For vegetarians in North India, cottage cheese or paneer is one of the most popular ingredients of their dishes. Almost all of the restaurants here have different varieties of paneer dishes on their menu. Paneer is a form of non-fermented cheese which is made from milk. It can b easily made by coagulating milk with the help of some acidic agent such as vinegar or lemon juice. But the home made paneer should be used immediately or within 4 to 5 days when kept in a refrigerated condition, otherwise it get spoiled by turning sour. The leftover whey is also pretty nutritious, so you can use it while making rotis, breads or cakes instead of using water.
Most of the paneer recipes you will come across are very simple to make and are extremely delicious, some of the famous paneer dishes are:
- Paneer Butter Masala– This restaurant style dish can be easily prepared within minutes and is very delicious to taste. Very little spices are used in preparing it and it is also a little sweet to taste, so anyone can enjoy this yummy dish. Even your kids and old people, who are not too keen on spicy food, will be able to have it. There are different versions of it available, some which do not make use of onions and garlic too.
- Palak Paneer– Who has not heard of palak paneer? It is one of the most popular paneer dishes in India. It is a recipe which combines both taste and health together in one dish. Cubes of paneer are cooked in a rich and creamy spinach gravy. Sometimes a special smoking technique is incorporated while preparing the dish which adds a smoky flavour to it.
- Kadai Paneer– Another very common paneer recipe is the kadai paneer. As it is so easy to prepare it is great choice for cooking and serving your unexpected guests. It does not require any kind of elaborate preparation and is done in a very les time. There is a gravy version and a semi dry version of it available.
- Paneer Tikka Masala– This is a restaurant style dish which is quite rich and heavy. The gravy or the sauce is prepared with the use of ingredients such as onions, yogurt, cream and tomato puree. It is also quite versatile as the paneer to be used can either be grilled, fried or even broiled. Just the paneer tikka is a dry version of it without any gravy.
- Shahi Paneer– This creamy dish with beautiful aroma and semi-sweet gravy is really befitting its name, which means royal. The soft paneer cubes just melt in your mouth. Your guests will appreciate your skills on tasting this dish for sure.
- Matar Paneer– This paneer dish is a little spicy and the creamy curry contains the main ingredient, peas. This dish is also very easy to make and has a lot of versions.
- Chilli Paneer– a Chinese cuisine inspired paneer dish. It has two forms, the dry chilli paneer and the gravy one.