Paneer er Chop (Cottage Cheese Croquettes/ Cutlets)

Croquettes are referred to as fried snacks coated with breadcrumbs. The stuffing can be made of either vegetables, cheese, fish or meat. These kind of snacks are pretty popular among Bengalis and we usually call them ‘chop’ or ‘cutlets’. You will find a few cutlet recipes in my earlier posts, which are given here.

In the current recipe, I have chosen paneer or the Indian Cottage Cheese  as the stuffing since it is extremely popular among vegetarians. I love the soft, crumbly texture of paneer in my mouth with each bite. Icing on the top is the flavour of coriander leaves in the stuffing, symbolizing the onset of winter. Without using variety of spices, the garam masala solely creates the magic.

While one has to be careful while frying the croquettes which is the only tricky part, however, with a few handful ingredients a tasty snack will be ready within minutes.

Paneer er Chop (Cottage Chheese Croquettes/ Cutlets)

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Chilli Paneer

Paneer can be turned into various interesting dishes, once one gets bored to the ideas of usual paneer ki sabzi, matar paneer or even the spicy paneer butter masala. Chilli paneer can be a refreshing break if you adore and love to go Chinese too. This recipe of Chilli panner is a simple, mild but delicious to satisfy more than your appetite and rivets you close to the glorious Asian cuisine. Highly recommended with fried rice but equally engrossing with roti and parantha too.

Chilli Paneer

Chilli Paneer

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Chanar Dompokt (‘Dum’ cooked Paneer)

Any dish cooked in Dum ( slow cooked in low flame with lid on and hardly any added water) brings out amazing aroma of the ingredients and the spices which one can feel even while eating. Biryani can be a good example of what height can any Dum dish reach. In fact many of the meat recipes are best cooked while in Dum. However, here I will describe of a paneer recipe which is Dum cooked and brings in a certain smoky flavour which I immensely liked. It can certainly be a worthy addition to the already existing plethora of paneer recipes.

Chanar Dompokt ('Dum' cooked Paneer)

Chanar Dompokt (‘Dum’ cooked Paneer)

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Kadai Paneer

The well known and common recipes of Paneer are butter masala, matar paneer or palak paneer. So when I was thinking to give Paneer a slight different treatment, I suddenly got reminded of a recipe which I shared with you quite a while back. That was of “Kadai Mushroom” which met with pretty good response. So I thought to prepare the panner dish following a similar approach which would be known as “Kadai Paneer”. In fact, along with the traditional panner dishes, Kadai paneer is also quite popular these days and can be found in any good restaurant. If you like panner dipped in a spicy, thick gravy, this recipe would be ideal for you. A pure vegetarian delicacy it is, worth a try.

Kadai Paneer

Kadai Paneer

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Paneer Butter Masala

Paneer butter masala is one of my favourite paneer dishes. I have a tendency to order this dish in restaurant whenever the options are veg only. I must admit the quality of paneer if far better here in Delhi than Kolkata. Now I frequently add paneer to my daily menu, though made ‘paneer butter masala’ after quite a long time. The recipe is quite similar to Chicken Butter Masala which I have shared earlier with you.  Obviously the dinner becomes more interesting when roti or nan is served with ‘paneer butter masala’.

Paneer Butter Masala

Paneer Butter Masala

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Paneer Aloor Dorma / Paneer stuffed Potato Curry

Stuffed potato curry is very popular in Bengal. I still recall to have it with puri in one of my friend’s marriage and I immediately fell in love with this dish. After that I thought many a times to give it a try but was not sure of the definite recipe. One day while I was watching my favourite cookery show ‘Rannaghar’, I found it. Though different combination of ingredients can be used for stuffing the potatoes, paneer has been used for this recipe. Moreover the blend of capsicum, coconut milk and cashew nut in the gravy gives it an added dimension. Together with this rich gravy, the paneer stuffed potatoes make quite an inviting dish.

Paneer Aloor Dorma

Paneer Aloor Dorma

Ingredients to serve 4 :

  1. Potato (medium size) – 7 or 8
  2. Paneer – 150 gm.
  3. Capsicum (large size) – 2/3
  4. Chopped tomato (medium size) – 1½
  5. Ginger paste – 1 tbspoon heap
  6. Cashew nut – 12 – 14
  7. Raisin (soaked into water) – 1 tbspoon
  8. Coconut milk – 150 ml.
  9. Yogurt – 2½ tbspoon
  10. Whole garam masala (Cinnamon – 1” piece, Cloves – 4, Cardamom – 4)
  11. Bay leaf – 2
  12. Red chilli powder – 1 teaspoon
  13. Garam masala powder – ½ teaspoon
  14. Turmeric powder – ¼ teaspoon
  15. Salt & sugar to taste
  16. Ghee – 1 tbspoon
  17. Cooking oil – 2 – 3 tbspoon

Procedure :

Soak cashew nuts into water for 30 minutes and then make a smooth paste from them.

