Fresh Indian Cheese in a Butter-tomato Sauce (Paneer Makhani)
This is the vegetarian version of Chicken in a Butter-tomato Sauce, for which a tandoor-roasted bird is cut up and enfolded in a rich, creamy sauce. This vegetarian incarnation is much loved and generally eaten with Indian flatbreads, especially naans.
|250 ml/8 fl oz||tomato passata|
|250 ml/8 fl oz||double cream|
|2 tsp||peeled and finely grated fresh ginger|
|1 tsp||garam masala|
|2 tsp||lemon juice|
|1||fresh hot green chilli, finely chopped|
|¼ tsp||nice red chilli powder|
|1 tsp||ground roasted cumin seeds|
|1 tbsp||dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi), crumbled (optional)|
|400 g/14 oz||fresh Indian cheese (paneer), cut into 2 cm/ ¾ inch squares|
|freshly ground black pepper|
|2 tbsp||unsalted butter plus|
|1 tbsp||olive or peanut oil|
|¼ tsp||whole cumin seeds|
|2–3 tbsp||chopped fresh coriander|
Combine the tomato passata, cream, ginger, garam masala, lemon juice, sugar, green chilli, 1 teaspoon of the salt, chilli powder, ground roasted cumin and dried fenugreek leaves
(if using) in a bowl. Stir thoroughly and set aside.
Put the cubed cheese into another bowl. Add ¼ teaspoon of salt and some black pepper. Toss well to mix.
Put the butter, oil and cumin seeds in a medium, non-stick pan and set over a medium heat. Put all the cheese cubes in the pan in a single layer and brown them very lightly on at least two sides. Pour the tomato sauce over the top and stir to mix. Bring to a simmer, then heat very gently for 4–5 minutes,
stirring with a light hand as you do so. Sprinkle the fresh coriander over the top before serving.