Yoghurt-Mint Paneer Kadhai


What does a busy mommy do when she misses a grocery store visit to refurbish her fresh produce and pantry inventory? She feels extremely guilty and looks around to find 2 angry-hungry men staring at her!! Well, she gathers all the courage and strength in the world to experiment. Sincerely hoping that the kid and husband like the lab results, probably if at all it’s an ace certify it too!

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Totally exhausted over one weekend with visits to the hardware stores and the new home site (with a crazy 3 going on 4 pre-schooler) I forgot to buy fresh produce from the grocery store. And, I realized this with no time on hands to recover. So, I dug my refrigerator and saw some left over yoghurt (dahi), mint leaves, tomato paste, sliced onions and paneer (Cottage cheese). And,thought of using this Kadhai (a deep aluminium pan-great for sautés and frying)-gives it that fancy restraurant feel!

(Hmm, what to do??) I have used mint, dahi, tomato paste and sliced onions together before to make Yoghurt Chicken and Yoghurt aloo (potatoes cooked in yoghurt). I thought to myself, if it works with chicken and potatoes, it must work with paneer too. Let me give it a try.

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To my surprise, this was a successful experiment! Approved and highly recommended by husband and my son! So, folks you sure must try this!

 Ingredients:

  • 1 block of paneer-squared. (I use organic Verka brand of paneer, because the other brands did not work for me well).
  • 3-5 tbsps. Finely chopped mint leaves.
  • cardamom powder.
  • turmeric powder.
  • cumin powder.
  • coriander powder.
  • all spices powder (garam masala).
  • whole cumin seeds.
  • Olive oil.
  • 2-3tsps. tomato paste.
  • 4-5tbsp. yoghurt.
  • Salt to taste.
  • ½ cup sliced red onions.
  • 1-3 tbsps. Chopped cilantro.

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Method:

  • Marinate the paneer pieces in a mixture of yogurt, chopped mint leaves,turmeric powder, all spices powder, cardamom powder, cilantro powder and cumin powder.
  • Sauté the onions without adding any oil to the pan. Use a deep pan to sauté the onions, cilantro and cumin seeds. The natural sugars in the onions allow it to caramelize and cook well. Don’t cook the onions fully. Set aside and allow to cool.
  • Add the marinated paneer into the same pan and pour the oil over it. Let it cook uncovered. Once the water and yogurt begins to separate, add the onions in it.
  • Allow it to cook. After a boil, add the tomato paste. If you like you may add a little garam masala at this point. Let the curry simmer for a while. Add salt to taste.
  • The mint and yoghurt fuse together with all the spices while simmering. The cardamom and mint make it very aromatic.

We are on a healthy diet so we ate it with quinoa. But you can serve this with a choice of your bread or rice.

And, dahi-mint paneer is ready! It hardly takes 15 minutes to prepare and cook this dish. Simple yet sophisticated. I prefer recipes that are non-fussy, easy and quick. A busy lady cannot spend more than 30 minutes in a kitchen on a weekday. Don’t you think so? I see lot of my sisters nodding and smirking.

Yes, I see you and hear your inner voices. May be this could solve your issue for one week night! Btw, the paneer is totally to suit my family’s liking and well, the situation of my refrigerator:P But, this dish tastes as good with potatoes/cauliflower/mushrooms instead of paneer.

I prefer dishes that could be easily modified to suit the budget and liking of the family. How about you??

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