Paneer Butter Masala is an all time favourite for all kids and adults alike and they never miss an opportunity to order it when they go to an Indian restaurant. Another favourite for my older daughter these days is the creamy Mughlai Malai Koftas! These days we hardly ever go to Indian restaurants here in Dallas, as the dinner portions are really too much for us to handle. I still love the Panner Butter Masala at the Taj Chat House here in Plano. Whenever we feel we want to eat out at indian restaurant, but cant handle the heavy portions and the grease, I always go here . This version is of course my own, but liberally influenced by Master Chef Sanjeev Kapoor.
Paneer Cubes or Extra Firm Organic Tofu.
1 Large or 3 Small Sized Red Onions.
2 Large Tomatoes.
1 1/2 Tsp Freshly grated ginger garlic zest/ paste.
1 Ripe Avocado.
6-8 Cashew Nuts.
1/3 Cup Milk + 1/3 Cup Milk.
2 Tsp Kasoori Methi.
1 1/2 Tsp Dhania Powder/ Coriander Powder.
1 1/2 Tsp Red Chilli Powder.
1/4 Tsp Sugar.
A pinch of turmeric.
Salt to taste.
Chopped Cilantro to garnish.
2 Tsp Butter.
1 Inch Cinnamon.
A pinch of Ground Elaichi.
3-4 Whole Black Pepper.
2 Dried Red Chillies.
- Heat a kadai with a spoon of butter and saute the onions until they turn a dull golden color. Grind the fried onions along with the tomatoes and one avocado to a smooth paste. You need not add water as the tomatoes help in providing the water content. Set aside.
- Soak the cashews in a little warm milk. Add a few saffron strands if necessary and the sugar and grind to a smooth paste.
- In case you are using frozen paneer, thaw and add it to hot water so it gets soft and spongy. If using extra firm tofu, drain from water and allow to dry for a couple minutes. If you have fresh panner, that you have made at home , use as is.
- As I don’t prefer to eat tofu soft, I normally slice them in to loaves, smear lemon juice, red chilli powder and salt, and allow it to roast/ grill on a tava for a couple minutes, until there is a good sear. Remove and slice in to 1 inch pieces. Set aside.
- Once again, heat up the wok, add a little oil/ butter and the whole masalas – cloves, cinnamon,cardamom powder, red chillies and couple whole black peppers. When its slightly roasted, add the ground onion tomato avoacado paste. (You could completely omit the avocados – they dont add any flavour only silly smooth texture and of course good fats! Avocados, due to their mono and polyunsaturated fat content, are a great substitution for foods rich in saturated fat.)
- Add the ginger garlic paste, red chilli powder, dhania powder, salt and turmeric and mix in well.
- Allow the ground paste to cook until the raw smell is gone, and a little of the butter leaves the sides. This should take about ten mins or so.
- Add the ground cashew paste and stir in well until the mixture loosens up a little.
- If you need the gravy to be a little more runny, adjust by adding warm milk/ heavy cream/ Half & Half.
- Crush the kasuri methi between your fingers and add it to the gravy.
- Add the chopped panner/ tofu pieces to the gravy and mix it in.
- Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve HOT with Jeera Pulav or Peas Pulav.