Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Paneer Chettinad

This week did not start off well as I woke up to see that my fridge refuses to cool and while the technicians come in I decided to make the best of the ingredients that’ll rot in no time. Looked into my fridge and found a pack of paneer, some coriander leaves, few sprigs of curry leaves, butter, few tomatoes, milk, cheese, some grated coconut and ginger garlic paste. I managed to use most of them and the rest I put away in my friendly neighbour’s fridge. ‘Paneer Chettinad’, sounds weird.(I know) But I tried this crazy combination and I must say, it tasted quite good. It is paneer (which I always thought is not so southy) in a completely South Indian gravy.

Preparation time: 10-15minutes
Cooking time: 30-35minutes
Serves: 4-6

You need:

200gms paneer
1tbsp butter
2 tsps cooking oil
1 large onion (chopped fine)
8-9 sprigs of curry leaves
3 medium tomatoes (chopped fine)
1 tsp chilli powder (alter according to your taste)

½ tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste
juice of half a lemon
2tsp ginger garlic paste
water as required
1 tbsp poppy seeds (khus khus)
2tbsp cashew nuts

For garnishing:
coriander leaves (chopped fine)

For the chettinad masala:
2tsp coriander seeds (dhania)
½ tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1tsp fennel seeds (saunf)
3-4 whole red chillies
3 green cardamoms
1 inch cinnamon
3-4 cloves
½ cup grated coconut

Soak the poppy seeds and cashew nuts in a little hot water for 10-15 minutes 

Cut paneer into 1 inch cubes. Heat butter in a pan. Fry until you get a light brown colour on all the sides Drain the paneer pieces on to a kitchen towel and immediately drop them into bowl of warm water (this will keep the paneer soft) 

Let us now make the chettinad masala. In the same pan, add the coriander, cumin and fennel seeds, red chillies, cloves, cardamoms, cinnamon and grated coconut. Stir fry for 3-4 minutes till the aroma is released. (Do not over brown them, always toast over low flame)

Grind the masala to a smooth paste with the ginger garlic paste, soaked poppy seeds and cashew nuts (add water if required to get a chutney consistency) 

Heat oil in a non-stick pan, add the chopped onions. Fry till golden brown 

Add the curry leaves and the ground paste. Fry for 2-3 minutes 

Now add the chopped tomatoes, chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt. Cook for about 10 minutes on medium flame till the tomatoes are soft and mushy 

At this stage, add the required amount of water (add more if you want a thinner gravy)
Squeeze the lemon juice, add the paneer and allow it to boil.Cook for 4-5 minutes 

Garnish with chopped coriander leaves

Serve hot with phulka/chapathi / paratha

Try it out and don't forgot to drop comments here...

Yours tastefully!!


  1. Love Panneer .. looks tasty ...should try to make it ...

  2. ground cloves and cinnamon...wow..another 'must try it" one.

  3. Uma: try it and tell me if you liked it

  4. Sangu: ask Sowmi to make it that way you get to taste it and she'll learn something new:)

  5. hey dear .... m preeti's friend :) loved ur blog will try something for sure ....

  6. Hi Rashmi, thank you for visiting my blog.Glad to hear you liked it. Do try my recipes and post your comments.Sorry, which Preeti are you referring to?

  7. hahahha i knew i knew u will say which preeti ...

    let me first complain her and then i will tell u which preeti ..
    hmmmmmm master mind :D :D

  8. Binitha, Tried and Tasted this one... Came out just fine....Thanks for the recipe. The left overs was also polished off by the boys - Reena Pinto

  9. @Rashmi: when i saw your blog I got a hold of who you are. nice blog by the way. Preethi's(who used to stay in my apartment)friend right?

  10. Reena, thanks so much for tying my recipe. looks like you do a lot of cooking too:)

  11. Bini, tried this yesterday and it came out good. Thanks for the recipe.

  12. Have to.... have 3 boys to feed:) just kidding! I love Cooking. I keep trying variations in every recipe I prepare.

  13. @Sheeja: that's nice...was it Suppu's b'day special? did she like it?:)

  14. @GP:that's nice:) by the way, I scanned through your blog...it's nice:)

  15. tried this,came out really good....thanks Binitha

  16. Dear Binny,

    Thanks a lot for sharing this- i made this today - it is a super hit with my son Varun. I gave him with poories- He says awesome. Keep up you work dear.Vids

  17. @Suma: thank you so much for the feedback!

  18. thank you so much for those encouraging words...I'm glad Varun liked it too...thanks again!

  19. Binitha this is really different from the usual paneer curry or paneer masala. I prefer south indian touch to my preparations and this is a good variation. Tried this method and it was really yummy. smitha. My name is appearing as
    FNU in google account. i do not know why.

  20. Thanks for trying my recipe Smitha, this one seems to be a hit at most homes:)

  21. making this for my dinner today to go with chapathi....thankx for making my dinner planning easy today:)


  22. Ammu, sorry for the late response. Dinner you try this dish? liked it?

  23. Tried this recipe by substituting tofu for paneer. Still came out very tasty. Thanks for sharing this yummy recipe!