Rajan loves cooking dishes from his native Indian cuisine. He enjoys sharing his favourite recipes with his online readers.
Paneer angara is a lovely and delicious-tasting, smoke-flavoured, restaurant-like cottage cheese dish. Despite the long list of ingredients, it is a pretty straightforward dish which can be prepared in about an hour.
Serve it with tandoori roti, naan, or paratha. Do try it and share your feedback.
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For the onion-tomato paste:
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 3 lavang (cloves)
- 7 to 8 sabut kali mirch (whole peppercorns)
- 1-inch dalchini (cinnamon stick)
- 4 hari elaichi (green cardamon)
- 1 dry whole red chilli
- 4 to 5 lasan ki kali (garlic cloves)
- 1-inch adrak (ginger)
- 7 to 8 kaju (cashews)
- 2 medium onions, thinly-sliced
- 7-8 small tomatoes, thinly-sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup water, or as needed
For the gravy:
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1/2 teaspoon jeera (cumin seeds)
- 2 tejpatta (bay leaves)
- 1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste
- 1/2 teaspoon deghi mirch (red chilli powder)
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon roasted jeera (cumin seed powder)
- 3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 medium capsicum, diced
- 200 grams cubed paneer
- 3 to 4 tablespoons malai (fresh cream)
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves)
For smoking the dish:
- 1 to 2 charcoal pieces
- Desi ghee (clarified butter), as needed
- Prepare the onion-tomato paste: To a heated pan on low-medium heat add the oil and let it get a little hot. Add in the whole dry spices, garlic cloves, ginger, and cashews. Reduce the heat to low and saute for 1 minute.
- Put in the sliced onions, tomatoes, and salt. Mix well, raise the heat to low-medium, and cover with a lid. Cook until the onions and tomatoes turn soft. Remove from the heat and let cool completely then grind to a puree, adding a little water. Strain the puree and set aside.
- Prepare the gravy: Keep a pan on low-medium heat, add oil, and let it heat up a little.
- Add the jeera and tejpatta and saute until the jeera crackles. Add the ginger-garlic paste and saute until it turns a bit brown.
- Reduce the heat to low and put in the spices: deghi mirch, turmeric powder, coriander powder, bhuna jeera powder, and salt. Saute for 15-20 seconds.
- Put in the tomato-onion puree and mix well. Cover partially with a lid and let it cook for 8 to 10 minutes. Keep the heat on low-medium and stir occasionally. Simultaneously, on a side burner, place a piece of charcoal on direct high flame until it is red hot. Brush a little oil on the charcoal so it catches fire faster.
- Add the diced onion and capsicum and mix well. Add the paneer and mix well then add the fresh cream and mix well again. Put in the garam masala and kasuri methi and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Put off the heat, place a small bowl in the centre of the dish and place the red hot charcoal in it. Pour a little desi ghee over it and cover with a lid. Let the smoke infuse for about 8-10 minutes.
- Remove the dish to a serving bowl and serve with naan, tandoori roti, or paratha.
Paneer Angara Recipe
© 2020 Rajan Singh Jolly