Methi Malai Paneer

In this recipe, fresh fenugreek leaves work beautifully with Indian cottage cheese. The resulting spicy and creamy curry is a delicious blend of bitter, hot, sweet and sour tastes. Serve this hot with Indian breads.


Serves 6 to 8

Spice powder:
6 teaspoons coriander seeds
3 teaspoons jeera
3-4 black pepper corns
2 green cardamoms
2 cloves
1-inch long cinnamon
1 star anise
500g fresh fenugreek leaves
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 medium onions, finely chopped
2 teaspoons ginger-garlic paste
3 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon red chilli powder, or to taste
Salt to taste
300g paneer cubes
¼ cup/125ml thick cream

1. Make spice powder: Dry roast, one at a time, the ingredients listed for spice powder, until fragrant. Remove to a bowl and let cool to room temperature.
2. Separate the fenugreek leaves from the stem and discard the stem. Wash the leaves and coarsely chop them.
3. Heat the oil in a medium pan over medium-low heat. Add the onions and stir occasionally, until they turn golden.
4. Add the ginger-garlic paste and mix. Cook, covered for 3-5 minutes, until fragrant. Stir once or twice to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning.
5. Add the tomatoes, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, salt and the spice powder. Mix.
6. Add a splash of water, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are pulpy.
7. Add the fenugreek leaves and paneer cubes. Mix. Cover the pan and cook for 8-10 minutes.
8. Add the cream and bring to a gentle boil, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust the seasonings if required.
9. Turn off the heat. Cover and leave the pan on the stove for 30 minutes for the flavours to blend, before serving.


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