There are days when you don’t feel like cooking and even on husband’s insistence you don’t feel like ordering those cream laden North Indian restaurant food. On those days you look for recipes those are easy to make and give you a taste of home cooked food. One such recipe is my mother’s Paneer Bhapa, which is nothing but steamed cottage cheese in some spices. The ingredients are few and don’t ask to devote much preparation time, the only pre requisite is, you need fresh paneer.
Usually this dish is steamed but maa and me both do it in Kadhai. In Bengali houses almost all dishes were usually cooked in mustard oil but now people are becoming health conscious and switching to other healthier options. At my place I generally use Saffola oil but for Non Vegetarian items I prefer to mix mustard oil and saffola in half half ratio. But use pure mustard oil for recipes that are cooked with mustard paste. I believe that way the taste and aroma of the dish intensifies. So for this recipe also I will request you to use Mustard oil only, if not fully then at least mix it with your regular oil.
The trick to cook with mustard oil is to heat the oil till it starts to smoke. That way you can get rid of the raw mustard smell.
200 gms Paneer/ cottage cheese: cut in cubes; I used Amul Paneer.
1 teaspoon mustard paste
2-teaspoon poppy seed paste
3 green chilies: slited
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
A pinch of red chili powder for colour
4-teaspoon mustard oil
Salt to taste
Mix the mustard and poppy seed paste with 1/3 cup water and keep aside.
Beat the curd to smooth.
Heat the oil in a pan. When it starts to smoke add the green chilies. When it slightly changes colour add the masala paste, salt, chili and turmeric powder. Give it a good stir and cover for two minutes. Add the beaten curd and again mix well. Let it simmer for a minute and add the Paneer. Mix everything well so that the masala coats the paneer. Cover and let it cook till the gravy thickens. When the fat starts to separate at the sides stir it continuously and cook for another minute. The gravy would be thick and the oil will come out from the gravy.
Serve hot with steamed rice.
We had ours with rice and some cauliflower bhaji.
Paneer Bhapa with Sona Masuri Rice; our Dinner tonight.