Chettinad cuisine hails from the deep southern region of Tamil Nadu. It is popular for using a melange of hot and aromatic spices.
This paricular recipe for Paneer Chettinad dish uses a number of spices like cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and a few others. A paste of curry leaves, fresh coconut, ginger and roasted spices has been used to prepare gravy along with onion, garlic and tomatoes. Lot of curry leaves and coconut has been used in this recipe. Paneer Chettinad dish has a peppery taste with the correct amount of sweetness to make it palatable.
Relish it with appams/ phulkas/parathas.
Serves: 4-5 Persons
- 350 Gms. Paneer (Cottage Cheese)
- 1 Big Onion (Chopped)
- 4 Medium Tomatoes
- 6-8 Garlic Cloves (Chopped)
- 1″ Ginger Piece
- 40 Curry Leaves
- 1 Bay Leaf (Tej Patta)
- 2-3 Dry Red Chillies (Sookhi Lal Mirch)
- 1 1/2 Tsp Coriander Seeds (Dhaniya)
- 1 Tsp Cumin Seeds (Jeera)
- 1 Tsp Fennel Seeds (Saunf)
- 1″ Cinnamon Piece (Dalchini)
- 5 Green Cardamoms (Choti Elaichi)
- 2 Cloves (Laung)
- 1 Tsp Poppy Seeds (Khas Khas/ Posto, soaked for 10-15 minutes in lukewarm water )
- 1/2 Tsp Black Pepper Powder (Kali Mirch)
- 1/2 Cup Grated Coconut
- 1/2 Tsp Sugar (Optional)
- 1/2 Cup Toned Milk
- 1 1/2 Tbsp Oil
- Heat a pan and transfer dry red chillies, coriander seeds. cumin seeds, fennel seeds, cinnamon, green cardamoms and cloves to pan.
- Dry roast these spices and transfer them to a grinder jar.
- Add soaked poppy seeds, ginger, grated coconut and 25 curry leaves to jar. Grind all the ingredients with 2-3 tablespoons of water till you get a paste.
- Heat oil in a pan and add bay leaf, remaining curry leaves and chopped garlic.
- Cook for a minute and add chopped onion.
- In the meantime, chop two tomatoes and make a paste of remaining tomatoes.
- Cook till onion turns translucent and add chopped tomatoes.
- Cook till tomatoes turn tender and add tomato paste.
- Cook for 3-4 minutes and add paste of poppy seeds, ginger, curry leaves, coconut and dry spices. Also add salt and black pepper powder.
- Cook for additional 2-3 minutes and add 1/2 cup of toned milk plus sugar.
- Cover kadai with a lid and cook for 12-15 minutes till oil starts separating.
- Add paneer / cottage cheese slices and cook for 2 minutes.
- Turn off the flame and transfer to a serving bowl.