Stuffed Paneer Masala
This was another of my experiments. To make the paneer masala dish richer, I worked with the paneer. By stuffing the paneer, the nutrition level of the dish also increases. Makes it a special kind-of dish for occasions :)
Loved this variation and might try out other combinations too.
Stuffed paneer masala too goes to the Eat Healthy – Protein Rich event.
Also, the nutrition value of the dish is improved – by using spinach and walnuts within paneer; and by using low fat milk instead of cream. Moreover, I have only roasted the paneer sandwiches in little oil (avoided frying/shallow frying). Therefore, these modifications make this dish healthy though it looks as tastes rich and special. So, Stuffed Paneer Masala is also my entry for Mansi Desai’s Healthy Cooking event.
Paneer: 200g (7 oz)
Spinach/Palak: ¼ cup chopped finely
Walnuts: 1 tablespoon crushed (you may use any nuts you like – I use walnuts for their nutrition and coz we like them)
Green chillies: 4 chopped finely
Salt to taste
Corn flour: 1½ tablespoons
Onions: 2 medium ones
Tomato puree: about 200 gm/7 oz – 2 cups approx
Green chillies: 5
Ginger: ½ inch piece
Turmeric powder: a pinch
Red chilly powder: ½ teaspoon
Cumin powder: 1 teaspoon
Garam Masala: 1 teaspoon
Mustard seeds: 1 teaspoon
Bay leaves (Tej patta): 1
Brown/Black Cardamom (Badi Elaichi): about 5-6 seeds
Green Cardamom (Choti Elaichi) powder: ½ teaspoon
Sugar: 2 teaspoons
Milk: 2 tablespoons (I used 2% milk – you can use cream instead to make it richer – I have avoided it to reduce the fat content)
Salt to taste
Cooking oil: 1½ tablespoons
- Cut the paneer into 1 cm thickness slices of the block’s thickness and height (about 1½ inches by 3 inches).
- To prepare the stuffing, mix the ingredients well with salt to taste.
- Smear the stuffing on one side of half the paneer slices.
- Cover the stuffed side with another paneer piece like a sandwich. Press slightly so that the stuffing sticks to the paneer – but gently so that the paneer does not crumble.
- In a plate, make a thin paste with the corn flour – just thick enough ot coat the paneer but not show like a thick layer.
- Dip the paneer sandwiches in the corn flour solution and coat on all four sides.
- In a large heavy-bottomed vessel, stir-fry the paneer sandwiches in one tablespoon of cooking oil on low heat.
- Carefully turn them after about a minute or so when they start turning brown on one side. Keep doing this till they are a nice brown color on all four sides.
- Remove on a plate and reserve. These stuffed paneer sandwiches can also be served as snacks (suggested by hubby and Asha)
- In the meanwhile, roughly chop the onion, ginger, and chillies.
- Grind the chopped veggies into a fine paste. You may add a little water while grinding, if required.
- In the same large heavy-bottomed vessel, add the remaining oil and heat. When the oil is hot, temper with mustard seeds.
- When they start popping, add the bay leaves and black cardamom seeds. Stir for a minute so they release their flavors.
- Now, add the ground paste and fry well till oil leaves the sides and the paste is well cooked. Stir at regular intervals to ensure that the paste doesn’t stick to the vessel.
- Once the onion paste is well cooked, mix in the tomato puree. Allow to cook for about 3-4 minutes.
- Then, add the turmeric powder, red chilly powder, cumin powder, cardamom powder, garam masala powder, salt, and sugar. Also, pour about 1 cup of water to make a thick gravy consistency.
- At this stage, you can add the milk (or cream if you use that instead) and mix well.
- Gently place the paneer sandwiches into the gravy without breaking them.
- Allow to cook on low heat for about 5 minutes so that the flavors of the gravy enter the paneer.
- Turn off the heat and serve. Enjoy with any chapatti/paratha variety, rice, or a dish of you choice!
- I made one portion of gravy as simple paneer masala as well :) Here are its pics.