Paneer Makhani and Home-made Naan

I first came across Paneer Makhani at my work’s Seasonal Party. We had it catered by a local Indian restaurant, Amaya Express. I dug into the various buffet style bins and scooped out the delicious contents and piled them haphazardly on my plate. Later, whilst discussing the meal with a co-worker, I exclaimed “the dahl was good but that tofu in the butter masala sauce was DIVINE – I have to learn how to make that”. She looked at me, puzzled, and said “that wasn’t Tofu, it was Paneer”.

A whole culinary world opened up upon my discovery of Paneer. I had eaten Saag Paneer before but had not associated the fact that the “Paneer” part was cheese. Rich, firm, non-melty, cow’s cheese. Yes, I admit to being fairly ignorant of Indian cuisine and its dishes. I’ve eaten tons, but never really knew what I was eating. I just knew that it tasted gooooood.

Anyway, back to the Paneer. I discovered from the same co-worker that a grocery store in the area carries Paneer, to which I promptly ventured to obtain some.

I then googled “Paneer Makhani” and went with the first recipe that came up, which was actually fairly simple.

I made this dish for a work lunch potluck and it was a huge hit. I didn’t get to eat much, however, so I made it again a week or so later, at home for dinner. I figured if I was making the Paneer Makhani from scratch, I would make some Naan as well.

The same grocery store that carries the Paneer also carries Ghee, which I stocked up on. I suppose I could have made both of these things from scratch as they do in India, but hey, I’m no guru. I thought I would take it easy the first time. Plus, I find the act of clarifying butter extremely annoying and tedious, and will take any shortcut necessary to avoid it.

I made Naan once before, years ago when my culinary skills were nowhere near as good as they are now, and when I had a disctinct lack of a cast-iron skillet, which made a huge difference. Also, the Ghee was perfect for frying the dough in to make nicely bubbled and browned Naan.

The final result is amazing: firm little cubes of Paneer surrounded by a rich, spicy Makhani sauce (tomato-based with cream), and a spring of cilantro on top gives it that final fresh kick.

I admit, I was so intensely hungry while I was cooking the Paneer Makhani that I accidentally ate almost all of the Naan before the main dish was even done. That’s why there’s only a scrappy little piece in the photo.

Here’s the recipes! Paneer Makhani & Naan

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Tortilla Chicken Soup and the Wildest Dream | Soph n' Stuff - June 23, 2013

    […] seems like everything I’m cooking lately is served in a bowl. Tom Khaa, Paneer Makhani…ok maybe it’s just those things that I’ve cooked recently. But things served in […]

  2. Tortilla Chicken Soup and the Wildest Dream « Soph n' Stuff - March 9, 2011

    […] Mar It seems like everything I’m cooking lately is served in a bowl. Tom Khaa, Paneer Makhani…ok maybe it’s just those things that I’ve cooked recently. But things served in […]

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