a few pinches of crushed or powdered saffron for garnish
salt as required
First blanch the almonds in hot water. Soak 20 to 22 almonds in 1/2 cup of bubbling hot water for 30 to 40 minutes. Cover and keep aside.
In a pan, take 3/4 cup roughly chopped onions and add 1/4 cup water.
Heat the chopped onion and water together stirring at intervals. If in case the water dries up while cooking onions, then add some more water.
Simmer till the onions soften.
After 30 minutes, peel the almonds and keep aside.
Add the blanched and peeled almonds and 1/4 cup of the soaking water to a grinder or small blender.
Make a smooth paste from the almonds without any tiny bits or pieces. Remove and keep the almond paste aside.
To the same blender, add the cooked onions along with the remaining stock. Grind to a smooth paste.
Take 6 tbsp full fat fresh curd/yogurt in a bowl or measuring cup and whisk well till smooth.
making paneer korma
Heat 2 tbsp ghee in a pan.
Add the whole spices - 1/2 tsp shah jeera (caraway seeds), 1 inch cinnamon, 2 to 3 green cardamoms, 4 cloves, 2 to 3 single strands of mace and 1 small to medium tej patta/indian bay leaf. Saute the spices for some seconds till aromatic.
Now add the ground onion paste and stir very well.
Add 2 tsp ginger garlic paste. Stir again.
Saute the onion paste till you see some fat releasing from the sides and the paste thickens. We don't need to brown this paste as we are preparing a white gravy.
Now add the ground almond paste.
Stir continuously and saute for two minutes on a low flame.
Then add 1 or 2 slit green chilies, 1/4 tsp black pepper or white pepper and 1/2 tsp coriander powder. Stir again.
Saute for a minute on a low flame.
Now just add 1 to 1.5 tbsp of the beaten curd (yogurt or dahi) on a low flame.
Briskly stir and incorporate the curd with the rest of the mixture.
Then add again 1 to 1.5 tbsp of the curd.
Stir quickly again. Adding yogurt in small amounts like this does not allow it to curdle in the gravy.
Finish off all the curd/yogurt this way and keep on stirring.
Then add 3/4 to 1 cup water.
Stir very well so that the whole gravy has a uniform consistency. Add salt as required.
Bring the gravy to a gentle simmer on a low flame. About 4 to 5 minutes.
Then add the paneer cubes. 200 grams paneer which have been chopped in cubes and stir gently. Simmer for a minute.
Then add 3 tbsp low fat cream. Stir well and switch off the flame.
Lastly, add 1 tsp of rosewater or kewra (pandanus) water or half-half of both. Stir the gravy gently.
Serve paneer korma garnished with crushed saffron or saffron powder.
This paneer kurma goes very well with naans, tandoori roti, chapatis or parathas. It also goes well with cumin rice or veg pulao.