I wasn’t sure whether to talk to you about this or not. But this news is important to me and so are you.
My grandfather passed away a few days ago. He was 92 years old, and had been unwell for a few weeks now. While his death has left a large gap in our lives, we are all grateful for the long and fulfilling life that he has lived. We are in a reflective state of mind, and wish him a peaceful after life.
All of us are looking for our own way of dealing with this loss. My father for instance is being very positive. This morning, after reflecting all night, he mentioned that he wants all of us to remember him for the full and respectable life that he had led, where he was loved by friends and family, respected professionally, revered by most for his integrity, and known for his strong resolve. How many of us can boast of such accomplishments?
While he always believed in moderation, in his last hours, he was picky about what he ate. Since I had the pleasure of spending his last few days being around him, I would cajole him with dishes I prepared specially for him. One such dish was this healthy version of Paneer Makhani.
Staunch punjabis would disagree and call it blasphemy to use healthy and paneer makhani in the same sentence, but these days the family has become quite health conscious. I’ve come up with a version that tastes just as delicious, without all the additional fat, but I’ll let you decide.
A healthy, low-fat version of the popular Paneer Makhani, but just as flavorful. The thick, luscious gravy substitutes yogurt for cream.
- 6 Tomatoes (, chopped)
- 2 Onions (, chopped)
- 8 cloves Garlic
- 2 Green Chillies
- 2 Chillies (Kashmiri Red)
- 4 – 5 Cashewnuts
- 1 teaspoon Poppy Seeds (Khus Khus or White)
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1 Cinnamon (stick)
- 3 Cloves
- 2 Cardamoms
- 1 teaspoon (Oil)
- 1 tablespoon Butter
- 1 teaspoon Tomato (Ketchup)
- ½ teaspoon Garam Masala
- 1½ tablespoons Kasuri Methi ((dry fenugreek))
- to taste Salt
- 2 tablespoons Yogurt (beaten)
- 500 grams Paneer (or Cottage Cheese)
- In a pressure cooker, add tomatoes, onions, garlic, green chillies, red chillies, cashewnuts, khus khus, bay leaf, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and half a cup of water. After 2 whistles, switch off the flame and set aside to cool.
- Once cooled, fish out the whole spices (bay leaf, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom) and puree the rest in a blender till smooth.
- Add oil and butter to a pan. Once hot add the pureed mixture and tomato ketchup and simmer for 20 minutes. Add salt and garam masala.
- In another pan, dry roast the kasuri methi and then grind to a fine powder. Add to the gravy and cook for five more minutes.
- Just before serving, add the beaten yogurt and paneer. Serve with chapatis or rice and a side of onions.
Garam Masalas can vary slightly in taste and strength. Please adjust quantity as required.
In case you don’t have a pressure cooker; in the first step, start by sauteing everything except tomatoes in a non stick pan with a teaspoon of oil for fifteen minutes. Add tomatoes and cook for another ten minutes. After which, follow instructions from step 2.