Paneer Korma Recipe
In Urdu, shahi paneer korma would literally translate to braised paneer in "royal" curry. Shahi means royal but when it refers to paneer, it usually indicates a creamy, decadent tomato sauce.
To make the dish I started by quickly stir-frying cubes of paneer. Paneer is Indian-style soft cheese. I made the sauce with caramelized onion paste, yogurt, tomatoes, ginger garlic paste as well as several Indian spices. The paneer pieces are braised at a simmer in the curry sauce until well coated. The final touch is a little heavy cream. It’s not something you want to eat every day, but paneer korma is a perfect dish to make when you want to treat yourself.
Yields: 6 servings3 tablespoons canola oil (or any neutral oil)
6 tablespoons caramelized onions (click on the link for the recipe)
16 ounces paneer (Indian cheese), see tips
2 teaspoons ginger garlic paste (click on the link for the recipe)
1 jalapeño pepper, cut into thirds
2 teaspoons garam masala
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
1 (14.5-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, fire-roasted
2 tablespoons plain yogurt
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon red chili powder
2 tablespoons almond flour (see tips)
½ cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 sprigs cilantro, for garnish
Heat the canola oil in a deep, large pan and stir-fry all the cubes of paneer until they are slightly golden. Transfer to a paper towel, leaving as much oil as possible in the pan. Reserve the oil. Set the paneer aside.
In a mini-blender, combine the caramelized onions, about 2 tablespoons of water and yogurt into a thick paste. If necessary, add more water for a smoother flow. Set aside.
In the same large pan, add more oil if needed. Add 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste, the jalapeño and turmeric powder. Cook until fragrant. Add the canned tomatoes. Stir continuously and add the onion paste from the blender, the red chili powder, the garam masala and about 1 to 1-½ cups of water. Bring to a full boil, then lower the heat to medium-high. Add the fried paneer. Cover with a dome-shaped lid to enable the steam to fall back in the saucepan. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the tomato paste. Season with salt. Cook for another 8 minutes. Thicken the sauce with the almond flour.
You could add water to achieve the desired thickness (I didn't). Check seasoning.
Bring back to a full boil. Add the heavy cream to make the sauce richer. Finish with lemon juice. Stir well.
Transfer to a deep serving platter.
Serve with naan (Indian flat bread) and greens on the side. Garnish with fresh cilantro.
Home-made paneer (click on the link for the recipe) has a lot of advantages: you know what's in it, it's all natural, there are no chemical thickening agents and no preservatives, and the end result is not as packed and firm as the commercial product.
Some people don't add heavy cream to the sauce but only add yogurt instead. The cream makes the dish richer and more decadent.Published By: on October 13, 2010.