Also make a smooth paste of capsicum.

Peel and wash the potatoes and cut into two halves. Boil them in salted water until tender. Don’t over cook them otherwise they will break while making the holes for stuffing.

Now with a small spoon scoop out some portion from the center of the potatoes to make space for filling.

Making holes in the potatoes

Making holes in the potatoes

Now mash the paneer with hand and mix with the potato that has been scooped out.

Melt ghee in a frying pan over low – medium heat. Add paneer mixture, salt, sugar, garam masala powder and raisins into it. Cook for few minutes and then put the gas off. Let the mixture return to room temperature.

Now start filling the potatoes with the paneer mixture.

Stuffing the potatoes

Stuffing the potatoes

For making gravy heat oil in a pan over medium flame. Add whole garam masala and bay leaf, saute till nice aroma comes out. Then add chopped tomato, ginger paste and salt, cook till tomato gets soften. Now add capsicum paste, cashew nut paste and sugar, cook till oil comes out from the mixture and raw flavour of the ingredients goes away. Then add yogurt and stir for 1 minute. Now add coconut milk and a little of water. As the mixture starts boiling add stuffed potatoes, cover the pan and let it cook on low flame. Put the gas off as the gravy thickens to your desired consistency.

Serve with roti, paratha or puri.

Stuffed potato is ready to be served

Stuffed potato is ready to be served

Note :

  1. You can use only paneer for stuffing without adding potato to it.
  2. If you wish you can also sprinkle over few drops of rose water at the end. I don’t like too much of aroma in my dish, so I skipped it.
  3. Stuff the potatoes tightly with paneer mixture so that the mixture doesn’t come out while cooking the stuffed potatoes in the gravy.

Paneer Tikka Masala

After a long time bought some paneer from market. Since my husband is not a big fan of paneer I don’t cook it often. This time I thought to prepare something different with paneer which I never tried before. So I started searching for different recipes on youtube and Sanjeev Kapoor’s “paneer tikka masala” seemed to be very tempting to me. The process is bit lengthy, but believe me you will get a restaurant style end product. While I was preparing the dish, the aroma in my kitchen gave me the filling that I was sitting in an Indian Restaurant.

It can be a very good dish for your vegetarian guests. So just try the recipe and impress your loved ones. 🙂

Paneer Tikka Masala

Paneer Tikka Masala

Ingredients to serve 4 :

  1. Paneer or Indian cottage cheese – 200 gm.
  2. Onion (large) – 3
  3. Tomato (large) – 2
  4. Green capsicum – ½
  5. Slit green chilli – 2
  6. Ginger (cut into julian) – ½ inch piece
  7. Chopped coriander leaves – 2 tbspoon
  8. Lemon juice – 1½ tbspoon
  9. Yogurt – ½ cup
  10. Fresh cream – 3-4 tbspoon
  11. Cashew nut paste (uning 12-14 nuts)
  12.  Ginger-garlic paste – 2 tbspoon
  13. Cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon
  14. Coriander powder – 1 tbspoon
  15. Red chilli powder – 2 teaspoon
  16. Turmeric powder – ¼ teaspoon
  17. Garam masala powder – 1 teaspoon
  18. Kasoori methi or dried fenugreek leaves – 1 teaspoon
  19. Salt to taste
  20. Mustard oil – 2 tbspoon
  21. Cooking oil – 3 tbspoon

Procedure :

Cut the paneer into medium size cubes. Also cut 1 onion and capsicum into medium size squares.

Take 1 tomato, remove the pulp and then cut into medium size squares. Reserve the pulp to be used in gravy.

Now mix together yogurt, mustard oil, 1 tbspoon ginger-garlic paste, 1 teaspoon red chilli powder, ½ teaspoon garam masala powder, ¼ teaspoon kasoori methi (rubbed between the palms) and 1 tbspoon lemon juice in a bowl to make a fine paste. First add squared onion, tomato and capsicum into this mixture and coat them well with the paste. Then add the paneer cubes and mix with gentle hand. Keep this aside for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile finely chop remaining onion and tomato.

Now thread the paneer onto the skewer alternating with onion, capsicum and tomato. Put an aluminum sheet on a baking tray and grease with oil.

Skewers are ready to go into the oven

Skewers are ready to go into the oven

Now grill the paneer in a preheated oven at 200ºC for 25-30 minutes or until the paneer turns light brown.

After grilling

After grilling

While paneer tikka is preparing let’s make the gravy.

