Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Paneer Butter Masala ( Restaurant Style)

Paneer Butter Masala, a very popular dish for "Naan Bread" and other rice dishes all over the globe. It is pretty rich and comforting to eat on a cold day. I have adapted the recipe from Chef Harpal Singh . I recently made this for a potluck party and was enjoyed avidly by all. It is not hard to make at all. The amount that I have blogged will serve about 15 people, but you can always halve the recipe.

The butter and the cashews in the dish gives the extra creamy silky texture for the dish. I used the canned tomato sauce as i was making for a larger crowd.

Get Ready: ( serves 15)

  • 1 package of paneer ( 16 oz, available at most Indian stores in the US)
  • 2.5 large roma tomatoes cut into medium sized chunks ( they can be big chunks as it will be blended)
  • 1 large onion sliced
  • 1 large red chilli
  • 1 tbsp chopped ginger
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic ( optional)
  • 1 8oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup cashews soaked in warm water
  • 1/4 cup half and half or cream
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp Kasoori methi, dry roasted
  • 2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp honey ( optional)
  •  salt to taste


  • Keep the Paneer at room temperature and cut them into desired shapes. I cut them as medium thin long rectangles. Add boiling water to the paneer and let them soak for few mins. This makes them very soft as we don't get fresh ones here. if you make paneer at home skip this step.

  • Soak the cashews in warm water for 30 mins
  • In a pan, add a little oil and saute the onions, red chilli,  chopped tomatoes, ginger and garlic till the onions are translucent and the raw smell of garlic goes away.

  • Once cooled, add the soaked cashews to the sauted onion and tomato mix and blend into a smooth paste. Set aside.
  • In a pan add the butter and little oil ( learnt that this helps to prevent the butter from burning).  let the butter melt. Add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle.

  • Now add the blended cashew onion mixture and the canned tomato sauce.

  • Cover your pan, as it starts boiling, otherwise you have to clean all the red tomato splashes.
  • Add the red chilli powder, salt to taste, cover and cook stirring in between till the oil starts to separate at the sides.

  • Check for salt and other spices. cover and let it cook on low flame for a few mins
  • Crush the kasoori methi between your palms and add it to the gravy. Add the honey.
  • Drain the water from the paneer and add the paneer to the gravy.

  • Toss them all gently, adjust salt as needed and cover the pan.
  • Cook for a few mins on very low heat.
  •  Add half and half or cream to the desired consistency of your gravy.

Transfer to a bowl and enjoy with naan, chapathi or pulav.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Cranberry Thokku / Spicy Cranberry Relish

Cranberries are in plenty now. I had posted a recipe for Cranberry Orange BreadCranberry Salsa and White Chocolate Cranberry Fudge

Recently, I saw a recipe for cranberry thokku and was interested in making that. It is super easy to make and tastes great with rotis, idly, dosa and rice. The original recipe also called for tamarind. Cranberries are so tart themselves, I avoided the tamarind, but used brown sugar instead to balance the tartness and heat from the red chilli powder.

Get Ready:

  • 1 Pack Fresh cranberries
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1/4 tsp vendhayam/ fenugreek or methi seeds
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds/ kadugu
  • 1 tsp urad dal
  • 1 red chilli broken in half
  • a few curry leaves
  •  1/2 tsp Hing/ asafotida
  • 3-4 tsp red chilli powder or to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tsp brown sugar or jaggery to taste


  • Wash and drain the cranberries.

  • In a pan, dry roast the fenugreek/ methi or vendhayam. Once cool, powder them. I used my mortar and pestle to powder them. set aside.
  • In a large pan, add the oil and do the tadka with mustard seeds, urad dal, red chilli curry leaves and hing. Turn the heat to medium

  • Add the cranberries, salt toss them and cover. The berries pop and will become mushy very soon.
  • Add the red chilli powder, brown sugar and cook till everything is mushy. Adjust spice level as per your taste.

  • Add the vendhayam/ fenugreek powder and cook till the thokku comes round like a ball without sticking to the sides of the pan.
  • Turn the heat off and store in a clean air tight container. It stays good for a week if refrigerated.