23 February, 2010

Paneer Tikka Masala and How to Make Fresh Paneer (Cottage Cheese) Step-by-Step at Home


Paneer is tasteless, yet, the most coveted ingredient of North-India. Fresh Paneer as such is very bland, but it very well imbibes the flavors from the gravy it is cooked in. Here is way to have paneer when you are stuck in a snow storm with no Indian stores opened or they haven't got their supplies due to snow/ice or simply "what ever" storm. I made paneer tikka masala from the fresh cottage cheese I made. It was quite a treat for Avi and myself on a super cold depressing day!


Fresh Paneer:-
1/2 gallon of fresh milk
1/4 cup of lime juice or vinegar (I use vinegar)
A muslin cloth to strain

Method:-
Boil the 1/2 gallon of milk in a heavy bottom vessel. Stir it occasionally so that it doesn't stick on to the bottom.

 

Add the vinegar little by little. Reduce the flame and as you pour the vinegar. Keep on stirring until the milk completely curdles and separates.

 

The milk will separates into solid curds and green colored whey. 

 

Use a muslin cloth to drain the whey. Do not throw the whey. It is very healthy and you can use it to knead roti/chapathi/paratha dough. Whey contains lactose, proteins, minerals and has very little fat (traces).

 

Wash the paneer with cold water to get rid of the vinegar essence. Squeeze the extra water out and hang the knotted muslin cloth tightly on to a tap so that water will ooze out and drip into the sink for an hour.


Remove the muslin cloth from the tap. Keep the paneer pressed under something heavy (like a heavy vessel) for an hour. This will firm your paneer so that you can cut it into neat cubes. Do not keep it over an hour as the paneer will become too dry and will not be soft.

 
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Cut the Paneer into neat cubes, shallow fry them in oil till they turn golden brown and cook them in a gravy.


You may also store the paneer in the refrigerator for 2-3 days soaked in water (just like tofu) or shall fry them in oil till they turn golden brown and store them in the freezer for a month.
Whey, also known as "dahi ka pani" is one magical ingredient in roti/phulka dough. Rotis come out  more softer and yum.

Paneer Tikka Masala:-

For the Tikkas:-
Reduce all the quantities by half as we need only about 10 paneer cubes here. Avoid the food color mentioned as the gravy will give the paneer color.
 Make the Paneer Tikka as per my recipe in this link in the oven.  



 Tikkas fresh from the oven.

For the Gravy:-
1 medium sized onion pureed with 2 green chillies
2 large tomatoes blanched and pureed
2 tsp of fresh ginger garlic paste
10 whole cashews soaked and pureed
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp red chilli powder (add according to taste)
1/2 tsp jeera powder
1/2 tsp kasoori methi
3 tbl spns of butter
1/3 cup fresh cream
Pinch of red food color (optional)
Coriander leaves to garnish,
Salt to taste

Method:-
Melt the butter in a non-stick vessel.
Add the ginger garlic paste and fry well.
Add cumin powder, garam masala, chillin powder, kasoori methi and salt. Fry for a min. Keep stirring so that the masalas do not burn.
Add the onion puree and cook it till the raw onion smell goes.
Add the tomato puree and cashew puree. Cook till the butter/oil separates. Add some water if the gravy thickens too much as you cook.
Add the paneer tikkas and fresh cream. Cook in low flame for about 5 mins. Stir occasionally so that the curry does not burn.
Garnish with coriander leaves.

 I made some paneer tikka frankie with the left over paneer. I wrapped the paneer tikka masala with sliced onions, capsicums and some dash of lemon juice into a nice frankie. Grilled the frankie for about 2-3 mins and served hot. Was awesome! I used a thin layered paratha made from maida/APF for the wrap. You may use tortillas too.

31 comments:

kitchen queen said...

lovely demo of step by step of how to make fresh paneer.The paneer tikka masala looks delicious and yum.

Cool Lassi(e) said...

Beautiful dish. Paneer Tikka looks delectable. Excellent accompaniment to roti/rice. Love the step by step tutorial on making Paneer.

Priya said...

Love make paneer at home itself, paneer tikka masala looks incredible and yummy...Droolworthy masala!

Vrinda said...

WOW...i am drooling here..looks perfect ,liked color of the gravy..too good

Subhashini said...

What to comment on your post I really don have word.I can say that it is so colourful and look excellent.
Love
Subhashini

Pavithra said...

Oh wow thats looks cool and really tempting gravy...

Rachana Kothari said...

Now thats a very yummy Paneer Tikka Masala and a lovely step by step recipe of making paneer at home!

A 2 Z Vegetarian Cuisine said...

Wow..such mouthwatering photography and to top it...its paneer tikka...looks incredible dear...

Swathi said...

Preeti,

Paneer Tikka Masala looks really awasome. I haven't made this dish paneer. Soon I am going to give try.

Ambika said...

The frankie looks soooooo good Preeti, I'm dying to have one now!

Cham said...

Looks wonderful these steps and the frankie is awesome!

sowmya's creative saga said...

your home made paneer has come out really beautiful..and why did you put up the last picture..you left me drooling even after a heavy lunch..

Deepa G Joshi said...

cool clicks and such great presentation..love the yummy dish and the paneer tikka frankie looks so awesome..

Neetz said...

yummy..love the way u presented it at last... :)..i was looking for the paneer tikka recipe for many days..now i know from where i hav to look and cook :) thnaks so much for sharing this with us dear :)

Anjum said...

Lovely step by step pics.Makes it much easier to follow.U hav sm great clicks.
Do drop by at http://anjuskitchentreasures.blogspot.com/

Kanchan said...

wonderful presentation Preeti ! Just loved the read. And your snaps are perfect , they can go in wiki for typical paneer tikka masala !

Sushma Mallya said...

beautiful pics preethi,very tempting and loved the beautiful colour of the gravy too..just so fabulous...

Latha said...

Amazing clicks Preeti...Tempting frankie...The gravy looks perfect, loved the color.

Jyoti V said...

Wow spicy paneer tikka..loved the step by step pic and methods...

Sarah Naveen said...

Awesome!! Awesome..excellent clicks as well....Looks so yummy

PJ said...

Thanks for the step by step paneer tutorial, Pretti! Would you believe I have never made one at home, everytime I want to, but don't plan ahead and end up using something else.. but your post has gotten me motivated now. Do you know if 2% or non-fat milk will make a good paneer?

Preeti Kashyap said...

yup you can PJ, just that the amt of paneer separating from the milk might be less.

Ramya Vijaykumar said...

Hurray Preeti, wonderful description and lovely pictures for making the paneer!!! Love the tikka mmmm mouthwtaering!!!

http://memoryarchieved.blogspot.com

Kanchana Shekhar said...

mouthwatering paneer tikka ...
and great step by step pictures...

Sayantani said...

love love love that frankie. it looks absolutely gorgeous.yum

Siddhi S said...

wow preety this paneer tikka looks very temtping n also the frankie...loved ut step by step procedure 2 make paneer at hme...gr8 job

Jagruti said...

Wow...what a step by step pics..looks so lovely and colourful..your paneer tika making me hungry..perfect..

Joanne said...

I LOVE paneer and paneer tikka masala is one of my favorite ways to have it! Thanks so much for the tips on how to make it at home. It's really hard to find here and this will make my life so much easier! The pictures are mouth-wateringly good.

Malar Gandhi said...

Looks extraordinary. love the step by step info' the final pictures is simply out of this world.

Arti said...

Yum paneer..
Looks fresh awesome pics.

www.myyatradiary.blogspot.com

Preeti Kashyap said...

thanks everybody!