Paneer Nazakat

Paneer Nazakat, a beautiful dish from the Hyderabadi cuisine is rich, delicious and as pretty as a picture. Nazakat is an Urdu word which means softness, mildness or elegance. And this Paneer Nazakat is just that.

Cubes of paneer are stuffed with a mildly spiced dried fruit mixture. These pan-fried paneer cubes are served over a bed of a thick, creamy and tantalizing, nutty, brown onion- tomato sauce or gravy as it is known in India. Two words- Exotic & delicious!


So I have never really had an opportunity to have this at a restaurant, coz more often than not I end up ordering either paneer makhani, shahi paneer or malai kofta when it comes to ordering anything with paneer. These are our absolute favorites amongst paneer dishes. I had been meaning to try this ever since I saw it on a TV show by one of my favorite chefs, Chef Harpal Singh Sokhi.

The long list of ingredients may seem intimidating, but I promise that the efforts are well worth the deliciousness of the dish! This is perfect for a party or a special occasion.  Skip the makhani and its likes next time and try this for a change 🙂

Step by step instructions

For the stuffing

1.Scoop out little paneer from the center of each cube. Transfer the scooped out paneer to a bowl, set aside.

2.Heat oil in a non-stick pan. Add finely chopped green chillies and ginger, sauté until the ginger is fragrant. Add raisins and chopped cashew nuts, sauté another 30 seconds.

3.Add this mixture to crumbled paneer along with Kashmiri red chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt and green cardamom powder. Mix well.

4.Stuff this mixture in scooped out paneer cubes. Place a cashew nut on top, and sprinkle some red chili powder on top. (I skipped the red chilli powder). Heat 1 tbsp oil in a non-stick pan, shallow fry the paneer cubes until heated through. Transfer to a plate and set aside. (Fry the paneer just before you serve the dish or else it will turn hard).

For the gravy

1.Heat oil in a heavy bottomed kadai, add whole spices, sauté on medium-low heat until aromatic.

2.Add ginger garlic paste, sauté over medium heat until fragrant.

3.Add tomato purée, mix well and cook on medium heat until oil oozes from the sides.

4.Add slit green chillies, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder & shahi paneer masala. Sauté on medium heat for another 1-2 minutes.

5.Lower the heat, add yogurt and cashew nut paste, salt and sugar, mix well and sauté for 2-3 mins on medium heat.

6.Add browned onion paste, sauté another 30 seconds.

7.Add 1/4 cup cream, cardamom powder, and kewra water. Mix well. For a silky smooth texture strain the gravy.

8.Transfer the gravy to a serving platter, place the paneer cubes over the gravy. Garnish with remaining 1 tsp cream. Serve hot along with some flatbread.

 

Notes

1.To make the brown onion paste grind 1/3 cup of birista (golden brown fried onions) with little water to a smooth paste. To expedite the process, I used store-bought brown onions.

Measuring cup used, 1 cup = 250 ml, 1tsp = 5 ml

Paneer Nazakat

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Serving Size: 2-3 people

Paneer Nazakat

Paneer Nazakat, a beautiful dish from the Hyderabadi cuisine is rich, delicious and as pretty as a picture. Nazakat is an Urdu word which means softness, mildness or elegance. And this Paneer nazakat is just that.

Ingredients

  • 225 grams paneer/ Indian cottage cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • For the paneer stuffing
  • 2 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp finely chopped ginger
  • 1 tbsp raisins
  • 1 tbsp chopped cashew nuts
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp + more for sprinkling, Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • Salt to taste
  • A pinch of green cardamom powder
  • 9 Whole cashew nuts
  • For the gravy
  • 2-3 tbsp Oil
  • Whole spices (2 Bay leaves, 3-4 Green cardamoms, 2 Black cardamoms, 1/2 inch Cinnamon, 2-3 Cloves)
  • 1 tbsp Ginger-garlic paste
  • 1  cup tomato purée
  • 2 Green chillies
  • 2 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp Red chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp Shahi paneer masala
  • 20 cashew nuts, soaked in hot water for 15 minutes, ground to a smooth paste using little water
  • 2 tbsp Yogurt
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp sugar, adjust as per tartness of the tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp Browned onion paste*
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tsp Fresh cream/ heavy whipping cream
  • A pinch of Green cardamom powder
  • 1/2 tsp kewra water, skip if you don't have

Instructions

    For the stuffing
  1. Scoop out little paneer from the center of each cube. Transfer the scooped out paneer to a bowl, set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a non-stick pan. Add finely chopped green chillies and ginger, sauté until the ginger is fragrant. Add raisins and chopped cashew nuts, sauté another 30 seconds.
  3. Add this mixture to crumbled paneer along with Kashmiri red chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt and green cardamom powder. Mix well.
  4. Stuff this mixture in scooped out paneer cubes. Place a cashew nut on top, and sprinkle some red chili powder on top. (I skipped the red chilli powder). Heat 1 tbsp oil in a non-stick pan, shallow fry the paneer cubes until heated through. Transfer to a plate and set aside. (Fry the paneer just before you serve the dish or else it will turn hard).
  5. For the gravy
  6. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed kadai, add whole spices, sauté on medium-low heat until aromatic.
  7. Add ginger garlic paste, sauté over medium heat until fragrant.
  8. Add tomato purée, mix well and cook on medium heat until oil oozes from the sides.
  9. Add slit green chillies, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder & shahi paneer masala. Sauté on medium heat for another 1-2 minutes.
  10. Lower the heat, add yogurt and cashew nut paste, salt and sugar, mix well and sauté for 2-3 mins on medium heat.
  11. Add browned onion paste, sauté another 30 seconds.
  12. Add 1/4 cup cream, cardamom powder, and kewra water. Mix well. For a silky smooth texture strain the gravy.
  13. Transfer the gravy to a serving platter, place the paneer cubes over the gravy. Garnish with remaining 1 tsp cream. Serve hot along with some flatbread.

Notes

1. To make the brown onion paste grind 1/3 cup of birista (golden brown fried onions) with little water to a smooth paste. To expedite the process, I used store-bought brown onions.

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Regards, Freda

38 comments

  1. Soniya says:

    I am so tempted to make this gorgeous cubes of heaven!! Will surely try when I have get together this holiday season ☝️❤️ beautiful .

  2. Pavani says:

    That is such an exotic and delicious looking paneer dish. Perfect for parties.
    When you say store bought fried onions, did you use the ones that look slightly dried in bags?

  3. Sneha says:

    Hi.. tried your recipe and it has turned out to amazing!!! Have done few alterations as per my taste but the idea n rest is amazing

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