Have you heard of paneer sandwiches? No, not paneer sandwiched between bread Im talking about paneer sandwiched between paneer thats what PANEER PASANDA is all about!
It is a fancy paneer dish that has mixture of crumbled paneer and dry fruits sandwiched between two slices of paneer. The sandwich is coated with cornstarch slurry and shallow/deep-fried and dunked in a smooth and silky onion-tomato gravy that is further made rich with use of cashew nuts and fresh cream! Served with hot rotis, our dinner last night was heavenly polished off to the last bit!
At the dinner table last night I was expecting ooooh, wow because the curry was that good; instead there was total silence, everyone so engrossed in savouring this curry; I was shocked for a moment then I lift my head to see Ronit giving a thumbs up with a wide grin That said it all!
It was quite laborious to make, considering the extra effort needed in making the paneer sandwiches, but totally worth every minute spent making this delicious Paneer Pasanda.
Now you too can make this restaurant style dish in your kitchen! Im sharing the recipe below. For convenience of cooking, I have divided the recipe into two sections
- Assembling and frying the stuffed paneer sandwiches
- Making the gravy
Do check out my other Paneer recipes:
Paneer Pasanda Recipe
1 Cup = 240 ml
For stuffed paneer sandwiches:
- Paneer 250 gm
- Crumbled/grated paneer 50 gm
- Raisins 1 tbsp, chopped
- Cashew nuts 8, finely chopped
- Green chilli 1, finely chopped
- Coriander leaves 1 tbsp, finely chopped
- Mint leaves 1/2 tbsp, finely chopped
- Cumin powder 1/2 tsp
- Red chilli powder 1/4 tsp
- Salt 1/4 tsp
- Oil for frying
For cornflour paste:
- Cornflour 1/2 cup
- Water 4 tbsp
- Oil 1 tbsp
- Bay leaf 1
- Cinnamon 1/2 inch piece
- Cloves 3
- Mace (Javitri) 2 strands
- Caraway seeds/ Shahi jeera (or cumin seeds) 1/2 tsp
- Cashew nuts 12, halved
- Onion 2, medium, diced
- Salt 1/2 tsp
- Ginger-garlic paste 1-1/2 tsp
- Tomato 3, medium, diced
- Water 1-1/2 cup
- Sugar 1/2 tsp
- Kashmiri red chilli powder 1/2 tsp
- Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
- Coriander powder 1/2 tsp
- Garam masala 1/4 tsp
- Coriander leaves 2 tbsp, finely chopped
- Kasuri methi 1 tsp, crushed
- Fresh cream 2 tbsp
For assembling & frying stuffed paneer sandwiches:
1. Depending upon the size and shape of your block of paneer mark how you want to cut them. You could choose to cut them in triangles or straight forward squares or rectangles. I chose to get a little fancy and marked the block to cut into triangles. (I crumbled the odd shaped pieces and used it for stuffing.)
2. Cut the block into equal sized traingles. Make sure the paneer is not the crumbly kind. Use paneer with firm texture.
3. My paneer block was almost 1-1/2 inch thick. So, I cut the individual triangles further into 3 equally thick triangular slices. Keep them aside.
4. Mix together crumbled/grated paneer, chopped raisins, finely chopped cashew nuts, coriander leaves & mint leaves, cumin powder, red chilli powder and salt.
5. Divide the mixture equally into as many sandwiches you have. The number varies depending upon the shape you cut them into.
6. Place paneer mixture on a paneer triangle.
7. Place another paneer triangle on top and gently press.
8. Repeat steps 6 & 7 with all the paneer triangles and keep them aside.
9. In a frying pan heat oil on medium-low flame. You may choose to either deep fry or shallow fry the paneer sandwiches. Difference being in shallow frying the sandwiches will have to be tackled multiple times to fry on all sides while in deep frying there will be no interference. Amount of oil required will be different. Choose whichever method most convenient for you. I have deep fried the paneer sandwiches in a small frying pan.
10. Making cornstarch slurry: Take cornflour/cornstarch in a mixing bowl and add water to it.
11. With the help of a spoon, start mixing it slowly. Initially it will be a little tough to get an even consistency but continue mixing. After a few minutes the mixing becomes easier and the cornstarch slurry will be ready.
12. Place a paneer sandwich in the cornstarch slurry.
13. With the help of a spoon pour cornstarch slurry over it such that all sides are coated well.
14. Gently slide a coated paneer sandwich into the hot oil for frying.
15. Let it fry for about 30-45 seconds. The owner will start turning golden brown. Do not get for too long, else paneer turns dry and hard.
16. With the help of a white mesh or slotted spoon, scoop out the fried paneer sandwich.
17. Repeat steps 12 to 16 with the remaining paneer sandwiches and keep aside. Remember to mix the cornstarch slurry before coating every sandwich. The cornstarch settles at the bottom of the bowl very quickly and nreds to be stirred each time for even consistency of slurry.
For making gravy:
1. Heat oil in a pan and add bay leaf, cinnamon, cloves, mace strands, green cardamom, shahi jeera and cashew nut halves.
2. Fry for about 2 minutes until the cashew nuts turn golden brown.
3. Add diced onions.
4. Saute for a minute. Add salt. This helps in cooking the onions faster.
5. Stir fry until the onions turn translucent. Then add ginger-garlic paste.
6. Sir for about 1-2 minutes until the raw smell goes away. Add diced tomatoes.
7. Stir fry for about 2 minutes.
8. Add about half cup water. Cover with a lid and cook for about 8-10 minutes. Open the lid and stir every 2 minutes to avoid the tomatoes getting burnt. The tomatoes will turn soft. Turn off heat and allow to cool.
9. Transfer to a blender jar.
10. Blend to a fine paste.
11. Transfer the onion-tomato paste to a pan. Add water and continue to cook while stirring continuously until the gravy comes to a boil. The gravy will start spluttering, so cover and cook while stirring every 2 minutes.
12. Lower the heat and add sugar, kashmiri red chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder and garam masala. Mix well.
13. Turn off heat. Add kauri methi after crushing between your palms.
14. Add fresh cream and mix well.
15. Place the fried paneer sandwiches in the gravy.
16. Pour some gravy over the paneer sandwiches and garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves.
Serve with hot phulkas, rotis, naan or kulchas or with jowar rotis like I do for a gluten-free meal. Enjoy!