Paneer Tawa Masala

Its been almost 10 days since I last posted. Thats very unusual of me, but I have been unusually busy: my son and I have been suffering with a very bad cold, my brother is visiting me from Texas and we took a 3 day trip to Leavensworth for a winter vacation. All said, very busy. Not that I have not been cooking though. I have about 15 posts waiting.

This paneer tawa masala is a recipe that I had my eye on for a very long time. I made it during thanksgiving, or somewhere around that time, but didn’t get to post it. I first saw it on Priya‘s Blog, and then tracked it back to Jeyashri’s blog. Its a very easy recipe to put together but very rewarding. I added a green bell pepper to my tawa masala coss I had it on hand and I like the combination of bell pepper and paneer. The uniqueness of this recipe is pan-frying the paneer along with spices…so that it is not bland.

1/2 cup paneer cubes
1 tbsp Kasturi methi
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp chaat masala
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp ajwain seeds
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, sliced
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1/2tsp Coriander powder
1 cup canned tomato puree
1/4 cup Fresh cream
1/2 tsp Garam masala
3 tbsp oil
cilantro chopped(for garnish)
salt to taste

Make a masala paste by combining the chilli powder, kasuri methi turmeric powder, chaat masala and a little bit of salt with 1 tbsp oil. Smear this paste on the paneer cubes and let it marinate for few minutes. I let it sit overnight in the fridge. A way of prepping ahead and getting maximum flavor. 🙂

Heat a pan over medium high heat. Add the paneer and saute until browned on all sides. Remove and set aside. Add the remaining oil and add the cumin and ajwain seeds. Add the onions and saute until soft and golden brown. Then, add the ginger garlic paste and fry until the raw smell is gone. Then the green bell pepper strips go in. Add the coriander powder and the tomato puree. Cook until the gravy thickens, add oil seperates. Add the garam masala and salt appropriately. I didnt but add a pinch, coss the canned tomato puree has salt and the marinated paneer had salt too. Add the reserved paneer cubes and the cream and combine. Sprinkle with cilantro if using. Serve hot with naan or pulavs.

Verdict: I loved the taste of ajwain, cumin and kasuri methi. The best thing is you get spicy pieces of paneer, than bland ones. Sets it apart from the other kinds of paneer curries. Thanks to Jeyashri and Priya.

Sending this to ‘Cooking with Seeds – Ajwain’ event, a series by Priya.

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