Paneer Qalia – A rich cottage cheese curry

Hello all! How is Diwali prep coming along folks? I am just back from my  2 weeks long puja holidays at my hometown and still recuperating and thinking of ways to shed off those piled on calories. But sadly I see no light of hope on that front coz Diwali – undoubtedly my most favourite festival is just around the corner and like everyone I am also fully gearing up for it. 

The recipe I am sharing today is a feasty dish but requires very little effort. Qalia has its roots in Mughali cuisine where mutton was cooked in large cauldrons with a concoction of spices, essentially in a yogury based gravy. We Bengalis also have a version called the Kalia – essentially Rohu Kalia( fish kalia) mostly made as a part of wedding menu. I made it with Paneer as every Tuesday I need to roll something delicious out of my kitchen for the man who sticks to veg food – that one day! The use of mace (javitri) is essential as it lends a royal taste to the gravy. This curry dish goes very well with rotis as well as rice.

paneer qalia

Paneer Qalia - A rich cottage cheese curry
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Mughlai
 
A rich youghurt based cottage cheese curry dish
Ingredients
  • Paneer/ cottage cheese - 250 gms - cut into cubes
  • Onion Paste - 2 tbsp.
  • Ginger/garlic paste - 1 tsp each
  • Yogurt - 1 cup
  • Kashmiri chili powder - 1 tsp
  • White pepper powder - 1 tsp
  • Mace / javitri powder - 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder - 1 tsp
  • Garam masala powder - 1 tsp
  • Salt - to taste
  • Green chilies - 3-4 whole
  • Refined oil - 1 tbsp.
  • Ghee - 1 tbsp
Instructions
  1. In a pan lightly fry the paneer cubes in 1 tbsp. refined oil. Keep them dipped in a bowl of warm water till used in the gravy. This keeps the paneer super soft.
  2. In the same pan, add the ghee.
  3. Saute the onion, ginger/garlic paste till fragrant and golden brown.
  4. Now add the dry spices - chili powder, coriander powder, mace and the garam masala.
  5. Next tip in the yougurt. Mix well and let the gravy simmer for 5-7 mins. Keep the flame low.
  6. Put in the paneer pieces, add the green chillies. Check seasoning.
  7. Remove from heat.
  8. Serve with rice/roti
 

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