Cashew Paneer

Soft malai paneer in a mellow cashew-yoghurt gravy is easy to make and lip smackingly delicious! Serve Cashew Paneer with any Indian bread or a bowlful of rice.

There is something about Indian cheese or paneer that makes every die-hard foodie salivate. And if it is cooked in a superb thick gravy like this one, it becomes impossible to resist.

The not-so-secret ingredient in this recipe is, you guessed it, cashews! The fistful of cashewnuts used in the recipe gives the dish a wonderful smoothness and body.

The yoghurt and red chilli save it from blandness. And yet, the resulting gravy is surprisingly mild. Scoop it up with rotis or ladle it onto rice. Your choice. Heck, you can even eat spoonfuls of the stuff and not feel uncomfortable.

The best part? It is a ridiculously easy dish to make with no complicated steps and just a few ingredients. The gravy takes a little time to cook, (as all self-respecting gravies do) but putting it together is a no brainer. Just assemble all the ingredients, throw them together in a pan and the thing practically makes itself.

Make Cashew Paneer  when you have company or when you are, quite simply, in the mood for something slightly indulgent. You will be pleasantly surprised!

Cashew Paneer Recipe

INGREDIENTS

  • 375 g (approx. 13 oz) Indian cheese or paneer, cut into shapes of your choice
  • 2 medium onions, cut into thick pieces
  • 1 heaped tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 12 raw, unsalted cashewnuts
  • 1 fresh red chilli pepper
  • 1 cup yoghurt
  • ½ tsp garam masala powder
  • 7 tbsp or 1/3 cup cooking oil
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • Salt

METHOD

1. Take a cup of water in a saucepan and put the onions in it. Boil for 10 minutes or until the onions are soft.

2. When the onions cool down, blend the onions along with any remaining water, the cashews and the red chilli in a blender. The paste should be smooth and without any lumps. 

3. Heat the oil in a pan and add the ginger-garlic paste. Sauté for 5 minutes.

4. Add the onion-cashew-chilli paste. Cover the pan, lower the gas to medium and cook for 15 minutes or until most of the water has evaporated.

5. Add the yoghurt, salt, sugar and garam masala. Stir till everything is mixed together.

6. Add a cup of water and simmer for another 25 minutes or until the oil separates from the gravy.

7. When the gravy is done, add the paneer and bring the gravy to a boil once. Cool and serve.

Serves 6

TOP TIPS

1. Paneer and garam masala are easily available in Indian grocery stores. Garam masala is a powdered blend of whole spices like cardamom, cloves and black pepper. Use it sparingly as it is a potent mix. Half a teaspoon is usually quite enough.

2. Don't forget to cover the pan as the gravy is cooking, or else the contents are going to splatter all over the cooktop and there will be a huge mess to clean up afterwards!

3. The red chilli pepper adds a very mild heat to the dish, so don't be afraid to add it. It's the smaller, Thai chillies that are seriously hot, not the big ones.

4. Feel free to adjust the water added to the gravy. One cup is standard, but depending upon how thick you want the gravy to be, add more or less during the cooking process. 

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