Paneer kalimirch is one of the lesser-known but equally tasty gravy based dish made with cottage cheese. Kali mirch or black pepper is the highlight of this dish.
Course: main course
Cuisine: north indian, punjabi
Author: Dassana Amit
for onion paste
1 inch cinnamon
2 green cardamoms
1 or 2 single mace strands
½ cup chopped onion or 1 medium to large onion, chopped
½ teaspoon chopped ginger or ½ inch ginger, chopped
½ teaspoon chopped garlic or 2 to 3 medium garlic cloves, chopped
1 green chili,chopped or 1 teaspoon chopped green chilies
10 to 12 cashews
⅓ to ½ cup water for grinding
for crushed black pepper
½ teaspoon whole black pepper
2 tablespoon oil or ghee (clarified butter)
1 small tej patta(indian bay leaf)
½ teaspoon caraway seeds(shahi jeera)
¼ cup fresh curd- beaten (use full fat fresh curd)
¼ teaspoon red chilli powder
¼ teaspoon garam masala powder
½ teaspoon coriander powder(ground coriander)
½ cup water or add as required
salt as required
200 grams paneer, cubed
2 tablespoons cream - optional
1 teaspoon kewra water(pandanus water) - can also use rose water
some mint leaves or coriander leaves for garnish
¼ teaspoon black pepper,crushed for garnish
Take ½ teaspoon black pepper in a mortar-pestle.
Crush black pepper to a coarse powder. Keep aside.
Take ¼ cup fresh curd in a bowl and beat it till smooth. Keep aside. use full fat fresh curd. Curd made from toned milk or skimmed milk can curdle in the gravy.
making onion paste
Heat 1 tablespoon oil or ghee in a a heavy pan or kadai. Add 1 inch cinnamon, 2 green cardamoms, 2 cloves and 1 or 2 single mace strands.
Sauté for a few seconds till the spices crackle.
Then add ½ cup chopped onion.
Mix and begin to sauté the onion on a low to medium flame till they become light golden.
When the onions become light golden, then add ½ teaspoon chopped ginger, ½ teaspoon chopped garlic, 1 green chili (chopped) and 10 to 12 cashews.
Mix and stirring often sauté till the onions turn golden.
Let this onion mixture become warm or cool down.
Then add the onion mixture in a grinder jar.
Add ⅓ to ½ cup water and grind to a smooth paste. Keep the onion paste aside.
making paneer kali mirch
Now in the same pan in which the onions were fried, heat 2 tablespoon oil or ghee. Add 1 tej patta and ½ teaspoon shahi jeera (caraway seeds).
Sauté for a few seconds till the shah jeera crackles and becomes fragrant.
Now add the onion paste.
Mix very well and on a low flame sauté the onion paste on a low flame for 4 to 5 minutes.
In the jar in which the onion paste was ground, add ½ cup water. Swirl and rotate the jar so that the onion paste sticking to the bottom and sides of the jar gets mixed with the water. This onion paste mixed water we will add later in the paneer kalimirch gravy. So keep it ready.
Sauté onion paste till you see the oil or ghee separating from the sides of the paste.
Then add the crushed black pepper.
Mix very well and sauté for 1 minute.
Next add the following spice powders - ¼ teaspoon red chilli powder, ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder and ½ teaspoon coriander powder.
Mix very well and sauté again for a minute.
Switch off the flame. Keep the pan down and then add the beaten curd.
As soon as you add curd then quickly stir and mix it very well with the onion paste.
Add ½ cup water from the grinder jar. mix again very well.
Now light the stove-top. Keep the flame to a low and then keep the pan on it.
Bring the kali mirch gravy to a simmer.
Then add salt as per taste. Mix again.
Continue to simmer the gravy for a few minutes till you see a few oil or ghee specks on the top. If the kali mirch gravy becomes thick, then you can add some water.
Then add paneer cubes (200 grams).
Mix well and switch off the flame. At this step you can add 2 tablespoons cream if you want.
Lastly add 1 teaspoon kewra water. Mix again.
Serve paneer kali mirch with rotis, chapati, phulka, naan or jeera rice. While serving garnish paneer kalimirch with some crushed black pepper, mint leaves or coriander leaves.