This Chilli Paneer Dry celebrates some of the most popular Indian spices. The spices I am referring to are ajwain seeds (carom seeds), black peppercorns, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds and cloves.
In this preparation, we make a fantastic masala paste with these spices. Paneer pieces are first fried in butter. They are then coated with the freshly ground masala with water. It’s simmered to a thick consistency making it a chilli paneer dry! It goes well with Indian bread like naan, roti, chapati, or paratha.
Paneer, the Indian cottage cheese, is a traditional ingredient in Indian cuisine. Paneer’s mild flavours and fantastic texture makes it an ideal vehicle to highlight some of the fabulous spice blends in the country. We have tons of classic preparations celebrating this wonderful ingredient. Paneer butter masala, shahi paneer, chilli paneer (Indo-Chinese style), kadai paneer, paneer tikka masala, etc. are some of the most famous delicacies.
When we are eating out at an Indian restaurant, we always order one of these dishes. We sometimes cook some of them at home as well! But I have always wanted to try out something that’s not a “regular” paneer dish. I have been experimenting with the ingredients, and this recipe is the result of many trial and errors.
Rooted in a traditional style, this spice masala is the hero of this preparation. We start by frying the spices in butter. The wonderful aromas they release, especially the ajwain (carom) seeds, is the highlight. Into this aromatic spice mix, we add some oil and fry onions with chilli powder, turmeric powder, and coriander powder. We have to keep frying till the onions are almost crisp.
The crispy onions and fried spices is a tasty mix in itself. I struggled to resist the temptation to eat it all, and save it for the paneer!
Check out this recipe and give it a try! It’ll take you less than 30 minutes to make this dish from scratch.