Learn character from trees, value from roots and change from leaves. – Tasneem Ahmed.
‘Coriander’ also known as cilantro or chinese parsley is a herb that belongs to the Apiaceac family. All parts of the plant are edible but it is the leaves and dried seeds that are used in cooking. Coriander is also used to treat colic, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), indigestion, anxiety and insomnia.
The coriander leaves spoil easily when cut off from the plant and lose their aroma when dried or frozen. They are often used raw and added to the dish just before serving. It is served as a garnish in several Indian dishes specially dal. Once the coriander is added you have to cook on a medium flame so that the flavour is retained. Different people perceive the taste of coriander differently – for some it is a ‘refreshing lemon flavor ‘and for a few others it could be ‘soapy ‘ or even ‘rotten’.
For me personally, it’s magical when sprinkled on top as a garnish just before serving. There is no substitute.
At least once a week I indulge in my favourite vegetarian protein – paneer. It is the most versatile, humble, neutral in taste and all-time favourite at home. It is widely used in south Asian cuisine. You can whip up a delicious curry or you just grill it – whatever! the end result is so gratifying for the soul .
This dish is special to me – it’s MY recipe . I had a bunch of coriander leaves sitting pretty in the fridge and I had paneer too. It took me a couple of minutes to decide on what kind of flavour I wanted for my korma. Whether I wanted the coriander leaves chopped- as a garnish or whether I wanted the flavour spread through the dish. I decided to bring both together – the coriander leaves and the paneer. The end result had to be simple, full of flavor and delicate. My family loved it, I loved it too. There is a certain balance to the dish, all the flavours blend in and sing together effortlessly to create a masterpiece!
Measure out the ingredients carefully and follow the recipe closely. It’s the first of many original recipes I’m happy to be sharing with you.
- Paneer -400 gms
- Onion – 3
- Ginger garlic paste -2 tbsp
- Green chilly -3
- Coriander leaves- 1 small bunch (washed and cleaned, keep aside a tablespoon of chopped coriander leaves to garnish)
- Cashewnuts -2 tbsp
- Curd – 3-4 tbsp
- Chilli powder-1 heaped tsp
- Garam masala -1/2 tsp
- Cumin powder -1/2tsp
- Tomato purée -3 -4 tbsp
- Milk and water – 3/4 cup each taken together
- Cream to garnish – (optional)
- Ghee, oil, salt to taste, sugar
- Soak paneer cubes in warm water.
- Grind onion, ginger- garlic and green chilly to a paste.
- Grind coriander leaves, cashewnuts and curd to a paste.
- Take chilli, cumin and Garam masala powders together.
- In a pan, take 2 tbsp each of ghee and oil and warm.
- Add onion paste and fry on a low flame till it changes colour.
- Add the powders and tomato purée and fry well for a couple of minutes.
- Add cashewnut paste, milk and water mixture and simmer for 10 minutes on a low flame till oil floats on top.
- Add salt to taste and a pinch of sugar.
- While simmering, squeeze out paneer cubes and add to the korma.
- Let it simmer for 2-3 minutes, remove and garnish with swirls of fresh cream, grated paneer and chopped coriander leaves.
- Serve with parathas of your choice.
- When you buy paneer, look out for the date, it should be as recent as possible.
- Do not add water when grinding the cashewnuts, coriander leaves and curd.
- Whenever you add tomato purée add a pinch of sugar, it brings out the flavour of the tomatoes.
- The korma has to be simmering when you add the paneer cubes.
- The milk added should be fresh – boiled and cooled.
- Serves 6-8.
When you taste this dish, you will know exactly what I’m talking about! Bon appetite!
Keep korma and curry on!
Till my next post