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Achaari Paneer - Indian cottage cheese in a curry with yogurt and pickle spices




Achaari Paneer, which means "pickled paneer" in English, is a delicious North Indian dish in which soft paneer pieces are served in a creamy masala sauce accented with spices and tangy yogurt.

Achaar is a term in Hindi and some regional languages that means "Indian pickles." Achaari dishes are prepared with the same spices used for Indian pickles. Hence the name achaari.

This simple dish consists of paneer, onions, yogurt and many spices. The preparation is quick, and the dish is ready in no time. Also, since neither cashews nor cream are used, it's on the lighter side at of Indian homemade dish.

Paneer is the most consumed protein source for vegetarians in India. Because of its mild flavor and ability to accommodate any taste, it has become the most popular ingredient in Indian cuisine.

For an authentic flavor, I recommend using mustard oil as it enhances the flavor and adds the perfect desired aroma to the dish. The addition of chickpea flour (besan) helps prevent the yogurt from curdling.

The strong flavor of the paneer spice is pronounced without overpowering, and the tartness of the fresh yogurt complements the spices perfectly.

This savory paneer dish pairs well with plain Basmati rice,Chapati or Paratha.

This Achaari Paneer recipe is so easy and quick to prepare, you can safely add it to your regular meal plans.


Ingredients for 4 Portions

  • 400 g Paneer, cut into 2cm cubes

  • 2 tsp mustard oil

  • 2 tsp fennel seeds

  • ½ tsp mustard seeds

  • ½ tsp fenugreek seeds

  • 1 tsp black cumin seed (Kalonji)

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds

  • 1 tsp Asafetida (Hing)

  • 1 large red onion (approx. 160g) , cut into thin slices

  • 1 tsp turmeric

  • 1 tsp Kashmiri chili powder

  • 1 tsp black salt (Kala Namak), if not at hand, you can use regular salt

  • 1 ½ cup yoghurt

  • 2 tsp chickpea flour (besan), if not on hand, you can use regular flour

  • 4 tbsp. coriander greens, chopped

  • Salt to taste

Instructions

Mix fennel seeds, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, black cumin seeds, cumin seeds and asafetida in a small bowl.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat, add in the spice mixture and let it infuse in the oil for 1 minute. Once the seeds begin to pop, reduce the heat to medium.

Add in the onions, stir and cook for 2 minutes until soft and translucent.

Add paneer, turmeric, chili powder and black salt to skillet and sauté over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes.

Pour in yoghurt, sprinkle besan and stir well. Simmer for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove pan from heat, and to finish, sprinkle with coriander greens and season with salt..

Transfer to a serving bowl and serve with rice, Chapatis or Parathas.



Tips

  • If you are using frozen paneer cubes, soak them in hot water for 10 minutes to soften before using.

  • Do not increase the amount of fenugreek seeds or mustard seeds as they can make the dish bitter.

  • As a variation, you can also use boiled potatoes instead of paneer.





I look forward to hearing from you...

...if you like my blog, my recipes inspire you and your curiosity for Indian cuisine has been piqued.


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