Paneer is the only cheese I had during childhood. It is a simple bag cheese made by curdling warm milk with some lemon juice. It is more common in North Indian cuisine so I didn't get to try it much in the typical South Indian meal my mom cooked.
Shahi ("Royal") Paneer Korma is rich and creamy and fragrant and flavorful, befitting its name, or should I say, hence its name...
It is rather easy to make if paneer is readily available. Else, plan ahead to make the paneer first. It is fairly easy but takes time.
As always, fusion cuisine being my signature, this is not an 'authentic' recipe. When I open a can of chipotle chilies in adobo sauce I find ways to incorporate it in other recipes. And that's how it found its way into this Shahi Paneer Korma recipe, adding a wonderfully interesting flavor.
For the Korma:
¼ cup raw almonds, soaked in water for ½ hour and peeled
1 small red onion, chopped
1 Tbsp grated ginger
4-6 garlic cloves, crushed
2" Indian cinnamon bark
3 cardamom pods
2 Tbsp coriander powder
3 chipotle chilies in 1 Tbsp adobo sauce
½ cup stewed tomatoes
salt to taste
1-2 Tbsp oil
Optional: heavy cream or evaporated milk
- Heat the oil in a pan and pan-fry the paneer cubes till browned on all sides but not crisped
- Combine the korma ingredients and blend into a fine smooth paste
- Stir in the korma blended sauce with the pan-fried paneer and simmer at medium low heat till the rawness of the onions and garlic are gone; add up to a ¼ cup water at a time if the korma looks too dry
- Add salt to taste and allow to simmer till flavors meld, about 20-25 minutes
- Stir in heavy cream for extra richness, or some evaporated milk; I usually leave it out
- Serve warm with home-made naan or paratha or plain brown basmati rice