After a lot of baking and desserts on my blog, today I’m going to share an Indian recipe after very long. My love for baking and desserts overshadows my love for normal cooking so I have decided to be regular with Indian dishes too, that does not mean I shall stop baking, it simply means I’ll contribute Indian food recipes too. I cook at home on a regular basis, not because I have to but I do it because I love to. Being an Indian love for spice mixes in whole form or in powder form has always kept me glued. The secret to a super yummy Indian food is definitely the spices.
So, today what I have for you is an absolute favourite dish, Paneer Kolhapuri. During my stay in Mumbai (Maharashtra), Kolhapuri recipes was a staple order at restaurants, be it veg kolhapuri, paneer kolhapuri or chicken kolhapuri, I am a fan of all. My love for spicy food compelled me to fall for kolhapuri recipes. Kolhapuri recipes are known for being spicy and robust. The secret to all these dishes is the spice mix which is known as Kolhapuri masala.
The name Kolhapuri comes from a place in Maharashtra, Kolhapur. I wonder who left the Kolhapuri spice mix recipe back that has taken Indian food to the next level.
Kolhapuri spice mix is prepared by dry roasting whole spices and then grinding them to fine powder. Thats what uplifts the taste of this dish so much. You will be surprised to know that my version of this recipe does not have onion and garlic, still the taste of the dish blew my mind when I made it for the first time. Since then, I have made it many times but never tried it with onion and garlic. The authentic recipe has onion garlic in it but I prefer eating it on Saturdays when we do not consume onion and garlic.
- For Kolhapuri spice mix/masala: Black pepper/kaali mirch - 8
- Sesame/til seeds - 1½ tsp
- Black cardamom/kaali elaichi pod - 1 (deseeded)
- Green Cardamom/hari elaichi - 1
- Cloves/laung - 4
- Dried coconut powder(grated) - ⅓ cup
- Cinnamon/dalchini - 1 inch stick
- Cumin/jeera seeds - 1½ tsp
- Coriander/dhania seeds - 2 tbsp
- Fennel/saunf seeds - 1 tsp
- Other ingredients: Cubed paneer - 200 gm
- Tomato - 3 (large)
- Green chillis - 2
- Ginger - 1 inch piece
- Cashew nuts - 10 to 12
- Kashmiri chilli powder - 1 tsp
- Turmeric/haldi powder - ¼ tsp
- Coriander/dhania powder - ½ tsp
- Asafoetida/heeng - one pinch
- Salt - 1 tsp/to taste
- Oil - 3 tsp
- Cumin/jeera seeds - ½ tsp
- Water - ¾ cup
- Chopped coriander leaves - 2 tbsp + few to garnish
- To make the kolhapuri masala, use whole spices. In a pan dry roast sesame seeds, black pepper, black cardamom, green cardamom, cloves, dried coconut powder, cinnamon, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fennel seeds and then grind them to powder. You will get a semi fine powder, thats okay.
- In a blender, make a fine paste out of tomatoes, cashews, green chillis and ginger. Do not add water. If possible soak cashews in warm water beforehand. Keep the paste aside.
- Now heat oil in a pan, add the cumin seeds and let it splutter. Once it splutters, add turmeric powder, coriander powder, asafoetida and stir well.
- Add the tomato cashew paste at this stage and give a stir. Cook until the raw smell leaves and the mixture dries out leaving the sides of the pan.
- Once done, add kashmiri red chilli powder and mix it.
- Soon after this add the prepared kolhapuri masala, and mix it well. You will see the mixture is drying out, add ¾ cups of water or as needed.
- Mix well and add salt.
- Stir it well and let it cook on low flame until oil starts floating on top. It shows masala is cooked now.
- Now add the paneer cubes and coriander leaves, mix well, let it cook for four more minutes and its done.
- Garnish with fresh coriander leaves, and serve hot with chapati or steamed rice.