Friday, 30 November 2018

Achari Paneer

Who doesn’t  like pickles? And I mean the Indian ones with lots of oil and a combination of masalas. Nowadays we get al kinds of ready made pickles in the market. However during my childhood i remember the whole neighbourhood used to go on a pickle making spree every summer and winter. Summers mean mangoes. As soon as the raw mangoes are of a decent enough size they are ready for pickling. And winters means carrots, cauliflowers, turnips...the list in endless.
Incorporate this achari taste into your food and the result is lip smackingly awesome. The main acahri flavour comes from the combination of five spices. In Bengali we call it paanch phoron. Even if cooking a simple dish such as pumpkin we add the paanch phoron to take the dish to a different level. Also the use of asafoetida is also important. I feel that the best thing about Indian cooking is how we play around with various spices.


250 gms paneer, cut into cubes
½ tsp rai
½ tsp saunf
½ tsp jeera
½ tsp methi
½ tsp kalonji
A pinch of asafoetida
2 onions, chopped fine
2 tomatoes, chopped fine
1 tsp grated ginger
4 tbsp whisked curd    
2 dry red chillies
1 tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp red chilli powder
Salt to taste

Dry roast the rai, saunf, jeera, methi and kalonji. 

Dry grind it to a coarse powder. Keep aside.
Heat some oil in a pan. Add the red chillies and asefoetida. Add the grated ginger and sauté. Add the chopped onions and cook for sometime. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook till they are soft. Add the five spices powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt. Sauté for a minute or two and then add the whisked curd. Cook till the oil separates. Add a cup of water and bring to a boil. Add the paneer pieces, cover and cook till oil floats on the surface. This achari paneer tastes great with parathas.

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