A very happy Independence Day 🇮🇳🇮🇳friend$$$$…. . Sharing a favourite paneer recipe today that goes well as a starter as well as a side dish. 
Paneer Ghee Roast
Paneer ghee roast is a spicy, simple, quick, easy and delicious Manglorean recipe. This dish can be served as a starter or as a semi gravy dish to go with pulao, rotis, naan or even neer dosa.The recipe is very easy but I was successful after a few attempts to attain the taste to suit my family’s palate. Paneer ghee roast is all about ghee and spice. Its a spicy recipe but you can adjust spice level to your choice, though I’d say it tastes great when spicy. There are many variations to this recipe and each one has its own unique blend of flavours. Some like it with the flavour of coriander seeds to be prominent while some like the flavour of chillies.I like the flavour of chillies to be prominent.  A lot of ghee goes into the recipe but the name says it all, its ghee roast and anything eaten in limited proportions is fine. 
RECIPE :
Ingredients
  • 5 1/2 tbsp ghee( adjust to individual choice)
  • 250 gms paneer cut into cubes of 1″ thickness
  • 1/4th cup finely chopped onion
  • 8 to 10 curry leaves
  • Salt to taste
For the marination
  • 2 tbsp thick curds blended smoothly
  • 2 tsp ghee roast masala paste
  • Salt to taste
Ghee Roast Masala Paste
  • 12 dry bedgi chillies (as per spice required)
  • 12 dry kashmiri chillies
  • 1/4th tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp tamarind (adjust to tang required and also depending on the tartness of the curds)
  • 8 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2” piece of ginger
METHOD :
  • Prick the paneer cubes lightly with a fork and lightly shallow fry them in 1 tsp oil just till the water content evaporates and the paneer has a very light golden look. The paneer should be soft(Do not overfry it’ll turn hard). Switch off the flame. This way the paneer stays soft and it won’t crumble when you saute it in the masala. Once cool add blended curds, 2 tsp ghee roast masala paste, salt and mix well. Coat the paneer cubes with this marination and set aside for a few minutes.
  • Heat a flat pan and dry roast the dry red chillies on low flame. Just roast a bit, till crisp. Transfer to a plate. In the same pan roast coriander seeds, cumin seeds, black pepper, fennel seeds till fragrant taking care not to burn it. Grind all the roasted ingredients, tamarind, ginger, garlic, turmeric powder first without adding water and then to a smooth paste adding little water. The ground paste should be thick but smooth. 
  • Heat ghee in a flat nonstick pan. Add finely chopped onion, saute till golden. Add the ground masala paste, add salt taking note that salt has been added to the marinated paneer cubes and let it cook for few minutes on low flame till the onion blends with the masala and its raw flavour diminishes. Add the marinated paneer cubes and saute gently, let the mix cook till ghee leaves the sides and the marinated paneer blends well with the masala paste and the masala coats the paneer well. As the moisture evaporates, the ghee starts leaving the sides of the masala. Add in the curry leaves, mix well so that the aroma of fresh leaves sinks into the masala. The more you roast the masala in ghee the tastier the ghee roast will be. 
  • Serve hot with rotis, naan, fulkas or neer dosa OR as a starter. 
NOTE :
  • You can add the paneer as is if you want to. Its just that the cooking process takes time, hence the paneer cubes may break while mixing/ sauteing the masala, hence I have lightly shallow fried it.
  • Adjust spice levels according to your taste buds, but this dish tastes best if spicy. Bedgi chillies are medium spicy and kashmiri chillies give the colour. The quantity of chillies mentioned may seem to be more but it’s not very spicy. 
  • Ghee adds the basic flavour to this dish.DO NOT substitute ghee with oil.
  • Blend the curds well to an even texture, if not the marinated paneer will not blend well with the masala paste and specs of curds will be visible which will not appeal to the eye.
TIP :
  • This dish should be served hot only to enjoy its flavours.
  • Patience is required to get the perfect blend of flavours in this dish.
  • The more you roast the masala in ghee the tastier the outcome will be.
  • Once the onion and masala has blended well you could keep a flat skillet below the nonstick pan so that the masala does’nt stick to the bottom of the pan.