10 to 12curry leaves- kept whole or roughly chopped
½teaspoonjaggery powderor add as required
salt as required
preparing masala paste
Heat 1 tablespoon ghee in a thick bottomed pan or kadai or a cast iron skillet. Use a well seasoned pan.
Once the ghee melts, add all the spices - 2 teaspoon coriander seeds, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds, ¼ teaspoon whole black pepper, 20 fenugreek seeds (methi dana), 4 kashmiri red chillies (or byadagi red chillies) and 2 guntur red chillies (or hot red chillies).
On a low flame stirring often roast the whole spices till they become aromatic.
Once the spices are roasted well and aromatic, add 3 medium garlic cloves (lahsun) and 1 teaspoon tightly packed tamarind (imli). Mix well and switch off the flame. Let this spice mixture cool.
Take all of the roasted spice mixture in a small grinder jar or chutney grinder.
Add 6 tablespoons water and grind to a smooth paste. Do not make the ground paste too thin. If you make the paste thin, then skip adding water later.
Take all of the masala paste in a mixing bowl.
Add 2 tablespoon fresh curd (dahi or yogurt), 1 teaspoon lemon juice and salt as per taste.
Add 200 grams paneer cubes. Mix very well.
Gently mix the paneer cubes with the masala so that the paneer cubes are well coated with the masala.
Marinate paneer for 30 to 45 minutes. If keeping for a longer time, then refrigerate.
In the grinder jar, add ¼ cup water and just swirl the jar, so that the masala paste which is stuck to the sides and bottom of the jar gets mixed with the water. You can also use a spatula or steel spoon to mix. Keep aside.
making paneer ghee roast
Heat 2 tablespoons ghee in the same pan.
Add ⅓ cup chopped onions.
Next add 10 to 12 curry leaves (kadi patta) - kept whole or roughly chopped and ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi).
Mix very well and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes or till the onions turn translucent on a low to medium-low flame.
Now add all of the marinated paneer mixture. Also add all the masala scraping the bowl.
Mix very well. Add ½ teaspoon jaggery powder and mix again.
Add ¼ cup of masala mixed water or plain water. Mix again very well.
Simmer the gravy for about 2 minutes on a low to medium-low flame. Do not overcook the paneer as then the cubes will become dense and hard.
Once done, then switch off the flame. The gravy will thicken and you will see specks of ghee on top.
Serve paneer ghee roast hot garnish with some fried curry leaves or coriander leaves. You can also just serve paneer ghee roast without any garnish. Accompany onion slices and lemon wedges.
Tips for making paneer ghee roast
You can use tofu and mushrooms instead of paneer.
You can substitute oil for ghee and cashew curd or almond curd for dairy curd (yogurt).
If using mushrooms, then do not marinate for 30 minutes. Just mix with the spice paste and then cook. No need to add water while cooking mushrooms.
Red chilies can be added less or more as per your preferences.