Heat cooking oil in a pan over medium heat. Add cumin seeds and saute for a while. Then add chopped onion and fry till it becomes translucent. Add remaining ginger – garlic paste and fry till the mixture turns brown.

Now add chopped tomato and reserved tomato pulp to it and cook till the tomato get soften.

Add salt, turmeric powder, coriander powder and remaining chilli powder and cook for 2 minutes.

Add slit green chillies and julian cut gingers , give it a good stir.

Add cashew nut paste and cook for 4 – 5 minutes till oil separates from the mixture.

Now add water to make the gravy. Don’t add much water as the dish should not end up with a liquid gravy.

As the gravy starts boiling add fresh cream and mix it very well.

Now put the grilled paneer, onion, capsicum and tomato into the gravy. Cover the pan with a lid, turn the gas on low and let it cook for another few minutes.

After that, as the gravy thickens add remaining garam masala powder, kasoori methi and lemon juice and give it a good stir.

Now put the gas off and sprinkle over the coriander leaves.

Serve with roti, paratha or pulao.

Note :

  1. If you are using wooden skewer, like me, remember to soak them for about 15 minutes in cold water before using, as this will prevent the skewers from charring or burning while they are on the grill.
  2. If you don’t have oven, then you can prepare the paneer tikka on a tawa. Put the tawa on low flame, add little amount of oil and then place the skewers on it. Grill the paneer, onion, capsicum and tomato from allover.

Aloo Matar Paneer / Indian Cottage Cheese with Potato & Green Peas

“Aloo Matar Paneer” is another delicious preparation from Paneer or Indian cottage cheese and good enough to impress your vegetarian guests.

I try to follow a Bengali cooking show, called “Rannaghar”, almost regularly. Once I saw this recipe in one of its episodes, and tried at home to find it amazingly tasty. In Kolkata, you can find quite a few traditional families who still keep up the tradition of celebrating Durga puja at home which they started decades back. This episode of “Rannaghar” took place at one of these traditional houses during Durga puja and this recipe of Aloo Matar Paneer, prepared by women of that family, is served as Prasad, the food offered to god.  This Aloo matar paneer with Radhaballvi is served to all the guests and relatives during the festival.

We Bengali generally like to prepare vegetarian dishes without using onion and garlic. You can find many recipes of Matar paneer using onion and garlic, so one can say this recipe is more a Bengali version of that.

Aloo Matar Paneer

Aloo Matar Paneer

Ingredients to serve 4 :

  1. Paneer or Indian cottage cheese – 200 gm.
  2. Potato (medium size) – 2
  3. Capsicum or Bell pepper – ½
  4. Green peas – ½ cup
  5. Chopped tomato (small size) – 1
  6. Green chilli – 2 or 3
  7. Ginger – 1 inch
  8. Cashew nut – 5 to 6
  9. Pea nut – 8 to 10
  10. Charmagaz – 1 tbspoon
  11. Plain yogurt – 2 tbspoon
  12. Fresh cream – 2 – 3 tbspoon
  13. Garam masala powder – ½ teaspoon
  14. Bay leaf – 1 or 2
  15. Red chilli powder – ½ teaspoon
  16. Salt & sugar to taste
  17. Ghee – 1½ tbspoon
  18. Cooking oil -2tbspoon

    Main Ingredients

    Main Ingredients

Procedure :

Soak the nuts and charmagaz for 10 minutes in water and then make a smooth paste of them.

Make another paste with ginger and green chillies.

Cut the paneer into medium size cubes.

Peel the potatoes and cut into medium size pieces. Also cut the capsicum into medium size square pieces.

Now heat the oil in a large pan over medium flame. Add the potato pieces into it, sprinkle over some salt and shallow fry them. Keep the fried potatoes aside.

Now add 1 tbspoon of ghee into the remaining oil. Add bay leaves and ¼ teaspoon of garam masala powder, saute for a while and add chopped tomato, red chilli powder and a bit of sugar. Cook till the tomatoes get soften and then add ginger-chilli paste, nuts & charmagaz paste, green peas and capsicum pieces. Again cook till the oil comes out from the mixture and the raw flavour of the ingredients goes away. Now add the fried potatoes, paneer cubes and yogurt and mix them very well. Add water to make gravy, according to your preference, season with salt and sugar. Now put the lead of the pan and let it cook for few minutes over low – medium flame. As the gravy thickens add fresh cream and give it a good stir, cook for another couple of minutes. Now put the gas off and sprinkle over the remaining ghee and garam masala powder. Again put the lid of the pan and let it stand for few minutes.

Serve with roti, paratha, puri or rice.

