Updated: Jun 14, 2022
If you like Paneer, then you will love Paneer Khurchan!
Infused with flavours from all the spices, this mouth-wateringly delicious Paneer dish looks and tastes so good. It contains coloured peppers, onions, tomatoes and paneer as main ingredients and can be made swiftly.
Quick Video for Paneer Khurchan:
"Cousin of Paneer Jalfrezi"
Paneer Khurchan can be called as the cousin of Paneer Jalfrezi! Just like Paneer Jalfrezi, this too is fairly dry with little gravy and many of the ingredients are the same.
Use Iron Pan
Khurchan literally means made by scraping off the pan. So if you want the authentic taste of this dish then use a large and wide iron tawa, skillet or kadai so that you can roast, stir and scrape spices and ingredients off the pan (ie tawa, skillet or kadai). If you do not have an iron cookware than use a non-stick pan.
Thick tomato paste
Before you start cooking, it's better to prepare tomato paste which will give slight wetness to this dish. This paste is what distinguishes Paneer Khurchan from Paneer Jalfrezi! I like to add some cashew nuts as well as some gram flour to tomatoes while grinding, which makes this paste thick and helps bind it to the ingredients.
Cook the spices well
When you start preparing this dish, make sure you cook ginger and garlic paste well so that its raw smell vanishes. Also after adding tomato paste and spices, cook them well, as you need to remember that tomatoes were raw while grinding and gram flour was not roasted before adding to tomatoes. Again, if these are not cooked well, it might give this dish a raw smell.
Coloured Peppers make this dish visually appealing
Using three different coloured peppers (capsicum) takes the visual appeal of this dish a step further. But if you do not have different coloured peppers at home while cooking, don't worry, as they are mainly for aesthetics. You can use whichever colour pepper you have. Also adding vertically sliced tomatoes enhances the look of this dish.
"Take Paneer Khurchan to a whole new level......"
Now to take this dish from a normal paneer dish to something special you will need to add below ingredients. Believe me, adding ginger juliennes is going to really enhance the flavour. While eating, when you occasionally bite on to pieces of ginger, the flavour of that dish actually explodes. So don't skip on adding ginger juliennes.
Next is dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi) - don't skip this either, this is one main ingredient that will make your dish extraordinary! But before adding it, roast it slightly in a small pan on low heat till your kitchen fills up with its wonderful aroma, then crush these leaves in your hands, which will further enhance their flavour and aroma, and then add it to the pan.
Further in line are dry mango (amchur) powder, garam masala, butter, cilantro (coriander) and cream. Dry mango powder gives a different type of sourness to the dish which you normally don't get with lemon or lime juice. And do I really need to say anything about garam masala, it's a must for so many Indian dishes, without which they will be incomplete. Adding butter will be good, but you can skip this if you want as it is not a must for this dish.
Cilantro is like that heart and soul of Indian dishes without which dishes won't taste the same, so its a must I will say - especially if you are entertaining and serving this to guests. Last but not the least is cream. I really like to add single cream to Paneer Khurchan as it provides some moistures and makes it creamy. If you do not have cream at home, then you can replace it with whole milk or skip adding it. But if you add cream this dish will become extra special.
You should ideally serve Paneer Khurchan as soon as it is done. Leaving it for long and letting it cool down means it will start losing the little moisture it has and become drier and drier. But, for some reason, if you need to serve it a little later, make sure to remove it out of the iron pan into a microwaveable bowl to reheat later, as soon as it's done as the iron will start reacting with the food and spoil the dish if left in it for longer.
Paneer Khurchan will taste great with chapati, boiled rice or even on its own as a starter! Koshimbir, Khamang Kakdi or Dry Garlic Chutney can also be served on the side with Paneer Khurchan. For a completely tasty meal, you can serve Kesar Pista Shrikhand or Banana Shikran as a dessert!
Recipe Card for Paneer Khurchan
Step by step instructions with photos for Paneer Khurchan:
Step 1: Grind chopped tomatoes, cashew nuts and gram flour to a fine paste and keep aside.
Step 2: Heat a large iron tawa / skillet / kadai on medium heat and add oil, cumin seeds, garlic paste, ginger paste, ginger juliennes and tomato cashew paste and mix well.
Step 3: Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, green chillies, cumin powder, coriander powder, and stir.
Step 4: Add sliced onions and green, red and yellow peppers and cook till they are soft but still a bit crunchy.
Step 5: Then add sliced tomatoes and paneer and mix well.
Step 6: Afterwards add salt, lemon juice, dry mango powder and garam masala.
Step 7: Roughly crush roasted dried fenugreek leaves in your hand and add. Follow this with water and butter and mix well taking care not to break paneer pieces.
Step 8: Finish off with cilantro and single cream, mix well and serve immediately.
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