Friday, May 04, 2012

Paneer Korma -- in a spiced yogurt sauce


Yesterday Little A chopped off her hair. Not all of it. Few strands. She took the pair of scissors from the kitchen drawer which she uses to cut paper. She said she wants to cut paper. But did she cut paper ? No. Instead she cut off some of her own hair.

I told her never to repeat the act again and at that she cried so much that Big Sis had to volunteer two dolls from her collection to get hair chopped off by Little A.

D, the Dad, says I am too lenient with the little one. Believe me I am not. I mean yes I have changed as a Mother since I have had Big Sis and I try to pick my battles or maybe I just give up on certain areas that can involve a lot of bawling from a 3 yr old but lenient I am not. It is the kid who is different. And she is not even that naughty. It is just that she is different from Big Sis who was more obedient and conforming. And I think in some areas I have changed for the better. Better for rowdy mankind.

Before I was this woman hyper about everything being in place, the cushion just so, the walls pristine and I wouldn't let friends put up their feet on my cream sofa even if the said feet was beautifully pedicured. Now, honestly, I do not care. My painted walls have scribbles in unseen corners and I just avert my eyes, the sofa is jumped on, the cushions never in place. The friends are surprised. The husband repeats the "lenient dialog" and then he says I have become the "Bhalo Kakima", the "good aunt" (or so they decided) in their neighborhood who would let them ransack the house. The "Baje Kakima" (bad aunt) no doubt had a prettier home, disciplined kids and an orderly life.

I shudder.


And then I make Paneer Korma. In blog language it was "a beautiful dish with soft pieces of paneer nestled in creamy yogurt sauce perfumed with mint and coriander and then garnished with purple hued fried onions". In my everyday language it was a darn simple dish to cook and really good to eat which Big Sis loved like she loves Paneer.

The dish was inspired by this dish by Sanjeev Kappor and my Madhur Jaffrey Chicken Korma. The fried onion was a nice touch. Do add them.


Paneer Korma 

Chop about 200gm of Paneer in small cubes. I buy Nanak brand which is really soft. If yours is not like that try lightly frying and dunking in warm salted water.

Soak 2 tbsp of cashew or blanched almond in water to soften.

In a blender add
1/3 Cup of thick yogurt 
2 tbsp cashew 
3 hot green chili 
Make a smooth paste adding water if necessary.
To this add 1 tsp of flour and mix well. The flour will prevent the yogurt from curdling if you live in that fear.

Heat Oil for cooking.

Fry 1 small onion chopped in thin slices with a sprinkle of sugar. The onion should turn a pretty purple-pink and become soft and translucent. Remove and keep aside.

Now temper the oil with the following whole garam masala
2 small green elaichi slightly bruised 
4 clove 
a 2" thin stick of cinnamon 
10 whole black peppercorns

When the spices pop add 1 tsp of ginger-garlic paste. 

Saute for a minute and add the paneer pieces. Sprinkle some turmeric powder. Lightly saute till the paneer cubes turn light golden.

Next reduce the heat to low and add the yogurt mix that you had made earlier. At low heat cook for couple of minutes stirring in between.

Add about 1 cup of lukewarm water and mix well. Raise the heat.

Sprinkle around 1/4 tsp of dried mint, and 1 tbsp of chopped coriander leaves. Add salt and some sugar to taste.

Let the gravy come to a boil and then simmer till the gravy becomes thick. Now add the fried onions and cook for a minute.

Serve with Roti, Naan or a Pulao.


  1. Poor lil S cutting off her own hair, i remeber Shyama doing that but then not her hair but Hans hair :-)
    Paneer in youghurt sauce looks super.

  2. Haha, Finala, cutting dad's hair instead of your own is genius!

    Sandeepa, pick your battles is a good strategy and although most of the times A is like your Big Sis, when the tatrum bug hits, I too pick and choose. That is the only way to keep sane. We can't all be tiger moms. :-)
    Paneer in a yogurt sauce is first but I will try anything with paneer. Looks delicious. :-)

  3. :-) Both Big Sis and lil Sis are so adorable!! Somehow though, I am having the darndest time imagining you as you described yourself - someone who wouldn't let friends put their feet up on the sofa... it doesn't sound you could ever have been snooty or uppity - those kinds, even after two kids and tearing their hair out internally, don't write the warm friendly blogs and thoughts you churn out! :-)
    The Panneer sounds yummm!!! :-)

  4. Sounds delicious to me, anything with paneer :)

  5. Awww bless 4yr old is in love with her own hair especially after watching Disney Rapunzel...I tried to give her a trim last week at my hairdresser's and she cried so much that the poor lady threw up her arms in despair :(...

    My house is like that too.....cushions are always on the floor as they have been used as stepping stones...throws used as tents, toys everywhere....sometimes I shout at her...most of the times I just can't be bothered....all I want to do after she's gone to bed is to kick a few toys out of my way and sit down with my feet up and watch CSI...naughty I know! :D

    the korma looks delicious...:)


  6. Ooh, i like the fried onions on top! Oh the poor thing, cutting her hair and then feeling bad! ANd so sweet of the big sis to try to comfort her with toys!
    And yeah, I've given up on the house being neat, with things in their place, again! Not for another 15 years at least.

