09 June, 2016

Restaurant style Mughalai Methi Paneer Kurma Recipe | Simple and Easy Methi-Paneer Curry

Learn how to make Restaurant style Mughalai Methi Paneer Kurma ~ Fresh fenugreek leaves and Indian cottage cheese cooked in lightly spiced creamy onion, cashew and yogurt gravy

With the temperature shooting up to 20+ deg C, the British summer has finally arrived in my neck of woods. It means plenty of sunshine, ice creams, spending most of day time outdoors, gardening and of course, less time cooking in hot kitchen. This is the time of the year where my recipe developments and cooking experiments in the winter months come to my rescue as I churn dishes that take minimal effort and less cooking time. One such recipe is this creamy and dreamy Restaurant style Mughalai Methi Paneer Kurma cooked using home grown fresh tender methi or fenugreek leaves.



Few weeks back, during the months of spring when the temperature crossed single digit and crossed double digits, LD and I started our little garden project. Tickled by our success story of growing our own veggies last summer, this time we have decided to double our effort and grow more veggies, especially greens, to nourish our body and soul. This year our little potting shed is filled with trays and pots of greens growing in abundant, making a steady supply to kitchen in cooking the nutrition rich meals to grace our dinner tables.


I personally feel that the little kids are quite natural gardeners. They are curious in nature, learn things better by doing than listening or reading, and love to play in the dirt. :) Gardening gives them a chance to learn an important lesson of cycle of life and an experience of satisfaction that comes from caring for something over time. Gardening is also a great way to teach young kids environmental awareness by exploring the workings of Mother Nature. As much as it was tempting to buy ready to pot plants from local nurseries, we decided to grow everything from seeds this year. The care given to sprouting seeds and nurturing the young seedling are a valuable part of the gardening experience.



The most rewarding thing about gardening is not the pleasure of getting our hands dirty or the amazing bounty that we will get to enjoy in the end! The most rewarding thing for me is to watch my little one understand how the food grows from a tiny seed, the tender care it needs, the wonders of Mother Nature and most importantly, to appreciate the food that is put on the dinner table every single day. I grew up learning not to waste even a single morsel of food and my only wish is from this whole exercise of growing our own food is that LD too learns to respect and appreciate every single spoonful of food which is a result of some farmer's days/months of hard work! It takes us just a minute to bin the food from our plates which took months to grow to feed us all. Not just as a mother, but also as a child of this planet earth, I believe it is my utmost duty to show my little one the things that actually matters! It gives me immense joy to watch him run to our little garden as soon as he comes home from school and rush to take care of his 'babies'. It is a delightful sight to watch him talking and singing to the plants as he waters and tenderly runs his hands through the tiny little plants. This, for me, is the most important piece of childhood memories that I hope LD will cherish all his life.

We have been enjoying a bumper crop of fresh methi or fenugreek leaves and coriander leaves within 4 weeks of sowing them. We have recycled the plastic trays used for packaging vegetables and yogurt pots and the seeds from kitchen pantry. So apart from a bag of compost from the local nursery, this whole bunch of fresh and tender greens packed with nutrition and flavour costs us nothing! Eating home grown produce is about as local as we can get. Growing them at home also means we are shrinking or carbon footprint, albeit a small measure, with little cleaner and greener food supply. As teaching kids about healthy lifestyle starts at home, I do feel that I am doing alright when I see LD happily finishes his meal cooked with his fruits of his labour (literally)! :)



LD loves protein and calcium rich paneer and I decided to cook it with home grown fresh methi leaves loaded with vitamins, fibres and minerals for added nutrition and cooked this creamy and delicious Restaurant style Mughalai Methi Paneer Kurma. The rich mughalai style creamy gravy is made by grinding onion and cashew nuts with aromatic and flavoursome whole spices. This onion-cashew paste along with whisked full fat yogurt makes the base for creamy gravy. With all that lengthy list of ingredients please don’t be fooled into thinking that this Restaurant style Mughalai Methi Panner Kurma to be a complicated and difficult dish to cook! I have tried to simplify the steps with tips in the end to make it really easy to follow recipe that you can cook for any occasions. Please don’t wait for the special days to make this rich and creamy Restaurant style Mughalai Methi Paneer Kurma as it is one dish that can be cooked for your loved ones even on the ordinary days to make it little special. I love surprising my family from time to time with dishes like Restaurant style Mughalai Methi Paneer Kurma, and I hope you and your family too will enjoy this dish whenever you get a chance to cook and serve it. So without much delay, here is my recipe for Restaurant style Mughalai Methi Paneer Kurma.




Restaurant style Mughalai Methi Paneer Kurma (Fresh fenugreek leaves and Indian cottage cheese cooked in lightly spiced creamy onion, cashew and yogurt gravy)
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 30-35 mins
Recipe Level: Easy/Beginner
Spice Level: Low to Medium
Serves: 6-8 People
Shelf Life: Best served fresh but can be refrigerated for up to 3 days
Serving Suggestion: With any Indian flat breads (Whole Wheat Naan or Butter Naan or with any stuffed parathas) or plain/flavoured Basmati rice

Ingredients:
200-250 gms Paneer/Indian Cottage Cheese, cut into 1 inch squares or triangles of 1 cm thickness
2 packed cups Methi/Fresh Fenugreek Leaves
1 medium Onion, finely chopped
¾ - 1 cup Fresh Yogurt, whisked
½ tsp Haldi/Turmeric Powder
2-3 tsp Sugar
Salt to taste
2½ tbsp Ghee or Oil

