Pudina wale paneer pasanda

Paneer pasanda is a very delectable dish made with stuffed fried paneer in a smooth, glossy, rich, aromatic and delicious sauce (curry). It is a very popular vegetarian dish and is served in many restaurants.

I have stuffed the paneer with mewa (raisins, almonds and cashew nuts) and mint leaves. I have made the sauce with onions and tomato puree. I have also added fresh mint leaves to give a different flavour. It is very delicious and rich. If you want you can add very little dry mint powder to the sauce.

I have used concentrated tomato puree, bur you can use tomato paste or puree from fresh tomatoes instead.

Pasanda in Hindi means liking. The original name came from mutton pasanda in which the meat is pounded to tenderize and the favourite part of the meat is taken. It was served in the Imperial court of Shah Jahan and is still served in restaurants.

You can serve stuffed paneer pasanda in any sauce (curry) of your liking like butter chicken sauce.

Paneer can be stuffed with any dry fruits you like. I have added mint leaves for the flavour.

Ingredients

  • Oil for shallow frying
  • Stuffing

  • Paneer (cottage cheese, grated) – 1/4 cup
  • Almonds (badam, chopped) – 6
  • Raisins (kishmish) – 2 tsp
  • Cashewnuts (kaju, chopped) – 7
  • Salt - as per taste
  • Green chilli (chopped) – 1
  • Crushed pepper powder – 1/4 tsp or a pinch
  • Mint leaves (chopped) – 10
  • Sauce or curry

  • Oil – 2 tbsp
  • Butter – 2 tbsp
  • Onion (medium, ground to a paste) – 2
  • Ginger and garlic paste – 1 tbsp
  • Water – 3/4 cup
  • Green chilli (chopped, optional) - 1
  • Tomato puree (concentrated) – 2 tbsp
  • Tomato ketchup – 3 tbsp
  • Kasmiri chilli powder – 2 tsp
  • Pepper powder (crushed) – 2 pinches
  • Garam masala – a big pinch
  • Single cream – 1/4 cup
  • Milk – 1/2 cup
  • Mint leaves (roughly chopped) – 17 to 20
  • Kasoori methi – 2 pinches or 1 tsp
  • Water (again) – 3/4 cup
  • Single Cream (again) – 1/3 cup
  • Salt - as per taste
  • Whole spices

  • Cinnamon stick (1 inch) – 2
  • Green cardamom – 5
  • Cloves - 5
  • Black pepper corns – 1/2 tsp
  • Cornstarch

  • Corn flour – 2 tbsp
  • Water – 3 to 4 tbsp
  • Crushed pepper – a small pinch

Method

    Stuffing paneer pasanda

  • Cut paneer into triangle shapes, but a little thick like say 1 cm, as the dry fruits mixture has to be stuffed.
  • Slowly and carefully cut or make a slit in the centre of paneer. The intent is to make a little pocket inside the paneer so that we can stuff easily. A few might get cracks and few may even break, but that’s fine. This is the preferred method as this will hold the stuffing properly.
  • Alternatively you can just cut any shape you like and sandwich the stuffing like how we make sandwiches.
  • Chop mint, almonds, raisins, and cashew nuts. Add it to the grated paneer. Add salt and crushed pepper to this, mix well and keep it aside.
  • Stuff slowly and carefully so that it does not break.
  • Make cornstarch (cornflour solution) in a bowl by mixing corn flour, water and crushed pepper powder. It should not be a thick paste.
  • Dip the stuffed paneer slices in the cornstarch.
  • Heat a pan with oil and when it is hot shallow fry the paneer pieces until it is lightly brown on both sides and crispy from outside.
  • It will be easy if you fry it in the batches then put them on the kitchen towels to drain the excess oil.
  • Cooking the gravy

  • Roughly chop the onions and grind it to a paste with 1/4 cup water.
  • Heat a big and wide vessel, add oil and butter. When it gets hot add whole spices and after about 30 seconds, add onion paste and 1/2 cup water.
  • Cook for 5 minutes on a medium flame, add ginger and garlic paste and then cook for another 5 minutes on a medium flame and then on a low flame for a further 5 minutes. Cook until the onion is cooked and gets a golden brown colour. You can close the lid and cook as well.
  • Add tomato puree, green chilli and chilli powder, mix well and cook for 2 about minutes.
  • Add 1/2 cup water again and cook for about 10 minutes on medium flame and 5 minutes on low flame. Stir occasionally until it is dark in colour and thick. It should start leaving oil now.
  • Add milk, cream, tomato ketchup, garam masala, crushed pepper powder, 1 tbsp butter and 1/3 cup water. Mix well and add roughly chopped mint leaves, cook on medium flame for 5 minutes and then further 10 minutes on a low flame or until the colour changes to a darker colour and leaves oil.
  • Add cream again, tomato ketchup 1 tbsp again and kasoori methi. Mix well and cook over a low flame for 10 to 15 mins. Stir occasionally.
  • If the curry becomes too thick, you can add milk or water according to the consistency you want.
  • When the curry is ready, place the stuffed paneer in the curry and the dish is ready to serve. Serve this paneer pasanda with naan or puri or roti (chapathi).

Notes

  • If the paneer cracks while stuffing it is okay. After coating it in corn starch and frying in oil, the cracks will not be seen.
  • If you want just sprinkle or coat with corn flour or plain flour instead of the corn starch and then shallow fry it.
  • Add cream and butter according to your taste, but taste can differ and the gravy will not be smooth and rich.
  • If you do not want to add cream, then you can just add milk to make the gravy.
  • In this delicious gravy, you can add paneer pieces, paneer koftas or even chicken pieces.
  • Instead of kashmiri chilli powder, you can add ordinary chilli powder.
  • With the same stuffing you can make paneer koftas too. Stuff this stuffing into potato mixture, make balls and koftas are ready.
  • If you want, you can make the gravy in advance and at the time of serving, just fry the paneer pieces, place them on the gravy and serve.
  • You can add boiled potato or paneer in stuffing so that it gets well attached to the paneer slices.

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