Thursday, 22 May 2014

Saunf Paneer / Fennel seeds powder flavoured pieces of cottage cheese
 The sky has stayed glum for the last 6 days. Or more.
Like a child denied its favourite toy.
Like a young girl just rebuked.
Like a heavy heart that doesn't burst. Yet wants to.
Like tears threatening to spill. Yet don't.
The sky stays grey. Still. Sad.
Rain threatening to spill. Yet doesn't.
Not even a light breeze is allowed.

 It's glumness spills over to us below.
It gets difficult to breathe in this hot  humid.
We keep looking up at the sky, hoping for a break.
Maybe the clouds will part and the sun will smile through.
No luck.

Our cool and breezy hilly city has turned into a serious, brooding and stuffy place to be ... the last few days.
There is the smell of rain in the air.
But no relief.
It is as if someone has put a dome over the whole city .... blocking out sunlight as well as free flowing air.

So we wait.
For the dull clouds to disperse.
To let in some sunshine and air.
To let us breathe again.

Lately, I've been trying out a lot of recipes from other blogs and blogger friends.
While not all have been clicked and presented, every one of them have been enjoyed immensely.
Trying out others' recipes brings a much needed change.
The ingredients are different, the temperings will be different, the way of cooking will be different.
And the whole dish will be different.
This change is hugely welcome to me ... I'm tired of my own way of cooking.
It is almost like someone else has cooked for me with love.

I recently tried Soma's wonderfully simple but full of flavours recipe of Paneer in fennel flavoured tomato sauce. 
 Personally, I'm not a huge fan of paneer. But if I have good paneer, I love to try simple recipes so that the freshness of the paneer does not get smothered by overwhelming masalas.

I loved Soma's recipe so much that I got another block of paneer the same week and made it again.
We had guests and everyone of them wiped their plates clean ... this gravy is so delicious.
And yes, they smacked their lips too. :-)

 I had made a few changes in the recipe to suit the availability of ingredients in my pantry ... like I used peanuts powder instead of almond; I did not have ginger powder, etc.
So I am giving the recipe here.
The original recipe is here.

The best thing about this recipe is it is a no onion garlic recipe.
Fuss free.
Need :

Paneer pieces - 10 to 12, make sure you use fresh paneer
Fennel seeds powder - 3 tbsp
Peanuts powder - 5 tbsp
Grated tomato - 2 medium sized cups 
Green cardamom - 2
Cinnamon - 2 small pieces
Black pepper powder - to taste
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - ½ tsp
Cooking oil - 2 tbsp
Ghee - 1 tbsp
Sugar - ½ tsp
Salt - to taste
Water - as needed

How to :

Heat oil.
Let in the green cardamom (make sure you break them first ... or they will splutter real bad)
and the cinnamon.
Add the grated tomato and fry for a while.
When it starts to lose its rawness and the extra water, add the fennel powder, black pepper powder, turmeric powder and the red chilli powder.
Fry well till all moisture dries up.
Add around a cupful of water, salt and sugar.
Cover and simmer for a while.
Remove cover and add in the peanut powder.
Add some more water - remember to check on the salt every time you add water.

Let in the paneer pieces and give a gentle stir for them to get coated properly with the masala.
Cover and simmer for some more time.

Remove cover and check the thickness of the gravy.
Sprinkle the ghee on it and cover.
Remove from heat.

Serve hot with rotis.
Absolutely divine ... this one dish is.

Have you tried to make Paneer cubes at home ?
The recipe is here. 

Have you tried to make my very quick Paneer Butter Masala yet?
The recipe is here.

Do try .... and don't forget to let me know how you liked it. :-)


  1. you write beautifully , you should bring out a book. The paneer dish looks so good.

    1. Oh ... thank you so much Finla! Always makes me happy when good people say they love my writings. :)

  2. Nice blog.I tried many recipe from this blog-all very easy and really wonderful.

    1. Thank you Mithu. So glad you like my recipes.

  3. Hi,

    This is good one.. Is it ok if I try tofu?

    Take care,

    1. I'm sure you can Ash. I haven't tried though ... do let me know how it turns out.

  4. I suppose I can try this (with less chilly)

    1. Hope you like it Joe. It actually has very little chilli powder ... isn't meant to be spicy at all.

  5. This recipe is new to me. I usually do not cook with fennel seed but it looks like something worth trying.

    1. I hope you try it and love it too Lilith.

  6. Very interesting - I am going to make this soon. Will let you know how it turns out.

    1. Would love to know how yours turned out Ruchi. Do write back.

  7. Hi Sharmila..Mona here again..I tried this recipe with few changes..Like, instead of fennel seed,pepper powder..I made a paste of both the seeds with 2 green chillies and tomato(i like it spicy)..same way used almonds paste (peanuts chilo na :( )
    Now,lets come to the taste part..Simple recipe but it tastes fancy,restaurant kind of.. Can easily be made in any occasion and when guests arrive..Thank you dear for this ultimate veg recipe..

    1. Hi Mona ... thank you. The original recipe recipe called for almonds ... so you are on the right track. So glad you loved it. :)

  8. Curry looks yum ,addition of peanut is new for me

  9. Aaj ei recipe ta follow kore paneer korlam.. khub easy aar tasty recipe. Darun hoyechilo.

    1. Thank you for letting me know Barnana. Tomader bhalo legeche jene amar o bhalo laglo.

  10. Thanks for sharing this blog post. This is one of the best post about the use of fennel seeds which makes me feel very good after reading this. Nicely written.


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