Saturday, 29 August 2015

Kadhai Paneer #sikandalouscuisine

There was an interesting discussion on Kadhai Paneer and authenticity the other day . That got me thinking and I read up a few books and zoomed into Jiggs Kalra's book  to go into the recipe in detail and also understand our cuisine better . Jiggs Sir made some interesting observations - the obvious like recipes were handed down from generation to generation , but never recorded ( literacy ) . This is the reason that Indian culinary art despite 1000  of years of refinement is relevantly unknown as compared to the cuisines say of France or China . As as a result of this non documentation every recipe is open to interpretation , however innovation is often mistaken for originality !
So let's get cooking Kadhai Paneer which Jiggs Sir describes as chili hot , semi dry and colorful  in his cookbook PRASHAD .
Note - this is a rustic dish , that's why we chop , not liquidize tomatoes to keep the textures and flavors.ONLY 25 Grams Capsicum is added , that too right in the start , that flavors the oil and that is where the role of capsicum ends . It's not a a vegetable here , but a flavoring agent. I make this pount to differentiate between Kadhai Paneer and Paneer Silma Mirch / Capsicum.
The timings aren't correct , I took an hour nearly to make this delicious gravy masala ...
600 Grams Paneer - Cut to size.
3 Tablespoons Ghee ( 40 Grams ).
1 Capsicum ( 25 Grams ) - Remove seeds and make julienne / thin long strips
5 Whole Red Chilies.
2 1/2 Teaspoons Coriander Seeds.
4 Teaspoons Ginger ( 15 Grams ).
550 Ml Kadhai Gravy ( recipe below )
A pinch of Kasoori Methi .
1 Teaspoon Garam Gravy Masala.

Scrape ginger , reserve some for garnish , mince the rest. Pound whole red chilies and coriander seeds together.
Heat Ghee , add capsicum , and saute for 30 seconds over medium heat. Add pounded masala and ginger , cook 30 seconds , then add kadhai Masala , bring to a boil till fat leaves the sides. Now add paneer , cook 2-3 minutes , sprinkle kasoori methi and garam masala , adjust seasoning and to serve garnish with ginger julinnes and coriander greens .

Kadhai Gravy Masala:
6 Tablespoons Ghee ( 75 Grams )
5 teaspoons Garlic Paste ( 30 Grams ).
7 1/2 Teaspoons Coriander Seeds ( 15 Grams ).
10 Whole Red Chilies.
4 Green Chilies.
1/2 Cup Ginger ( 45 Grams ).
675 Grams Tomatoes.
1 Tablespoon Kasoori Methi ( 5 Grams ).
1 Teaspoon Garam Masala
Pound coriander seeds and red chilies.
Wash chop green chilies ,ginger and tomatoes .
Heat ghee , add garlic paste , saute over medium heat till light brown.Add pounded spice , saute another 30 seconds then green chilies and ginger , cook another 30 seconds and lastly add tomatoes and bhuno till fat separates.Lastly add all spice and take off the fire.
This is a delicious Master Sauce / Masala , I made it in twice this quantity and have it in the fridge and will use it with other recipes soon.

Atul Sikand
Founding Member ,Delhi Gourmet Club
Director, Asian Hawkers Market Pvt. Ltd.
Administrator and Owner , Sikandalous Cuisine

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