For Fresh Masala Paste:
3-4 large cloves of Garlic, chopped
1 inch Ginger, peeled and chopped
1-2 Green Chillies, chopped (Optional, adjust as per taste)
A generous pinch of Salt

For Onion-Cashew Paste:
1 large Onion, roughly chopped
12-15 whole Cashew Nuts
1 inch Cinnamon or Cassia Stick
4-5 Cloves
4-5 Green Cardamoms
1 small piece of Mace
15-20 Black Peppercorns
1 Bay Leaf
1 tbsp Dhania/Coriander Seeds
1 tsp Jeera/Cumin Seeds
1 tsp Saunf/Fennel Seeds
¼ tsp Hing/Asafoetida (Optional)
1 tbsp Ghee or Oil


Method:
Preparation:
  1. Pick the methi or fenugreek leaves if using mature methi bunch. Since I have used the methi leaves with tender stalks, I have roughly chopped them and used in the recipe.
  2. Crush chopped garlic, ginger and green chillies with a generous pinch of salt to fine paste in a grinder or using pestle and mortar.
  3. Heat a tbsp. of oil or ghee in a pan on medium flame and add cinnamon, cloves, green cardamom, bay leaf, and peppercorns. Stir them for a minute.
  4. Next add coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds and hing. Stir them until the spices sizzle and change their colour to deeper shade, about 1½ minutes.
  5. Now add roughly chopped onions and cashew nuts and stir fry until the onions turn golden brown, about 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and let them cool slightly before grinding them to smooth paste without adding any water. Keep it aside until needed.
  6. Spread about 1 tbsp of oil or ghee on a tawa or griddle and arrange the paneer pieces. Fry them on both sides until they turn light golden. Remove them from griddle and soak them in a large bowl of hot water until needed. This will keep the paneer fresh and soft.
Proceed to make curry:
  1. Heat 1½ - 2 tbsp oil or ghee in a pan and add finely chopped onion, a pinch of salt and sugar. The salt helps to speed up the cooking process and the sugar helps in caramelising the onions. Sauté until the onions turn golden brown, about 2 minutes.
  2. Next add ground ginger-garlic-green chilli paste and sauté until the raw smell disappears, about 1½ - 2 mins.
  3. Add turmeric powder and chopped methi leaves and sauté for 2-3 minutes on medium flame.
  4. Mix in ground onion-cashew paste and fry them on medium flame for 3-4 minutes until the oil starts to leave on the edges.
  5. Add ¾-1 cup of water and salt to taste and mix them all well. Cover and let it cook for 7-8 minutes on medium flame, stirring in between.
  6. Remove the pan from heat and mix in whisked yogurt. Bring the pan back on flame and let the gravy simmer uncovered for 3-4 minutes. Add about ½ cup of water if you find the gravy too thick. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
  7. Finally drain all the water from paneer and add the paneer pieces to the gravy. Gently mix the paneer pieces, taking care not to break them, and let it simmer for 5-6 minutes.
  8. Switch off the flame and let the curry rest covered for 10-15 minutes for the flavours to develop and blend well.
  9. Serve this delicious and creamy Restaurant style Mughalai Methi-Paneer Curry with Naan, roti, chapatti or with any flavoured basmati rice. Enjoy!




Sia’s Notes:
  • Pick the methi or fenugreek leaves if using mature methi bunch. Since I have used the methi leaves with tender stalks, I have roughly chopped them and used in the recipe.
  • Once you have pan fried the paneer pieces to golden colour, remove them from griddle and soak them in a large bowl of hot water until needed. This will keep the paneer soft and prevent them from turning into hard and rubbery texture. You can simply skip pan frying the paneer pieces if using homemade paneer.
  • I usually add a generous pinch of salt and sugar when sautéing the onions. The salt helps to speed up the cooking process and the sugar helps in caramelising the onions.
  • If possible, make your own fresh ginger-garlic-chilli paste and use it in the recipe as it elevates the taste to next level.
  • You can replace the yogurt with fresh cream if you want richer gravy.

14 comments :

  1. That looks ever so scrumptious! A pity I don't know where to find fresh fenugreek leaves in Geneva...

    Cheers,

    Rosa

    http://www.reveriesbramblesscribbles.com/blog/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Rosa. You can buy fenugreek seeds online or at any Indian grocery shop. It's very easy to grow fresh fenugreek leaves from seeds as it just takes 3-4 weeks to grow them

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  2. This looks so good. I want to try it. I do have a question about the bay leaf. The Indian bay leaf, or tej pat, is different from the bay laurel that you are using. Would it be better to try and get a tej pat?? Would there be a gif taste difference?? Getting an Indian bay leaf here in Japan would not be easy..... ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Pamela. I have used the bay leaf not the Indian tej patta and it's an optional ingredient. It shouldn't make much difference if you decide to leave it out. Hope this helps :)
      Do keep me posted and leave a feedback when you try this recipe.

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  3. The dish looks so creamy and delicious. Happy Gardening with LD Sia !!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Sia
    I tried this out yesterday and the dish turned out as promised. Perfect blend of spices. Definitely something that will be repeated. Thank you for yet another awesome recipe !!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's awesome! Really happy to know that you loved it :)

      Delete
  5. i have frozen methi(that comes in a packet); how much of that will you use in this recipe? The recipe sounds very interesting;unfortnately we don;t get fresh methi leaves here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kishu, 2 cups of frozen methi should work. just make sure that you thaw them before using.

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  6. I tried this and it was very tasty! I didn't add bay leaf and also went easy on the whole spices.. Your stories are so interesting to read. I think you should start writing novels.
    -S

    ReplyDelete

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