Cheesy paneer kali mirch translates to cottage cheese in black pepper gravy. Although being one of the lesser-known Indian dishes, this curd and onion based gravy is one packed with a punch of flavours.
Hailing from the northern part of India, the subtle and not overpowering pungent flavour of the kali mirch (black pepper) is the highlight of this dish. The onion and the curd base of the gravy provide it with a blanched flavour owing to their respective sweet and sour flavour notes.
Although it might seem a little complicated, this delicious Indian gravy is fairly easy to cook and can be enjoyed with naan, roti and even rice.
So here’s how you can cook cheesy paneer kali mirch easily at home!
- Ghee (2 tbsp)
- Whole black pepper (½ tsp)
- 1 small Indian bay leaf (tej patta)
- Caraway seeds (½ tsp)
- Fresh full-fat curd (½ cup- beaten)
- Red chilli powder (¼ tsp)
- Garam masala (¼ tsp)
- Coriander powder (½ tsp)
- Water (as required. ½ cup recommended)
- Salt (as per taste)
- Cubed paneer (200g)
- Cream (2tbsp)
- Kewra or rose water (1 tsp)
- Mint leaves for garnish
- Coriander for garnish
- Crushed black pepper for garnish (¼ tsp)
- Cinnamon stick (1 inch)
- 2 green cardamoms
- 2 cloves
- 1-2 single mace strands
- Chopped Onion (½ cup)
- ½ inch ginger (chopped)
- 3 garlic cloves (chopped)
- 1 green chilli (chopped)
- 10-12 cashews
- ⅓ – ½ cup of water
- Crush the whole black peppers (½ tsp) in a mortar and pestle and keep aside.
- Beat the full-fat curd (½ cup) till its texture is very smooth and keep aside
- Heat the ghee in a Kadai (heavy pan).
- Once the ghee is well heated add the cinnamon, green cardamoms, cloves and single mace strands and sauté till it starts to crackle.
- Add the onions and sauté on a low-medium flame till they are light golden
- Once the onions are a nice light golden colour, add the chopped ginger, chopped garlic, green chilli and cashews
- Mix and stir well till the onions are nice and golden
- Set this onion mixture aside to cool down before putting it in a grinding jar. Add ⅓-½ a cup of water to the grinding jar and grind the onions into a smooth paste and set aside.
Paneer Kali Mirch
- Using the same pan you used to cook the onions, add 2 tsp of ghee to the empty pan and let it heat well.
- Add the Indian bay leaf and the caraway seeds to the pan once heated well and sauté till the caraway seeds start to crackle.
- Add the onion paste to the pan and let it cook well for 4-5 minutes on a low flame.
- On the side, add ½ a cup of water to the jar in which the onions were ground and shake well. Set this onion paste mixed water aside to add to the gravy later.
- Sauté the onion paste till the ghee starts to separate from the sides of the paste
- Once you see the ghee separate add the black pepper you had crushed and mix well for about a minute.
- Now you add the red chilli powder, garam masala powder and coriander powder. Mix and sauté for one minute more.
- Switch the flame off and add the curd to the pan. As soon as you add the curd, be sure to mix it really well with the onion paste whilst also adding the onion paste water mixture from the grinding jar.
- Switch on the stove on a light flame again and bring the gravy to a simmer.
- Add salt for taste
- Continue to let the gravy simmer for a few minutes (till you see specks of ghee on the top). Add water if the gravy starts getting too thick.
- Finally, once the gravy is well cooked, add the paneer cubes to it and mix well.
- Switch off the flame and add the cream and rose/kewra water to the gravy and mix again.
Serving: 1serving | Calories: 348kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 46mg | Sodium: 85mg | Potassium: 110mg | Vitamin A: 140IU | Vitamin C: 4.3mg | Calcium: 355mg | Iron: 0.7mg
This protein-packed and easy to make paneer dish is infused with an array of spices making it an extremely enjoyable and healthy addition to your meal. Its variety of flavour notes complement each other and make sure that you enjoy every bite of this beautiful Indian dish!
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