Saturday, March 21, 2015

Veth Chaman (Paneer/ Cottage Cheese in a Spiced Gravy)

Kashmiri Cuisine was the challenge for this month of an initiative I'm part of named Chefs Across Boundaries. Nidhi, a wonderful blogger and photographer was the host. Moment I got to know about the monthly challenge, I started researching on this cuisine. To my disappointment there was not much recorded on this wonderful cuisine. 

Kashmir a beauty of India. Have not got a chance to travel but yet have heard and read a lot about it. People from Kashmir are said to prefer meat and rice a lot. I could not find a lot of vegetarian recipes. Most of the recipes included mutton and fish. 

Then I read about the Kashmiri Pandits. They are brahmins and they too include meat in their diet except beef. Their vegetarian diet included lotus stem, paneer and a certain variety of mushroom. Lotus stem and the Guchchi variety of mushroom was not available in Pune, so I settled with our very favorite paneer. 

Veth Chaman, is specially made in Kashmiri Weddings and is no onion - no garlic recipe. I was first very skeptical of the recipe, but it was just amazingly flavored. I combined this wonderful gravy with flavored rice and raita. 

 What you need:

Garam Masala:
  1. Cloves-4-5
  2. Cumin Seeds-1/2 tbs
  3. Pepper-1/2 tbs
  4. Coriander Seeds-1/2 tbs
  5. Cardamom-3
  6. Black Cardamom-1
  7. Cinnamon-1 stick
  8. Dry Ginger Powder-1/4 tbs
For The Gravy:
  1. Oil-2 tbs
  2. Cumin Seeds-1 tsp
  3. Cinnamon-1
  4. Clove-2-3
  5. Cardamom-2
  6. Turmeric Powder-1/4 tsp
  7. Fennel Powder-1 1/2 tsp
  8. Garam Masala-3/4 tsp
  9. Kashmiri Red Chilly Powder-1 tbs
  10. Ginger Powder-1 tsp
  11. Curd-1 tbs
  12. Milk-1/4 cup
  13. Salt-to taste
 How to go about it:
  1.  Dry roast all the ingredients given under the heading garam masala and grind it to a fine powder. Allow it to cool down. Store in a small spice jar. Use it as needed.
  2.  To prepare paneer, heat oil in a non stick pan.  Roast the paneer pieces until all the sides are golden.
  3.  Heat water and add asafoetida. Remove from heat. Add the fried paneer cubes and keep it aside.
  4.  To the same pan you fried the paneer, add oil and add the whole spices.
  5.  Now add all the spice powders and saute for 1 minute on low flame.
  6.  Add 3 tbs of the asafoetida water and cook the spice powders.
  7.  Now add milk, curd and salt.
  8.  Whn all the ingrediens are incorporated, add the paneer cubes and enough water to bring the gravy to the right consistency and allow it to boil for 5 minutes on low flame.
  9. Serve hot wwih rice..
Njoy with your loved ones...