  7. Poor little Sis, probably she needed a trip to the salon Sandeepa. I cannot imagine how u could have felt-
    Poor my boy- i never let him scribble any wall art- probably I was too tough.
    With two kids - it is hard 2 keep the house without clutter.
    Kurma looks superb never made with paneer.

  8. Sandeepa, I think we are in general more relaxed towards the second kid. DD always complains and though I deny (I know you won't tell on me) I think I am. The older ones have a lot more expectations on their shoulders.

    Glad LS did not hurt herself. DD2 tried to shave her face with daddy's razors but he caught her in time. We are still very careful around her. She is very adventurous whereas DD is very cautious and you had the right word conforming.

    I am sure the kids would so love this paneer korma. I don't much for care for paneer and don't make it often. Selfish me :(

  9. Oh I only have one kid and I already do not care about the scribbles on the wall or our poor sofa. Can Imagine how much I will degrade by the time I have another kid! That paneer curry looks to die for!

  10. This is a lot like my mom's chicken rezala curry without the cashew. You have inspired me to try mom's recipe with paneer.

  11. Great story. As the mother of a toddler, I can empathize--my fancy upholstered dining room chairs will never be the same again. I enjoy your blog tremendously. As someone who constantly strives to be a better Indian cook, your recipes have been helpful. The paneer korma sounds delicious. I might try making it with tofu. If it works, I will let you know how it turns out.

  12. Indo's right about parents being relaxed with the second kid. I always tell my mother I was the one they experimented on - my brother is also much, much younger than me and whenever I complained or fought the comment would be, he's so much younger, be the bigger person. Of course, this would be preceded or followed by, what do you have to fight about with such a little kid?
    My niece refuses to cut her hair now, she's just going to be four and hasn't had a hair cut for many, many months.
    Your Kormeh in creamy yoghurt sauce looks great. Was the texture silken? When are the Kebobs coming?

    1. I don't have kids of my own.. but I always tell my parents that they were way more tough with me than my lil sis..I still tell m them that I was their "parental lab er guinea pig" lol
      My father similes and vehemently bid his head at this..

  13. I'm not much of an onion-garlic person. So,the fried onion sprinkled on the top wouldn't be my cup of tea,I guess. But I LOVE paneer korma,to say the least! Mouth-watering!
    P.S.Messy is fun,no? I never strive for perfection as it doesn't exist. Period.

  14. Such a cute post :) curry looks yum,,,

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  16. My experience is the same as the others. I was very strict and particular with the first one, come the second I became mild and the result is my older one is very well behaved but quiet. The younge one is a carefree happy soul. Or so it seems and I am. Ot sure if my approach had anything to do with it. We can only do what we think best!
    Your curry looks yum as usual.

  17. oh my God!now that she has chopped off her hair, tumi ki oke nera kore diecho? ki kando.
    paneer korma darun lage. ami baniechilam Anita'r recipe theke. light and fragrant. tomarta try korbo kal, cheleo khub paneer bhalobase.

  18. creamy and such a lovely hue of the curry!

  19. I snapped the strap on my brand new Bata leather slippers as a kid. so won't say anything. :(
    I like adding fried onions, they come handy for Kormas, Pulavs, Biryanis.

  20. Hi, I tried the recipe last night for dinner and it was fabulous. I had some Tofu at hand (need to check on the cholesterol) which has the ill-reputation of being very bland and all; hence replaced the paneer with tofu and the result was awesome. The addition of caramelized/fried onion on top was a hit.. loved it. Did I also tell I have become a daily follower of your blog since someone told me about it and mine went for a toss :P

  21. paneer korma looks absolutely delicious...bookmarked the recipe !!!

  22. Hey! Great recipe. I want to make this for dinner tonite. Just one question. Flour is all purpose flour (maida) or whole wheat flour (aataa)? Thanks. - Mansi

    1. It is just a little to prevent curdling. You can also skip. I used maida

  23. Oh! thats such a cute post..Ki likhi Sandeepa poerey eto bhalo laglo..just picturing Big Sis giving away her dolls to Lil sis and comforting her..i am the eldest so i know all the emotions big sis has for her lil sis...and bhalo kakima ke sobaye bhalo bashe including her blog friends :-) paneer korma ta darun lagche with fried onions on top..hugs and smiles

  24. so sweet!! I have my own story there... I loved to have short hair as a kid... mine were the thick, curly, lustrous south indian type... and I hated it (my daughter is the exact opposite, and is growing hers like Rapunzel....) anyways devoid as I was of inspiration and lacking guts to chop my own hair, I used to get my brother to do it for me - so the retribution wld be shared :p This has happened several times in my childhood... obviously for me short hair was worth a lot of trouble.

    the recipe looks delicious! will try it... and I love that fried onion touch :)

  25. madhur jaffrey, sanjeev kapoor and now bong mom inspired dish is the lunch for today... I tried this out... keeping the basic ingredients the same but minus ginger garlic.

    added mint and coriander to the basic paste as I like green paste in my korma. and also added about 1/2 cup of coconut milk. is luscious... a bowl of it rt next to as i type :)

    1. Thanks rajani. Loved your coconut milk take.


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