A step by step picture recipe for a spicy, flavorful Paneer Curry made with pickling spices – Achari Paneer recipe. Best works as a side dish for any flat bread, pulao or even rice!
Achari Paneer literally means Pickled Paneer, as the spices used in the curry are typical Indian pickling spices. Any Indian curry uses a lot of spices and that is what makes our curries so flavorful. This paneer curry is slightly different as there are a whole lot of spices used – coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds, mustard seeds, cumin/jeera, red chillies and all these are traditional pickle spices. As these are roast and ground for making Achari Paneer, this is such a flavor bomb of a curry.
To be very honest, I have never tasted this Achari Paneer before making it for the first time in my kitchen. It is interesting how I came out making this dish. The husband who doesn’t usually demand for any particular food and eats anything that I put in front of him with a smile on face, requested that I make this for him. It came quite as a shock to me, given how he doesn’t like Paneer/Cottage Cheese a lot. So we both together searched for a recipe, zeroed in on this one and followed it for the most part except for the proportions of spices.
This recipe tastes so much like the pickle and yet is so delicious as a side dish for any flat bread. There are no onions in the recipe but then the sourness of the thick curd and tomatoes cut through the spice, making for a creamy Achari Paneer.
How to make Achari Paneer –
Detailed step by step picture recipe of making Achari Paneer –
1. In a pan, add the ingredients under “Pickling Spices” and dry roast them on low flame until golden brown.
2. Once they are golden and aromatic, remove them onto a plate and let it cool down completely.
3. Powder the spices very fine in a blender.
4. Next add chopped tomatoes and capsicum, grind it into a smooth paste without adding any water.
5. In a pan, heat oil. Add mustard seeds, onion seeds and asafoetida/hing.
6. As they begin to splutter, add ginger garlic paste and fry on low flame until the raw smell is gone.
7. Add red chilli powder and turmeric powder.
8. Saute for a couple of mins on low flame.
9. Add the ground tomato capsicum puree and mix well.
10. Let the gravy boil for 3-4 mins until the raw smell of tomatoes/capsicum is gone.
11. Add the ground pickling spices followed by salt.
12. Again cook the gravy for 4-5 mins until the oil begins to ooze out from the edges.
13. Add 1/4 cup water to the curd and whisk it well. Now add whisked curd into the gravy and quickly stir it. Make sure the flame is low to avoid curdling the yogurt.
14. As it begins to boil again and oil starts to ooze out, cook for 6-7 mins on low flame.
15. Next add cut paneer pieces.
16. Add sugar and mix well. Let the gravy cook on slow flame for 10-12 mins.
17. Once the gravy comes together, add chopped coriander leaves and remove from heat.
18. Serve it with any flatbread, rice or pulao.
- For additional spice, add ground green chillies along with ginger garlic paste.
- Make sure the curd is not too sour and is thick enough.
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