Achari Paneer

Achari Paneer is a cottage cheese dish with mouthwatering pickle taste. Slightly tangy and full of flavours, Achari Paneer with a thick gravy made using pickling spices goes perfectly well with Indian bread or rice preparations.

INGREDIENTS

  • Paneer (cottage cheese) – 500 grams (cut in small cubes)
  • Ghee or Oil – 3 Tablespoons
  • Garlic Paste – 1 Teaspoon
  • Ginger Paste – 1/2 Tablespoon
  • Green Chilli – 8 Nos. (chopped)
  • Onions – 4 Nos. large (fine chopped)
  • Turmeric powder (Haldi) – 1 Teaspoon
  • Garam Masala – 1/2 Teaspoon
  • Amchur (Dried Mango Powder) – 3 Teaspoons
  • Tomatoes – 1 No. (ground to puree)
  • Bell pepper (capsicum) – 1 No. (ground to puree)
  • Yoghurt (curd / dahi) – 200 ml. (whipped)
  • Vinegar – 1/2 Teaspoon
  • Sugar – 2 Teaspoons
  • Cashews – 12 Nos. (make paste)
  • Salt – As per taste
  • Cream – 3 Tablespoons (2 Tbsp for cooking / 1 Tbsp for garnish)
  • Fresh Coriander – 2 Tablespoons (chopped finely for garnish)

For Paneer Marinade

  • Ginger Paste – 1/2 Tablespoon
  • Garlic Paste – 1 Teaspoon
  • Red Chilli Powder – 2 Teaspoons
  • Haldi (turmeric powder) – 1 Teaspoon
  • Salt – As per taste

For Achari Masala Powder

  • Jeera (Cumin Seeds) – 2 Teaspoons
  • Rai (Mustard Seeds) – 2 Teaspoons
  • Dhania Seeds (Coriander Seeds) – 1 Tablespoon
  • Methi Dana (Fenugreek seeds) – 1 Teaspoon
  • Saunf ( Fennel Seeds) – 4 Teaspoons
  • Kalonji (Onion Seeds / Nigella seeds) – 1/2 Teaspoon
  • Hing (Asafoetida) – 2 pinches

DIRECTIONS

  1. Take a small bowl. Add all the marinade ingredients and mix well. Add the pieces of paneer in the mixture and mix well by hand. Keep it aside for 30 minutes.
  2. Dry roast Jeera (Cumin Seeds), Rai (Mustard Seeds), Coriander Seeds, Methi Dana (Fenugreek seeds), Saunf ( Fennel Seeds), Kalonji (Onion Seeds / Nigella seeds), till slightly browned and fragrant. Cool for 5 minutes. Blend in a blender with Hing (Asafoetida) to make a coarse powder. Keep aside.
  3. Take a heavy bottom pan and put it on medium heat. Add ghee or oil. Add the achari masala powder and saute for 10 to 15 seconds.
  4. Follow by adding the garlic paste and ginger paste. Saute till the paste loses moisture and changes colour.
  5. Add chopped green chillies, followed by chopped onions and stir fry until golden.
  6. Add the turmeric powder, garam masala, amchur (Dried Mango Powder) and stir for a minute.
  7. Add the tomato and bell pepper puree. Saute till oil separates.
  8. Add the yoghurt, vinegar, sugar and mix well. Cook until oil separates.
  9. Finally add the marinated paneer, followed by cream, add salt as per taste and mix well, cook for 5 minutes.
  10. Add some freshly chopped coriander and fresh cream on top as garnish.
  11. Serve Achari Paneer with any Indian bread like plain naan, garlic naan, lachcha paratha, methi paratha or missi roti. Jeera rice or veg pulao will also taste great with this.