Soaked almonds with soaked raisins was our mandate morning munch. I never liked it but Mom would continue insisting until I picked at least a couple. My brother, on the other hand, loved it and he still follows the same ritual. When Avyan started his solids, I used to add finely powdered nuts to his baby food and now that he is a toddler, he loves to munch on plain nuts. It has made my life so easy. As for me, I am still not a fan of plain nuts but love to add in curry and desserts. It not only adds creaminess and nutrition but also brings out a robust flavor.
Badami Paneer (Almond Cottage Cheese) is a rich curry that takes barely any time to prepare and makes for a great pairing with soft pillow-y naan. I adore the gorgeous orange hue that comes from blending lightly caramelized onions with tomatoes, a common technique I follow quite often with curries.
Soaking almond is not a must but it helps to remove the skin quite easily. The skin can taste a little bitter at times and that is why I prefer to take it off before blending. I like to leave the paste a little coarse instead of grinding it to a smooth paste, but that’s just my taste buds. I believe that such kind of curries should be prepared without following the recipe exactly. Just follow what your palate prefers more and add the spices accordingly.
Time: 20 minutes cooking time + 20 minutes preparation time Serves: 2
– Paneer: 200 gram
– almonds: ¼ cup
– Onion (thinly sliced): 1 medium
– Tomato (roughly chopped): 1 medium
– Ginger (grated): ½ inch
– Fennel seeds: 1 teaspoon
– Green cardamoms: 2 no.
– 4 cloves
– Cumin powder: ½ teaspoon
– Coriander powder: ½ teaspoon
– Turmeric powder: 1 teaspoon
– Chili powder: 1 teaspoon
– Pinch of sugar
– Fresh coriander, for garnish
– Few slivered almonds, for garnish
– Soak the almonds for a few hours and then peel off the skin.
– Cut the paneer into bite size. Then, rub some salt and ½ teaspoon turmeric to the paneer cubes.
– Heat some oil in a pan and shallow fry the paneer cubes until they’re golden brown on all the sides. Once done, keep them aside to be used later.
– In the same pan, add 1 tablespoon of oil and drop the fennel seeds, cardamom and cloves. Allow it to sizzle and infuse the oil.
– Next, drop the garlic and scatter the onion. Sprinkle salt, rest of the turmeric and sugar. Cook until its mild golden in color.
– Once done, transfer it to the KitchenAid Cordless Hand Blender along with tomato and almonds.
– Grind it to a smooth or coarse paste.
– Transfer the paste back to the same pan and give it a stir. Add cumin powder, coriander powder and chili powder.
– Cook for a few minutes until the raw smell of tomato is gone.
– Finally, drop the fried paneer cubes and ½ cup of water. Give it a stir and cook for a couple more minutes. Taste for salt and add any, if required.
– Garnish with some finely chopped fresh coriander and slivered almonds.