I love challenges and this was no exception.I will always cherish Priya Suresh for the wonderful challenge she has started.You enroll in the group and are divided into pairs.You get 2 ingredients from your partner and give her 2 yourself.Then you rack your brains thinking what can you possibly make with the ingredients which is new in concept and interesting.My friend Nirmala Gurunathan who is the owner of the wonderful site:
http://nimmuguru.blogspot.in/ featuring a host of wonderful recipes!
gave me my two ingredients which were Paneer and Carrot.Incorporating them as a sandwich was my first thought but again I thought the idea was passe and I needed a better and completely different recipe.Then I hit upon an idea – why not make sandwiches with the Paneer itself and stuff it with carrot and other ingredients,fry it and immerse it in a gravy.Saffron and cream were my preferences and after 2 failed trials I came up with this lip smacking recipe.
Vegetable stuffed Paneer in Saffron Gravy
Try this recipe with any Indian Breads like Naans,Roti,Parantha or Kulcha or have it with plain Rice.The aroma and taste of the gravy is unparalleled.However there is one condition here:
Use Paneer as fresh as possible.If you cannot get fresh Paneer then make it at home.The fresher,firmer and more better quality the Paneer,the more tastier this recipe.When making at home use low fat milk as milk with higher fat content tends to give a greasy Paneer which is again a risk as it becomes mushy while frying.If possible try and get it from the sweet stores or Mithaiwalas who gave it in the form of a big block and not the packed slice varieties so that it makes cutting easier.
This recipe was featured in Priya Suresh’s Shhhhh Cooking Secretly Challenge where my partner was Nirmala Gurunathan.
Here is the recipe:
Preparation Time – 1 hour
Makes – 3-4 servings
250 gms fresh and firm Paneer(preferably a block and not the packed slice ones)
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 tbsp Raisins
2 tbsp Carrot – grated
1 1/2 tsp Garam Masala Powder
3 tbsp Green Peas(fresh/frozen) – boiled in salted water and mashed coarsely
3 tbsp flour(maida)
Oil for frying
2 medium Onions – chopped
1 tbsp grated Ginger
2 large Tomatoes – chopped
3-4 cloves Garlic(optional)
A few strands Saffron
1 cup warm milk
2 tbsp Coriander Leaves – chopped
2 tbsp beaten cream – optional
Dissolve the saffron in the cup of warm milk and leave to infuse.
For making the Paneer sandwiches first cut the Paneer into even numbered 4-5 cm square slices.Mix the ingredients for the filling – peas,grated carrots,raisins,1/2 tsp Garam Masala Powder,salt and pepper as per taste.Mix well.
Now put 1 tsp of this mix on one square of Paneer and cover with another square.Press slightly and arrange on a plate.
Mix the flour with 2-3 tbsp water to make a thin batter.Heat oil.When its sufficiently hot,dip each Paneer “sandwich” into the flour to coat and deep fry till golden brown and crisp.Keep aside.
For the Gravy:
Heat 2 tbsp of the selfsame oil in another pan and add onions.Saute for a minute and add Ginger.Fry for 2 minutes more on medium heat.Keep aside to cool.When at room temperature,blend to a fine paste with the chopped tomatoes and Garlic(if using).
Pour back into the same pan(do not add oil if its non stick) and fry till the oil in the paste separates.Add salt,pepper and Garam Masala and mix well.Now take off heat and leave to cool a bit.Now add the milk and put back on the lowest heat on the stove.Remember now the gravy has to be heated for only 1 minute and that too on the lowest heat,otherwise the milk will curdle.After a minute take off heat and leave to cool.
Cut the Paneer “sandwiches” into half diagonally and arrange on a serving plate.Pour 2-3 tbsp gravy over,drizzle 2 tsp of beaten cream on top(optional) and serve immediately with rice or any Indian bread of your choice.
The recipe served…