This North Indian dish needs no introduction. I have lost count upon how many times I have had this dish throughout my life. A simple definition is that it is a curry consisting of Cottage Cheese, peas and the herb methi add a wonderful flavour and nutrition to the curry.
Now a days my five year old son, craves for it and particularly likes it with steamed rice. It's a cute sight when he holds the spoon, cuts the paneer, add it with rice and puts in the mouth. Suddenly, I realize that he is growing fast . Touchwood!
250 gms Cottage cheese
1/4 cup Green peas
2 bunches of Methi leaves (fenugreek leaves)
1 Onion, ground to paste
1 big Tomato or 2 medium size, pureed
2 tbsp Ginger-Garlic paste
1 tsp Green chilly paste
1 tsp Coriander powder
1 tsp Cumin powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp Kasmiri red chilly powder
1/2 tsp Garam masala powder
Salt to taste
1 Cheese slice
1 cup Water
3 tbsp Oil
Clean methi leaves thoroughly and chop them finely. Keep aside. Cut paneer in cubes, sprinkle some salt and turmeric powder over paneer cubes and fry them lightly in little oil till light pink (frying too long will make paneer hard and rubbery). Soak them in warm salty water for 1/2 hour, to keep paneer soft and tasty (year's ago I noticed this useful tip on some television show).
Heat a pan by adding remaining oil in it, add onion paste.
Stir and fry until it is light pink. Now add ginger-garlic-chilly paste and stir until the paste turns brown. Add turmeric, cumin, kashmiri red chilly, coriander powder, salt and fry for a few seconds. Now add tomato puree, green peas and fry till oil separates on low flame. Add 1 cup of water, let it boil and become thick. Time to add paneer cubes, garam masala and chopped methi leaves. Cook for a minute or two and cover the lid. Add a slice of cheese in hot gravy for some gooey goodness. Enjoy this flavoury paneer gravy with jeera rice or roti.