Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Paneer Kaliya – A Sanjeev Kapoor Special.…!!


Paneer Kaliya

Are you wonder-struck reading  the name of the dish?? :P..So was I when I came across this first..Tell me,how many of you are reminded of Kalia,the crow in Balarama n Amar chithrakatha’s..:D..No no..there is nothing gross n this creamy dish is in now way associated with any crow..:P..I have no idea why the dish has this name n if Sanjeev Kapoor himself hadn’t had this as name for the dish in his Party Cooking cookbook,may be I would have laughed it off..Yes,this is the first dish am trying from the one of the two cookbooks  I was awarded last month..:)

Paneer as everyone knows is Indian Cottage cheese n wiki says,is an unaged, acid-set, non-melting farmer cheese made by curdling heated milk with lemon juice or other food acid. .Its pure delight n I haven't see many people who doesn't like Paneer..They are soft succulent cheese cubes which absorbs the gravy,in which they are simmered..Well,coming to think of it Tofu(made in same process from Soymilk) does as good or a better job in  it..I started having Paneer,recently only..may be 6-7 years back.Being a hard-core non-veg person,I would only opt in for non-veg dishes n never ever ventured out to explore much of veg menu’s in restaurants back in Kerala..n then one day I got to have it from a Tamil based Restaurant chain in Kerala n yumm..I loved the fleshy texture with a bite n cheesy taste.From then on,if I ever had a chance to choose only from veg menu,I’d go for paneer..:)..Hot big fluffy Battura(roti balls made from flour) balls dipped in rich Paneer butter Masala is heavenly.I make PBM whenever I have vegetarian friends coming in,but never got a chance to post it here.Well,as if you all need my recipe.:P...Who doesn't know to cook up a fancy PBM,Tomato base n thick cream..:)


Picture 2070



..So Paneer in itself is a pretty rich thing n almost all the gravies associated with are rich ones only..This one is no exception..:)..n at most homes,this stuff is considered special and is prepared at special occasions.Here  in US,we get it at Indian stores n they are pretty pricey.But for the love of it, I stock it up and prepare once in a while with all care n anticipation..:) When I was flipping though the pages of the Party Cooking cookbook,this thick yellow-ish creamy gravy really got into me.I’ve used Red Onions instead of white n I sautéed it for a while ,n so my gravy has a darker shade..But nevertheless,it tasted awesome.The rich Almond gravy is another thing that got my attention.Altogether it looked n sounded like a royal rich dish n I was sure the taste would be different from anything I’ve tasted before..:)

As a foot Note,SK has added that the preparation is based on ancient cooking when chillies were not yet in use for heat.All we have in here are coriander seeds n pepper corns..Yea,a very unlikely try for a spice-lover like me..:)



paneer kaliya


Paneer Kalia (Sanjeev Kapoor’s Party Cooking)


500 g Paneer / Cottage cheese cut into 1 inch cubes (I soak them in hot water to keep them soft)

1/2 Cup Blanced peeled n ground Almonds/Badams

2 Tbsp Ghee

4 Green Cardamoms

4 Cloves

10 Black Pepper corns (no need to say I added lots more..;) )

1 inch Cinnamon

2 Medium Onions Sliced

1 inch Ginger Chopped

2 Tbsp Coriander Seeds

1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder


Chopped Cilantro




Heat 1 Tbsp ghee in a Kadai.Crush the cardamoms,cloves n peppercorns with a mortar-pestle and add to ghee.Add cinnamon stick n sliced Onions n sauté for 2-3 minutes.

Add the ginger and coriander seeds and saute for sometime.

Remove from heat ,cool n grind it to a fine paste with lil water.

Heat the remaining ghee,n add the ground masala paste n sauté until the ghee separates.Add tbsp water if there is scorching.

Mix the almond paste with one cup of water and add to the masala.

Add turmeric powder,salt n mix.Simmer for a while.

Add Paneer cubes and simmer for 8-10 minutes.

Serve hot,garnished with fresh chopped cilantro.



 Changes I made: I added the whole spices n after sautéing added the coriander seeds n ginger.After sautéing for a while,popped in the onions n continued on.I did so,because I wanted the coriander seeds to get roasted as it is for a while without the crowd of onions in the pan.

Also added lil more of pepper corns for added heat.



paneer kaliya


Verdict: Mild,creamy n yum.The badam paste took the taste of the gravy up, so many notches.I feel,even better than a cashew nut gravy in Shahi paneer.Also the coriander seeds n whole spices imparted a wonderful flavor n I didn't it ground it very fine as you can see in the pics..got  a bite of coriander in between..am not sure how many of you’ll like it.So go ahead n grind it  to fine paste.Heat was there only from the ground pepper corns,it was not fiery nor hot,but even then I loved it,Paneer soaks up the gravy beautifully n so as it sat,tasted even more heavenly the next day ..:)

So foodies,next time you have those special guests coming in or if its that special day with just you n your loved ones around,roll up your sleeves n do cook this up.Trust me,you wont regret..:)

Wishing you all a great week ahead..! :)


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