I want to start by declaring that this is a short-cut method to make this lovely, tangy dish, because it makes use of available or ready-made pickle instead of the slightly more elaborate recipes which involve making a paste with a lot of spices, amchur (dry mango powder), dry chillies, etc
This is also not a typical achari paneer (paneer with pickle ingredients), as I made it with my homemade green chilli pickle! I really enjoy green chilli pickle and I really enjoy achari paneer. So somewhere at the back of my head was the idea of bringing two of my favourites together. Glad to report that it worked, so here goes the recipe…
- 1 1/2 cups paneer (I used frozen but fresh paneer is the best)
- 2 small white onions, coarsely chopped
- 2 tsp of green chilli pickle (Recipe is also on the blog)
- 1/2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 3-4 tbsp yoghurt
- 1 tsp salt + extra to taste
- 1-2 tsp sugar + extra to taste
- 1-2 tsp of finely chopped coriander for garnish
- Vegetable oil for cooking
Grind the onions, green chilli pickle and ginger-garlic paste into a smooth paste.
Heat 2 tbsp of oil and fry the paneer on a low heat till lightly browned. Do not overcook the paneer. Remove the paneer and keep aside.
Add 1 tbsp oil to the same vessel, and when hot add the cumin and fennel seeds. Once they start to pop, add the onion & green chilli paste. Stir and let it cook for 4-5 min. Now add the yoghurt and about 1/2 cup of water. Stir it well and add the salt & sugar. Mix well and taste.
If it’s very spicy, add a little extra yoghurt. Adjust the salt and sugar as per taste – you are looking for a gravy that’s well balanced between mildly spicy & tangy. Now add the paneer, mix well and cover with a lid. Let it simmer for 7-8 mins on a low heat. Take off the lid, give it a stir and switch off the heat.
Transfer the paneer to a serving bowl and garnish with finely chopped coriander. This goes really well with fresh hot chapatis or rotis. And it is quite addictive!