Note :

  1. Adjust the chilli according to your taste.
  2. If you don’t have “charmagaz” then you can skip that.
  3. Ghee is one of the key ingredients of this recipe. It’s beautiful aroma adds an extra taste to the dish, so try to use pure ghee.

Palak Paneer or Indian Cottage Cheese in Spinach Gravy

“Palak paneer”, a popular vegetarian dish, mainly originated in North India. It is nothing but a thick spinach gravy containing cubes of paneer or cottage cheese.

In my childhood, I generally know only one dish of spinach, called “Palong saker ghanto” which is a dry preparation accompanied with other vegetables like potato, pumpkin, brinjal etc. We Bengalis called spinach as “Palong sak”. It is one of my favourite winter dishes specially when one spoon of  “ghee” goes into it. I love the smell of “Ghee” in many a vegetarian dishes. 🙂

One day my mother prepared this “Palak paneer” at our dinner which she learned from one of her colleagues. It turned out great at her first attempt. Now you know I inherit this recipe from her. 🙂

In Europe spinach is available throughout the year. It is no longer a winter vegetable in India as well. “Palak paneer” is a great way out to have spinach in a different facelift. It is also gorgeous enough to prepare for the party at your home as it has a rich green gravy and quite different from regular yellow coloured gravies. 🙂

Palak paneer

Palak paneer

Ingredients to serve 4 – 5 :

  1. Paneer or Indian cottage cheese – 200 gm.
  2. Blanched & purred spinach – 2 cups
  3. Fresh coriander leaves paste – 1 tbspoon
  4. Finely chopped garlic – 3 – 4 cloves
  5. Finely sliced onion – 1 (small)
  6. Chopped green chillies – 4-5
  7. Lemon juice – 1 tbspoon
  8. Cumin seeds – ½ teaspoon
  9. Coriander powder – 1 tbspoon
  10. Turmeric powder – ½ teaspoon
  11. Black salt – ¼ teaspoon
  12. Plain yogurt – 1 cup
  13. Fresh cream – 4 tbspoon
  14. Salt & sugar to taste
  15. Cooking oil – 3 tbspoon

Procedure :

Cut the paneer or cheese into medium size cubes.

Blanch the spinach (about 2 large bunches) and make a smooth paste out of it.

Heat 3 tbspoon of oil in a wok or kadai over medium heat. Add cumin seeds and let it splutter, add chopped garlic and fry it till light brown. Then add the green chillies and sliced onion and fry until the onion becomes translucent.

Now add yogurt, coriander powder, black salt, turmeric powder and also salt, according to your taste, into it. Let the mixture cook for a while.

Then add the spinach and coriander paste, mix them well and let it boil.

Throw the paneer cubes into the gravy and give it a good stir.  Check the salt and add if it is needed. I prefer to add a bit of sugar but that is completely optional. Let it cook for few more minutes till the raw flavour of spinach goes away.

Add the lemon juice and mix well.

At the end add fresh cream into it when the gravy thickens as per your desire.

Now you are ready to serve the delicious Palak Paneer. 🙂

You can serve it with roti, paratha and even with rice & pulao.

Note : 

  1. If paneer is not easily available at your place then you can prepare it at home. Follow the instructions in my previous post, Homemade Paneer.
  2. Instead of using chopped green chillies you can grind it with the spinach.

Homemade Paneer

“Paneer” is nothing but a cheese that can be easily made at home. It was first originated in India and serves as a key element in many Indian delicious vegetarian dishes. As it is not always readily available in the market and even sometimes the market bought “paneer” is not that good in taste, it is better to prepare it at home. This is my first attempt wich turns out really well. The recipe is very simple and I hope you will like it.

Homemade Paneer

Homemade Paneer

Ingredients :

  1. Full fat milk – 1 ilt.
  2. Lemon juice – 2 -3 tbspoon
Milk & Lemon

Milk & Lemon

Procedure :

At first you have to make “chena” or Indian cottage cheese by milk and lemon juice. Look for its recipe under “Useful supplementary” tab in my blog. Recipe

"Chena" or Indian cottage cheese

“Chena” or Indian cottage cheese

Shape the curd or “chena” into a block and wrap it tightly with the cloth. Now keep it on a porous surface under heavy pressure so that you can force out more moisture, and shape it into a firmer block, suitable for slicing and frying. You can use any heavy material even a heavy book or pile of books as I often do. The longer you press the cheese, the firmer it gets, so try to leave it for overnight.

Paneer under heavy weight

Paneer under heavy weight

After that you will be ready to cut the paneer block into pieces and use them into your desired recipes. You can also refrigerate this paneer for up to 2 days. Refrigerated paneer will be firmer and less likely to crumble than fresh paneer.