How to Make Nawabi Paneer (Cottage Cheese in White Gravy)
Under the Mughal Empire in India, Nawabs were deputy rulers of various princely states. They were known for being connoisseurs of good food—and for this reason, various rich and flavorful dishes were prepared by their bawarchis (cooks) that were tender, smooth, and creamy.
Our recipe today is of one such dish: Nawabi paneer, a cottage cheese dish from the Hyderabadi region of India, cooked in a creamy gravy of nuts and spices.
In modern times, the traditional richness of this recipe has been reduced slightly as people today have started leaning toward simpler and healthier eating. Nonetheless, this is a delectable dish that I hope readers will try. Please give your feedback in the comments section, below.
- 1 tbsp desi ghee (clarified butter), you can replace with oil
- 100 grams paneer (cottage cheese), cubed
- 15 cashew nuts & 1 tbsp melon seeds, ground to a paste
- 1 onion, ground to a paste
- 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
- 2 tej patta (bay leaves)
- 1/2 tsp jeera (cumin seeds)
- 1 black cardamom, crushed coarsely
- 2 green cardamom, crushed coarsely
- 4 cloves
- 1-inch cinnamon stick
- 1 cup milk
- 4 tbsp dahi (yogurt), whisked till smooth
- 2 tbsp fresh cream
- 1/2 tsp black pepper powder
- 2 fresh green chilies, tops removed and slit on one side
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Heat the clarified butter in a pan on medium heat until it melts.
- Add the whole spices (bay leaves, cumin seeds, green and black cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves). Saute for 30 seconds on low heat.
- Add the onion paste and ginger-garlic paste and saute until the onions turn a light pink color, about 2 minutes. Raise heat to medium.
- Add the cashew nuts and melon seed paste and reduce heat to low. Saute for 2 minutes.
- Add the coriander powder, black pepper powder, and slit green chilies. Saute for 1 minute.
- Add the yogurt, a little at a time, and keep stirring simultaneously until all of it is added and mixed well. Cook for 1 minute. Keep the heat on low.
- Add 3/4 cup milk, and add the rest later, if needed. Stir until it mixes well and then add the salt. Keep the heat on low-medium and keep stirring and cooking the gravy until it thickens a bit.
- Add the paneer (cottage cheese) and mix well. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Reduce heat to low. Add the fresh cream. Stir until the cream combines well and then remove from heat.
- Serve with naan, paratha, or roti.
Nawabi Paneer (Cottage Cheese in White Gravy) Recipe
© 2018 Rajan Singh Jolly