Finally ‘Sweet November’ is here. We paid rainy welcome to November in Chennai. It rained, rained and rained since four days and today the bright sky and shining sun is a feast to watch. Though the climate is quite unpredictable in Chennai during November and December…the warmth of sun comes down during these months and makes the weather cool and breezy which is quite welcoming. Time for long drives, street shopping and picnics is finally here. These two months are also the time, where we indulge on lush, fresh and variety of winter greens. My family favourite green is ‘Methi ki Bhaji/Fenugreek Leaves/Menthi Kura’ and if you ask me there is a tie between this and Ambada/Red Sorrel Leaves. Today I am going to share with you a tasty and protein packed side dish which will go perfectly with roti or rice and which is apt to this season too….
Methi Malai Paneer….needs no introduction….you find this on menu in almost all north Indian restaurants. Soft paneer (cottage cheese) pieces, creamy (malai) gravy and slightly bitter-pungent tasting fenugreek leaves (methi leaves)….the recipe where flavours blend in union and delights your taste buds. Perfectly pairs with hot roti’s or jeera rice or ghee rice. I have used low-fat milk instead of fresh cream and you can even use low-fat paneer made at home, instead of store bought paneer.
Methi Malai Paneer
- 200 gms. Indian Cottage Cheese/Paneer, cut into cubes
- ½ cup tightly packed Fenugreek/Methi leaves
- 1 Onion, sliced
- 1 Tomato, chopped
- 1 tbsp. Kashmiri red chili powder
- ¼ tbsp. Turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp. roasted Coriander powder
- ½ tbsp. roasted Cumin powder
- 1 tbsp. Garam masala
- ½ tbsp. Ginger-Garlic paste
- 1 tbsp. dry Fenugreek leaves
- 3 tbsp. Melon seeds, soaked in lukewarm water for 15 minutes
- ¼ cup Milk, low-fat
- 3 tbsp. Oil
- Salt, as per taste
- In a heavy bottom cooking vessel, add oil and when it heats up add sliced onions and fry till translucent.
- Now add chopped tomatoes and fry until soft. Add ginger-garlic paste and fry till raw smell wafts. Drain and remove into a mixer jar. Set this aside.
- Now in the same pan add paneer cubes and toss till the sides turn light brown.
- Drain and reserve 5-6 paneer cubes and drop the remaining in a bowl containing warm water to retain the softness of paneer.
- Make a smooth paste of the ingredients added in the mixer jar by adding reserved paneer cubes and soaked melon seeds.
- In the same pan add a tablespoon of oil if required and saute methi leaves for 2-3 minutes. To this add above ground paste of onion-tomato along with red chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and salt.
- Fry on medium heat till oil starts to leave the masala. Drain and add paneer cubes.
- Saute on medium heat for another 3-4 minutes by stirring until the paneer cubes get nicely coated with the masala. Add 1 cup of water (you can even add the water in which you soaked paneer).
- Stir to combine and simmer this for 10-12 minutes by covering with a lid.
- Add garam masala and check for salt. Crush and add fenugreek leaves. Stir and add in milk. Turn off the heat.
- Serve warm with roti or phulka or naan or rice.
- Add love to make this Methi Malai Paneer taste ‘Yummy’