Indian Cottage Cheese With Fenugreek “Paneer Methi”

Paneer Methi- Serves 4

This time of the year, fresh fenugreek is available in plentiful so I decided to make my favorite fenugreek gravy “masala”. Fenugreek gravy “masala” is a versatile base that one can simply add fish or Indian cottage cheese (“paneer”) or even potatoes. The gravy is delicious and easy to prepare. Both, fresh fenugreek and cilantro contain a fair amount of sand and it is important to clean both in water prior to use. Also, while fresh fenugreek is bitter, it is very flavorful in taste and combines well with the fresh cilantro, freshly grated ginger, garlic and tomatoes that go into preparing this tasty “masala”. I hope you enjoy it!

Ingredients:

  • 4 to 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped or freshly grated (I use a microplane zester)
  • 1 inch ginger finely chopped or grated
  • 2 green chillies, finely chopped (I use “Thai” hot green chilly)
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro cleaned, washed and finely chopped
  • 1 cup fresh fenugreek leaves cleaned, washed and finely chopped (pick just the leaves)
  • 2 medium sized tomatoes chopped fine
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder “dhaniya”
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric “haldi”
  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 300 grams Indian cottage cheese”Paneer”
  • salt to taste.
Note: To clean cilantro and fenugreek, take a big bowl of water and soak the cilantro in it. Take the bowl to the sink and run cold water over it and run your fingers gently through the leaves. The sand will accumulate to the bottom of the bowl. Scoop the cilantro of the top, throw the sandy water away and repeat this procedure 2 to 3 times until it’s thoroughly cleaned. After the cilantro and fenugreek are washed, I take both of them, bunch it up and chop together finely.

Method:

Heat oil in a vessel.  Add garlic and ginger and chillies.  Fry this for a minute. Add the fenugreek and cilantro and fry this for 10-12 minutes on medium high. I like to add a little salt at this time as it helps it to release water.

Then add the tomatoes and let this cook well for another 10 minutes till the oil starts to separate.

Add the coriander powder, turmeric and salt to taste. Then add hot water.

Put the paneer in and cook on low heat for 5 minutes. If using home-made “paneer”, cover and cook on low heat for 5 minutes. Then, gently mix well with gravy. Ready to serve.

Note: If using store-bought paneer, cut the Paneer slab horizontally in 2 slabs and then cut them in small cubes. Add to the gravy and transfer to a oven proof dish and bake uncovered, at 350 degress for 12 to 15 minutes. Store bought paneer tends to be slightly tough. This process tends to soften it. Indian cottage cheese or “paneer” can be bought at your local Indian grocery store and is kept in the freezer section.You need to thaw it overnight in the refrigerator.

Serve hot with  Indian bread”chappati”.

 

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