Cook till tomatoes and onions are soft. Let the mixture cool off.
- Put this gravy with all other gravy ingredients in a blender and make a smooth paste out of it.
- Heat butter in a pan. Add the bay leaf and saute for a few seconds. Add the gravy and stir. Add chili powder and saute this masala on a medium flame. Keep stirring till you see the butter leaving the sides. It will take about 25 minutes on a medium flame.
- Add slit green chilies, salt and water. Stir and let cook for 3 minutes.
- Add the paneer cubes and simmer for 2 mins.
- Add the cream, kasuri methi and garam masala. Stir and switch off the flame.