Saturday, July 4, 2015

Recipe of the month: Lasooni Methi Paneer

I have a million errands to run today so I'm not going to ramble. Instead, I'm going to cut to the chase and tell you how I came about making this curry.

Me and a few of my cousins are part of a WhatsApp group called 'Masterchefs'. Pompous eh? Well, we figured, since no one else is going to bestow that title on us in the foreseeable future, we might as well do it ourselves! hehehe ☺ We are a bunch of ladies and (a few) men within my mum's side of the family who are passionate about cooking, who trade recipes, kitchen tips, culinary achievements/failures and basically everything food-related.

So one day, a recipe for this Lasooni Methi Paneer was given the thumbs up by one member of our group. I don't know if you have noticed but I already have a pretty good Methi Paneer recipe on my blog which happens to be my mum's version. I tried this one out anyway. Why you ask? (I'd tell you even if you didn't ask!) Three reasons - 1. Everyone got busy trying it out and posting their results to the effect that my curiosity got the better of me 2. I happened to have a bunch of fresh methi in the fridge at the time 3. The methi paneer on my blog consists of a delicate cashew and cream based gravy with the predominant flavour of methi as opposed to this curry which is a coconut milk-based gravy with the predominant flavour of garlic and subtle hints of methi. I figured both versions were kind of different from each other so no harm done checking it out.

I modified the recipe from the original source a wee bit since I felt the amount of garlic in the recipe was too much. Yeah I know the word  'lasooni' refers to garlic and believe me, I'm all for garlic but I was slightly worried that it would get too overpowering (and cause everyone in our building to run helter skelter!). I also added some sweetness to balance the flavour of the gravy. The outcome was pretty good and I would definitely be making this curry again. But a word of caution - if you aren't too big on garlic then stay away!

That's all you lot will be hearing from me today. Go on scoot...check out the recipe below  

Lasooni Methi Paneer

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Serves: 4
Adapted from here


10 + 2 cloves of garlic (the big kind)
2 cups paneer/cottage cheese cubes
2 medium-sized red onions, roughly chopped
1 large ripe tomato, diced
1/2 cup fresh/frozen methi leaves (fenugreek), roughly chopped 
200ml coconut milk
1 cup water
4-5 birds eye green chillies, chopped
Salt to taste
Up to 1 tsp sugar, Optional but recommended (adjust according to taste)
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
5 tbsp oil
1 tbsp butter

1. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a pan. Place the cottage cheese cubes and let them roast till golden on at least two sides. Once, done, set them aside in a bowl of warm water.

2. Add another 2 tbsp of oil in the pan. Add roughly chopped garlic (10 cloves) and chopped onions. Sauté them well until they lose raw smell and onions turn translucent. 

3. Add the tomatoes and green chilies and fry until the tomatoes turn soft. Add in the fenugreek leaves and turmeric and cook for a minute. 

4. Blend the sautéed mixture using a small amount of water if required (I used half a cup of water). 

5. Add 1 tbsp oil into the pan. Add the garam masala into the hot oil. Add the pureed mixture, salt & sugar. Cook until the mixture starts to bubble.

6. Add the coconut milk and mix well. Add the golden cheese cubes and let them simmer in the curry for few minutes

7. Add extra coconut milk or water (if required) to adjust the consistency of the curry. I added a half cup of water and cooked the curry on low heat until the desired consistency was reached

8. Sauté the remaining two cloves of garlic (chopped) in a tbsp. of butter and drizzle over the curry

9. Serve hot with rice or rotis

Notes (taken from the original source of the recipe):

  • You can also use Kasoori Methi (dried fenugreek) in this recipe. Only 1/8 cup is required since the flavor is stronger than fresh leaves.
  • Cook the garlic-onion mixture well before blending to remove any trace of raw smell.
  • For a vegan version, replace paneer with roasted tofu and use vegetable butter for the garlic drizzle.


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