Tamatar Chaman (Paneer/Cottage Cheese in a Tomato Gravy)

I was not exactly enamoured by the ingredient ‘paneer’ before. This to me was just another dairy product which, I feared, would add to my every pound of flesh. Until one day, at a friend’s place, I found myself carried away by the aroma and appearance of the appetising ‘Tamatar Chaman’, a dish prepared with paneer (cottage cheese) in tomato gravy.

There I was, easily persuaded to stray away from the path of virtue, as one morsel led to the other; I ended up eating and relishing just this dish. The way I devoured the meal surprised me, I who had second thoughts of too much ‘cottage cheese’ in my diet, was now asking my friend- ‘how to prepare this dish?’ The lady of the house had presented the dish so artistically, that by its appearance I felt it would be very difficult to master this dish, but it turned out to be pretty easy.

The most important and only caveat for this recipe is that the quality of the cottage cheese should be really good. The creamy texture of this dairy product should not be fretted away by over cooking, if you notice this recipe has the paneer added only towards the end after the gravy is well thickened. With a few minutes of cooking, it is more than enough for the cottage cheese to cook and soak in the gravy.

This is a must try for all those of you who love cottage cheese and for those who don’t (you will end up devouring it like me!), try it –it’s worth it.

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tomatoes (or use 150 gm Tomato puree)
  • 2 tsp Ginger-garlic paste
  • 2 tsp Garam masala (whole spice powder)
  • 1 1/2 tsp Chilli powder (adjust spice as per taste)
  • ½ tsp Kasuri Methi leaves (dried fenugreek leaves)-optional
  • ½ a cup Cashewnut paste (blend cashewnuts in a mixer)
  • 50 gm butter
  • 40 gm cream
  • 500 gm paneer cubes/cottage cheese
  • Salt to Taste
  • Oil

Method

  • Boil the tomatoes in some water. Cool and drain. Reserve water and blend the tomato in a mixer to make puree and set aside.(If readymade tomato puree is available then skip this step)
  • Heat oil in pan. Add the tomato puree, ginger-garlic paste, garam masala(whole spice powder) and little water (those following the first step can use the tomato water)
  • Let it cook for a few minutes.
  • Add salt, red chilli powder, kasuri methi leaves (dried fenugreek leaves), cashewnut paste, butter and cream.
  • Keep stirring over medium heat till it thickens.
  • Add paneer/cottage cheese and cook for few minutes.
  • Serve hot with rotis or paranthas.

Preparation Time: 25 minutes

Serves: 4

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