Paneer Makhanwala

by Heguiberto on March 21, 2011

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Suhas and I have lunch together almost every day in my company’s communal kitchen. We chat about most anything but inevitably the subject veers towards food, our favorite topic. He tells me about India and Indian food, the flavors and ingredients from different regions. I love it. In turn I talk about our blog and what we’ve been cooking.

Paneer Makhanwala

Paneer Makhanwala over rice

The other day he surprised me with a block of paneer, a type of Indian cheese, and a pre-packaged spice mix to make panner makhanwala. He’s really kind that way. In the past when I wasn’t able to find curry leaves in San Francisco for my Rasam soup he came to my rescue with some from his local Indian store in San Jose. Thank you, Suhas!

About the paneer and spice mix, he said that whenever his wife wants to prepare a quick satisfying Indian meal without having to spend hours in the kitchen, she reaches for this. The whole family loves it, especially the kids. Not that you need to but she suggests that with a bit of doctoring she can turn out amazing Makhanwalas in no time. I’m with her there. I almost always change things around when working with packaged ingredients. Do you?

Makhanwala is made with onions, cashew nut, tomato and milk powders, coriander, red chili, and other spices. Following Suhas wife’s advice I added fresh garlic, fresh ginger, more ground cashew nut and dry fenugreek. The dish came out so good with a silky, creamy and mellow flavor balanced with a bit of exciting heat. It only took about 40 minutes, which is almost fast-food for Indian. Steven was amazed 🙂

Are you ready to make your own paneer makhanwala?

ingredients for my doctored Paneer Makhanwala

ingredients for my doctored Paneer Makhanwala

Paneer Makhanwala

¾ lb paneer cut into small triangles
1 pack panner makhanwala spice mix
4 tomatoes, chopped fine
2 cups fresh frozen mixed veggies, your preference, steamed al dente
2 green bell peppers, cut up in 1inch squares
1 tbsp ground fresh ginger
8 cloves garlic, mashed
1 white onion, chopped fine
1/3 tsp chili powder
2 tbsp canola oil.
1/3 cup raw cashew nut, ground into a paste with a bit of water
Kosher salt to taste

Begin by sautéing onion in canola oil until translucent. Add garlic, ginger and salt. Continue sautéing for a few minutes more until raw flavors are gone. Don’t burn it. Add tomatoes, fenugreek, chili powder, bell pepper. Cook until tomatoes collapse. Fold in makhanwala mix, cashew nut paste,veggies and panner. Bring to a boil, reduce temp and simmer for about 5-10 minutes stirring every now and then to prevent sticking. Serve it over rice with Indian pickled pepper and mango chutney. Yumm!

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Karen March 21, 2011 at 9:46 am

This looks scrumptious! I was lucky to have some really tasty Indian food on my recent trip to Sri Lanka, including some featuring paneer. Your recipe sounds delicious, especially with all the cashew nuts in it. Yum.

tigerfish March 21, 2011 at 4:24 pm

Curry leaves make curry taste and smell so different, in a good way!

sonia March 21, 2011 at 4:35 pm

The paneer makhanwala is looking so inviting and sumptuous. You have made it more perfect than most of the authentic recipes, Love the vibrant color of the curry and spices.

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