Thursday, March 24, 2011

Karhi Paneer- Cheese with Green Peppers and Masala Gravy

Cooking Time: 25-40 minutes
Serving Size: About 3 people

‘Karhi’ refers to the two handled, small pot that is used to make most main dishes in Indian cooking. This particular recipe contains a standard blended gravy, or masala, that is in many Indian dishes, with more complex and simpler variations. This dish can be made any time in the day; you simply add a bit of water to the congealed sauce as you reheat it, and it is good as fresh. I am particularly fond of this variation on cheese dishes because there are other vegetables that go along with it, but it still has the delicious masala sauce. It is particularly good when you fry the paneer. It can be eaten with any sort of bread, but the most common in Northern India is the chipati. It is also nice with rice, and you can serve it with fresh green chili, red onion, and cilantro for garnish.


200 grams of paneer, or Indian cheese
2½ -3 tbsp vegetable oil
2-3 large cloves of garlic
1 tsp fresh ginger
½ green chili
2 medium white onions
1-2 tbsp water
3 small tomatoes
2 tbsp cream
½ tsp garam masala
½ tsp red chili powder
1 tsp coriander
1½ tsp dried fenugreek
salt to taste


Fry the paneer in ½-1 tablespoon of the oil, until the outsides are light brown (or leave fresh, depending on preference). Blend the garlic, green chili, one onion, and ginger together with the water in a blender or food processor until it forms a liquid. Separately, blend the tomatoes. 

In a small saucepan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion mixture and sauté until brown, about 5-7 minutes. Pour in the tomato puree, and combine with the green pepper and remaining onion (slice both into strips). Stir for 2-3 minutes, and then add the cream and spices. Turn the heat to low and cover, cooking until the oil emerges and the pepper and onion are soft, about 15-20 minutes. Next, sprinkle in the fenugreek and put in the paneer. Cook for 2-3 minutes and remove from the heat. 

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