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No Onion Garlic Paneer Makhani

Paneer Makhani
This weekend I picked a nice fresh bunch of Methi (Fenugreek) leaves at our local Indian store. And I knew I had to make a creamy Paneer Makhani to go with aromatic Methi Thepla. That's one of the combos I like to cook. Why? Its both healthy and tasty. But today's Paneer curry recipe is without any onions and garlic.

Ingredients:
Paneer Cubes - 250 gm (about 2 cups)
Roma Tomatoes - 4 medium
Grated Ginger - 1/2 tsp
Red Chili Powder - 1 tsp
Yogurt/Curd/Dahi - 1 cup
Almonds/Badam - 5
Raisins - 2 tsp
Kasuri Methi/Dry Fenugreek Leaves - 1 tbsp
Bay Leaf/Tejpatta - 1
Cinnamon/Dalchini - an inch piece
Cumin/Jeera Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Coriander/Dhania Powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric/Haldi - 1/4 tsp
Ghee/Clarified Butter - 1 tbsp
Salt

How to cook Paneer Makhani without onion and garlic:
  • Soak almonds and raisins in water for about an hour. Discard the almond skin. Blend soaked almonds, raisins and yogurt to a fine paste. Set it aside. 
  • Instead of almonds, you can use any other nuts of you choice to thicken the sauce... like cashews, pistachios, walnuts. Raisins add a fruity sweetness, which I like. You may skip raisins or add sugar instead. And if yogurt is not available, you can use milk cream as well.
  • Blend roughly diced tomatoes to a fine paste. Do not add water. If fresh tomatoes aren't available, canned tomato paste works well too.
  • Heat ghee in a pan. You can use butter or oil as well. Add bay leaf, cinnamon stick and cumin seeds. After few seconds, add tomato puree, ginger, chili powder, turmeric and coriander powder. Cook until it thickens.
  • Now add paneer cubes, salt and garam masala. Stir and cook it for a couple minutes.
  • Lastly, add almond raisin yogurt paste and crushed kasuri methi. Stir and cook it covered at low heat for about 5 minutes.
Garnish with cilantro leaves and enjoy Paneer Butter Masala with Naan or Paratha.

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