Achari Paneer


Achari paneer is cottage cheese curry flavoured with pickling spices. It has a very unique flavour and tastes very different from the regular onion-tomato based curries. This dish tastes great with plain paratha or plain rice. Use the leftover curry in wraps to make a delicious lunch. The spicy, tangy intense curry is a delight. You may replace paneer with chicken for achari chicken which tastes amazing too.
Freshly roasted spices combined with a silky onion-tomato-yogurt gravy makes this dish a true winner. Try my version of achari paneer for a perfect winter night curry.

Ingredients:

Paneer – 500 grams, cut into cubes
Onion – 1, medium ground into smooth paste
Tomato puree – ¼ cup
Ghee – 3 tbsp
Ginger – ½ inch piece
Garlic – 1-2 cloves
Yogurt – ¼ cup, whisked
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
Fenugreek seeds (methi) – ½ tsp
Fennel seeds (saunf) – ½ tsp
Nigella seeds (kalonji) – ½ tsp
Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
Red chill powder – 1-2 tsp or as per taste
Cumin power – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – 2 tsp

Method:

  1. To make the achari masala (pickling spice powder), dry roast mustard, cumin, fenugreek, fennel and nigella seeds on low flame until aromatic. Grind into a fine powder and set aside
  2. Grind ginger and garlic into a fine paste with little water. Set aside
  3. Heat 1 tbsp ghee in a pan. Add paneer cubes and lightly fry them. Set aside
  4. Add remaining ghee to the same pan and add onion paste
  5. Fry on medium flame until the onion paste is caramelised and light brown. Take care not to burn it
  6. Add the ginger-garlic paste and fry for few more minutes until the raw smell goes
  7. Add tomato puree, powdered spices, achari masala and cook well until the oil separates
  8. Add whisked yogurt and combine well. Add ¼ to ½ cup water to adjust consistency and boil for 2-3 minutes
  9. Add fried paneer cubes and combine well
  10. Simmer for 3-4 minutes and then turn off the flame
  11. Server hot
Dry roast mustard, cumin, fenugreek, fennel and nigella seeds on low flame until aromatic
Grind into a fine powder and set aside the achari masala
Lightly fry the paneer cubes
Add onion paste and fry
Add ginger-garlic paste
Add tomato puree next
Add the powdered spices
Add the achari masala
Add whisked yogurt and adjust consistency with some water
Add the paneer cubes and mix gently
Simmer for a few minutes. Achari paneer is ready for serving

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