Thursday, October 27, 2011

Paneer (Cottage Cheese) in Tomato Gravy

The reason I started this blog was to have a record of mum’s dishes but with her sudden passing away the record remains incomplete. There are quite a number of dishes which I asked my brother to photograph as and when mum cooked the dishes; I planned to take down the recipes eventually from Ma. As I go through the photos now, her vibrant presence is so palpable, I can still feel her touch in these dishes.

It so happened one day Ma was cooking paneer and my brother just loved the look of it and said “I know this is going to taste great by the look of it”, he immediately whipped out his camera and went ahead and clicked even while the  paneer was cooking on the gas stove. Ma wanted to pour it out on to a serving dish but he was just impatient and thank God for his impatience for I was also infected by his enthusiasm and immediately took down the recipe. Thankfully I can now share the recipe in the traditional way with measurements and all.

Before going to the recipe if you want to know how to make paneer at home here is a video of mom making it at home.

  • 250 grams paneer (cottage cheese), chopped into cubes.
  • One medium onion, ground into paste.
  • One flake garlic, ground into paste.
  • Two medium size tomatoes, chopped.
  •  One teaspoon ginger paste
  •  One tablespoon coriander and cumin mix powder
  • Turmeric powder
  • Kashmiri chilli powder
  • Cloves
  • Cardamom
  • Cooking oil

  • Heat one table spoon oil.
  • Add a pinch of cumin seed to the oil.
  • When the cumin seeds begin to splutter add chopped tomatoes, and fry the tomatoes. 
  • After the tomatoes soften, add one teaspoon ginger paste, garlic paste, onion paste, coriander and cumin mix powder (one table spoon), a little less than half a teaspoon of turmeric powder and Kashmiri chili powder (the quantity of chili powder will depend on your personal taste).
  • Fry the masala well.
  • Add the chopped paneer and stir.
  • Add water in accordance to the amount of gravy you would like in the dish.
  • Cover and cook.
  • Add salt to taste and just a pinch of sugar.
  • Dry grind three cloves and one green cardamom and a small piece of cinnamon. Add this powder to the paneer.
  • Stir well and serve hot.
  • You may chop one large capsicum and add it to the dish and stir for a minute. The capsicum adds to the taste. You do not need to cook the capsicum for too long in the gravy.


  1. Shilpi, belated shubho bijoya and diwali! This dish looks fantastic and I love the flavours together. Also, the paneer video is very useful! I am following you now!

  2. Thanks for the paneer video, Shilpi. I used to do something similar, but didn't know that I have to drain the water for 7-8 hours, hence my paneer didn't come together.

    And the paneer dish looks yummy, and easy to cook, as usual.

  3. Ah, lovely. My mum makes paneer almost exactly the same way. It's so good that even my niece and nephew (who're very picky eaters and don't like eating anything that's not non-vegetarian) love it.

  4. @dustedoff: It was very yummy I remember, now I have no choice but to try it out myself, by the way Madhu I am sorry for the belated response to your comment, I guess you understand why I delayed - my mood swings.

  5. @Banno:Glad to know the video was a help.It is such comments which keep me going.

  6. @Hari Chandana& Purabi Naha:Glad you like it, I feel encouraged to continue with this blog due to such comments.

  7. @Shilpi: No problem about the delayed response - I guessed you were missing your mum. Stay strong, my friend, and keep her close to you with this blog. *hugs*

  8. Now that sounds real good and almost simple!
    But I have a problem, which you might be able to help me solve. Whenever I make an onion paste withour frying it before, it tastes bitter. When I asked my mom, she said she never fries it and makes onion paste without frying. So why does the onion paste, the way I make it taste bitter, when I put it in the gravy?

    Looking forward to going through other recipes!

  9. I've never tried paneer in a tomato gravy. It's always either palak paneer or a bhurji. I'll be sure to try this.

  10. @harveypam: I am extremely sorry Harvey for not replying to your query, you see I was down and out suffering from side effects of a medicine. Well now I am better. As for your onion paste tasting bitter I have no clue why? Is it some particular variety of onion, actually onions are sweet which is why experienced cooks like our moms always caution you on the quantity of sugar you should add to a dish if it already has a generous amount of onions. However here is a tip you can try it out, boil the onions before making a paste but in that case you do not need to fry the onion paste for too long for it is already cooked.

  11. Please Shilpi, don't be sad for not being able to answering earlier! I hope you get well soon and give us more recipes and more reminiscences. But more than that I wish you lots of health so that you can enjoy life! *HUGS*

    Maybe you are right, that it depends on the variety of onions. Maybe that the variety of onion, which we get here is the one which turns bitter. In fact if I put raw onions in a salad I wash it first. Maybe I can try that for the paste as well. Your idea of boiling is also good, less use of oil!

  12. Very lovely dish and an even more lovely blog. Do visit mine when time permits

  13. @harveypam: I guess you have given up on me now but thanks for the link, I understand what you are trying to convey, yes I have to get a hold of myself.

  14. Panner anyday!! :-)