Last ten days was amazing. We had been to Pune to attend my brother’s and sister in law’s house ceremony, which was on Diwali night. What I didn’t expect was to also see my uncle aunty and cousins. It was a houseful situation. Don’t even let me get to the detail of sleeping arrangements. It was just fun. And in between all these, I completely stayed away from my blog and social media. So here it is, a luscious rich curry with paneer chunks in creamy almond gravy, Badami Paneer.
Soaked almonds raisins was our mandate morning munch. I never liked it but Mom would continue insisting until I picked at least a couple. My brother, on the other hand, loved it and he still follows the same ritual. When Avyan started his solids, I used to add finely powdered nuts to his baby food and now that he is a toddler, he loves to munch on plain nuts. It has made my life so easy. As for me, I am still not a fan of plain nuts but love to add in curry and desserts. It not only adds creaminess and nutrition but also brings out a robust flavor.
Badami Paneer (Almond Cottage Cheese) is a rich curry that takes barely any time to prepare and makes for a great pairing with soft pillow-y naan. I adore the gorgeous orange hue that comes from blending lightly caramelized onions with tomatoes, a common technique I follow quite often with curries.
The skin of almond can taste a little bitter at times and that is why I prefer to take it off before blending. It is not a mandate. I like to leave the paste a little coarse instead of grinding it to a smooth paste, but that’s just my taste buds. I believe that such kind of curries should be prepared without following the recipe exactly. Just follow what your palate prefers more and add the spices accordingly.
- 200 gram paneer
- ¼ cup almonds
- 1 medium onion (thinly sliced)
- 1 medium tomato (roughly chopped)
- ½ inch ginger (grated)
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 2 green cardamoms
- 4 cloves
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder
- ½ teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- pinch of sugar
- fresh coriander (for garnish)
- few slivered almonds (for garnish)
- Soak the almonds for a few hours and then peel off the skin.
- Cut the paneer into bite size. Then, rub some salt and ½ teaspoon turmeric to the paneer cubes.
- Heat some oil in a pan and shallow fry the paneer cubes until they’re golden brown on all the sides. Once done, keep them aside to be used later.
- In the same pan, add 1 tablespoon of oil and drop the fennel seeds, cardamom and cloves. Allow it to sizzle and infuse the oil.
- Next, drop the garlic and scatter the onion. Sprinkle salt, rest of the turmeric and sugar. Cook until its mild golden in color.
- Once done, transfer it to a blender along with tomato and almonds. Grind it to a smooth or coarse paste.
- Transfer the paste back to the same pan and give it a stir. Add cumin powder, coriander powder and chili powder. Cook for a few minutes until the raw smell of tomato is gone.
- Finally, drop the fried paneer cubes and ½ cup of water. Give it a stir and cook for a couple more minutes. Taste for salt and add any, if required.
- Garnish with some finely chopped fresh coriander and slivered almonds.