Methi Malai Paneer

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I love paneer, and so does DH. If there is a question of what to make to go with rotis the answer always is, make something that has paneer in it. That said, and going through the Paneer category I have here on OhTastenSee, I realized I have not documented all of the paneer recipes I often make. This Methi Malai Paneer is one such recipe. It is a creamy delicious curry that has two different kinds of methi, fresh and dried and the creaminess is achieved from a paste of almonds and finished off with a drizzle of milk or cream.

Although the recipe sounds complicated, it isn’t. I always use frozen methi on hand and it makes it so easy to make dishes that have methi in them without losing the nutrition. I also freeze my paneer(either home made or store bought) and it makes it easy to put together this dish with just basic pantry ingredients, and when there are no vegetables at hand. On to the recipe:

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Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups of paneer cubed
1 large onion, chopped fine
1/2 cup of tomato puree(from 2-3 tomatoes, or use canned)
3 cubes of frozen chopped methi or 1 bunch of methi leaves, cleaned and chopped
1/4 cup kasoori methi leaves
1/4 cup whole almonds
1/4 cup milk + 1/4 cup cream or 1/2 cup half and half
2 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
2 tsp kashmiri chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp amchur powder
salt to taste

Method:
Chop the almonds into coarse pieces. Warm the milk in the microwave and soak the almonds in the milk.

Heat oil in a pan over medium high heat and add the oil. Add the cumin seeds and when it sizzles add the ginger garlic paste. Saute until the raw smell goes away. Add in the finely chopped onions. When the onions are cooked, add in the pureed tomatoes and the spice powders: chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder and garam masala. Let the spices cook over medium heat with the tomato puree until the raw smells disappear and the oil seperates out. This will take about 5-10 minutes.

methi malai Collage

Meanwhile, grind the almonds along with the milk to a paste. Set aside.

Add the thawed chopped methi leaves to the tomato spice mixture and saute for a couple of minutes. Add the ground almond milk paste and a half cup of water and bring to a boil. The curry should appear thick at this point, you can add more water to thin it if you like. Now add the paneer, kasoori methi, amchoor powder and the cream(or half and half). Bring this to a boil and simmer for about 5 minutes. Serve hot with rotis, naan or phulkas. This would also go well with pulav or jeera rice.

Notes:
* I have used the paneer as is, if you choose to fry the paneer before adding you can do so.
* Also, you can make this dish with only one type of methi, based on what you have at hand. Either use the fresh/frozen kind or the kasoori methi and it would still taste good.
* Similarly, you can substitute cashews for the almonds or use a mixture of both.

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Verdict: This was a super delicious curry, the creaminess from the almonds, milk and cream and the slight sweetness of the paneer is perfectly balanced with the bitterness from the methi leaves. The kasoori methi adds a great depth of flavor and makes the dish seemed like it simmered for hours. A great dish to make and taste if you love methi or paneer or both. 🙂

Sending this to ‘Know your Dairy – Paneer’ event, series by Jagruti.

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