Recipe for Paneer Without Onion and Garlic

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Welcome to our culinary journey where we explore the delectable world of paneer without the use of onion and garlic. This exquisite recipe offers a flavorful twist to traditional paneer dishes, catering to those with dietary restrictions or preferences. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a novice in the kitchen, this recipe promises to elevate your cooking experience with its rich flavors and simple yet sophisticated preparation.

History of Paneer

Paneer, a staple in Indian cuisine, holds a rich history dating back centuries. Originating from the Indian subcontinent, paneer is a fresh cheese made by curdling milk with a food acid, such as lemon juice or vinegar. Its versatility and mild taste have made it a favorite ingredient in various dishes, from curries to appetizers.

Ingredients

For Paneer:

  • 1 liter whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice or vinegar
  • Cheesecloth

For Gravy:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1-inch cinnamon stick
  • 2-3 green cardamom pods
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ginger paste
  • 1 teaspoon green chili paste
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh coriander leaves for garnish

Instructions

Making Paneer:

  1. In a large pot, bring the whole milk to a gentle boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the bottom.
  2. Once the milk starts boiling, reduce the heat and add lemon juice or vinegar gradually while stirring continuously.
  3. As you add the acid, you will notice the milk curdling and separating into curds and whey. If the milk doesn’t curdle completely, add a little more lemon juice or vinegar.
  4. Once the curds have separated completely, turn off the heat and let it sit for a few minutes.
  5. Line a colander with a double layer of cheesecloth and place it over a large bowl. Carefully pour the curdled milk into the colander, allowing the whey to drain away.
  6. Rinse the curds under cold water to remove any trace of lemon juice or vinegar.
  7. Gather the edges of the cheesecloth and twist them together to form a tight bundle. Hang the bundle over the sink or a bowl and let it drain for about 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how soft or firm you want your paneer.

Preparing Gravy:

  1. Heat vegetable oil in a pan over medium heat. Add bay leaf, cinnamon stick, green cardamom pods, cloves, and cumin seeds. Sauté until fragrant.
  2. Add ginger paste and green chili paste to the pan. Sauté for a minute until the raw smell disappears.
  3. Stir in tomato puree and cook until the oil starts to separate from the masala.
  4. Add coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chili powder, and salt to the pan. Mix well and cook for another couple of minutes.
  5. Gently add the prepared paneer cubes to the gravy, stirring carefully to coat them evenly with the masala.
  6. Sprinkle garam masala over the paneer and mix gently.
  7. Allow the paneer to simmer in the gravy for a few minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.
  8. Garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves before serving.

Enjoy Your Onion and Garlic-Free Paneer Delight!

This sumptuous paneer dish is a testament to the endless possibilities of Indian cuisine. With its creamy texture and bold flavors, it’s sure to impress even the most discerning palate. Serve it alongside steamed rice or warm naan bread for a complete and satisfying meal.

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