There are varieties of delicious ‘Paneer’ (Indian Cottage Cheese) dishes that you come across in restaurant’s menu card, mainly in North Indian Restaurants. ‘Paneer Peshewari’ is one of them. ‘Paneer Peshawrai’ is a rich, creamy paneer dish. I first tasted this dish in a restaurant in Delhi. When I asked why this is called ‘Peshwari Panner’? They replied this is cooked following the cooking process of Peshwar. Peshawar is a frontier state in Pakistan, popular of its exotic, rich, creamy and spicy foods. I never tasted ant food from Peshwar, so not sure if it is actually ‘Peshwari Cuisine’ or not. But I liked the dish and when I searched net for this recipe I found similar recipe of it. I modified some ingredients according to my taste and cooked ‘Paneer Peshwari’ in my style.
The main ingredients of this dish is freshly crushed coriander and cumin seeds and dry red chilli which gives a nice aroma and differentiate it from other ‘paneer’ dish. Since I like it with creamy white colourd gravy I discard using red chilli powder, instead I used green chilli paste. Traditionally this dish is been served with a garnish of almond flakes and saffron. But I used almond paste instead of using the almond flakes to make the gravy rich and smooth. ‘Peswari Paneer’ is a very tasty and easy to cook delicious recipe. I mostly cook for dinner on our veg day. But you can serve this in lunch too with ‘Lachha Parantha’ or ‘Butter Naan’.
- Cut the onions in chunks. Boil the onions for 5 minutes on medium flame adding a little water. Switch off the gas and let the boiled onion cool. Now blend the boiled onion into a smooth paste.
- Dry roast coriander seeds and cumin seeds and grind to make a fine powder.
- Heat 2 tsp oil in a pan and lightly toss the paneer. Do not overcook it. It should not turn into golden. If you wish you can use the paneer without frying too.
- In another pan heat 2 tsp of oil and add bay leaf, green cardamom and cinnamon stick.
- Add onion paste. Fry till onions turn light brown. Add ginger paste, garlic paste and green chilli paste. Cook until the raw smell of masala goes off.
- Add dry roasted coriander and cumin powder. Cook until oil gets separated.
- Now add the sliced green capsicum.
- Add sugar and adjust salt.
- Add ¼ cup of water and ¼ cup of milk bring it to boil on high flame. When it starts boiling simmer the heat on medium cover with lid. Cook for 3-4 minutes until gravy becomes semi thickened.
- Open the lid and add paneer cubes. Mix well.
- Add beaten curd, cashew-almond paste, 2 Tbsp cream, kasuri methi, garam masala powder and 1 tsp ghee. Cover with lid and cook for 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and transfer into a serving bowl. Garnish with 1tbsp cream and serve.
~ Some restaurant makes it in white gravy and some restaurant make it in red gravy. I love the silky texture with white gravy so I avoid adding red chillie powder and tomatoes.
~ I do not like almond in gravy so instead of chopped almond I make almond paste with cashews.