Some dishes are celebratory dishes and this Nawabi Paneer which I make for special draws heavily from Nawabi chicken. It is a rich decadent creamy nutty gravy and is fit for the royalty indeed .
I made this when my mother-in-law's visit almost came to an end and since she loved it as did my husband and brother-in-law I am sharing this extremely easy recipe.
Serves 3 to 4
1 litre full cream milk
1.5 tbsp vinegar diluted with 2 tbsp water
2 tsp ginger garlic paste
Onion paste made from 1 medium sized onion and 2 green chilies
50gm cashew nuts
1/4th of a coconut
1.5 inch cinnamon
1 large bay leaf
Pinch of saffron soaked in 2 tbsp milk
Pinch of nutmeg
2 blades of mace
1 tbsp crumbled khoya (In case one doesn't have khoya one can use 1/2 cup cream)
Salt as per taste
2 heaped tsp ghee
Start by making your paneer. Simply bring the milk to a boil and then lower heat and add the diluted vinegar and wait for 5 minutes for the paneer to form. You know its done when the white paneer clumps flat around in a green liquid called the whey. Switch off the gas and cover and leave for 5 minutes and then strain the paneer in a cheesecloth or muslin cloth and reserve the whey . Hang the cheesecloth for 15 minutes and then press it on a flat surface to make a slab with the cloth around it and place a plate on top and a mortar and pestle or a heavy book on the plate and leave for 45 minutes. You will have the softest paneer ready to be used.
Soak the khoya, cashewnuts and coconut in 1/2 cup reserved whey while the paneer is being made. Soak the saffron in the milk.
Now make a smooth paste of the ginger and garlic and then reserve it and make a smooth paste of onion and green chilies with 1 tbsp of reserved whey. Make a smooth paste of the soaked khoya, cashew nuts and coconut. Use extra whey if required.
Heat the ghee and saute the ginger garlic paste and then add the bay leaf and the onion paste and saute till the raw smell goes away and add the cinnamon after crushing it well and then add the crushed cloves. Now add the Khoya cashewnut coconut paste and mix well and add 1/4th cup whey and bring to a slow boil and add salt , crushed mace and the nutmeg and the paneer and then simmer covered for 5 minutes to 7 minutes. make sure you check from time to time and give it a stir if it shows sign of sticking to the bottom of the wok. Once done the gravy should be velvety smooth and thick but not extremely dry. Add the saffron , mix well and serve with hot rice.