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Friday, August 1, 2008

Handi Paneer and Paneer Manpasand


Food in dhabas used to make me think about truck drivers, line of trucks, the charpoys and the Dal Tadka and the familiar dhabawala boy serving hot rotis/chappati straight from Chulhas (Tandoor oven)
But with change in every spheres the dhabas have also evolved a lot ,making it more family oriented .The charpoys made ways to wooden chairs and tables,steel Thalis (utensils) to ceramics or Hindwares.The Truck lines gave way to car and bike lines .Families also throng to these places on weekends and for them they have family room also .There are AC rooms to counter the heat and a neat and clean toilet .

The flavor however remains the same .The Dal fry ,roasted chicken and toandoori Naans.
But with change in other aspects they have also worked out on their menu ,some of them to my utter surprise serving Chinese also .One of the best vegetarian chowmein ,I ate at Sher-E-Punjab Dhaba near Kolkata Airpot..Noodles stir fry with fresh veggies like Beans,cabbage ,onions and carrots .

There is one Dhaba in the Allahabad Gorakhpur Highway called Dubey Ji ka dhaba where the meals are purely vegetarian but the taste very authentic , my brother and his friends make sure they pay visit to this dhaba during their summer offs from college ,and they swear by its delicacies like kadai Paneer, Dal fry, butter naan and the kheer which is being served in Kulhar ( earthen vessels ) topped with grated fresh coconut ,dry fruits ,dollops of fresh cream and it tastes more like rabri .People visits this place form far off just to taste this delicacy tasty kheer .

While I thought that dhabas are only a culture altogether of Punjab ,Delhi and Uttar Pradesh ,I was wrong ,here in Kolkata ,there are many famous Dhabas and people love to eat out here too .
My personal Favorite being Sher-E-Punjab and Sanjha Chulha and we love their delicious spread of Desi khana .
We often visit these on weekends and while all this come at reasonable rate also ,lunch for 4 people costs us Rs 600 -700,But one thing we make sure is we drink bottled mineral water instead of the water being served there .

Here is some of the best in this Business in Kolkata
1- Sher-E-Punjab –Near Airport .
2- Azad Hind Dhaba ,Ballygunj Circular Road.
3 -Bachan’s Dhaba ,Rash Behari Avenue
4- Honey Da Dhaba , Kankurghachi
5 -Sanjha Chulha Dhaba , EM Bypass .

Both these paneer dishes is greatly inspired by the Dhaba Cooking style .Lots of masala and spiciness is the key to the taste and flavor of these curries .Handi paneer is creamy Yogurt based Gravy and Paneer manpasand is coconut and peanut based gravy .These curries are hit with naan , Kulcha or a simple home-made rotis .We relished these eating very much , hope you people also like making and eating it .

Handi Paneer
Ingredients
250 gms of paneer , cut into cubes
2 medium size onions
1 inch ginger
5 cloves of garlic
Make a smooth paste of the above ingredients
Tempering and Flavoring
1tsp of cumin seeds
1 tsp of salt
½ tsp of sugar
1tsp of turmeric powder
1 ½ tsp of red pepper powder
1 tsp of coriander powder
1tsp of garam masala powder
½ cup of fresh curd or yogurt
Half tomato chopped finely
1 capsicum and cut and take out the seeds and chop into cubes
3 -4 tbs of mustard oil
Method
Temper the hot mustard oil with cumin seeds and sugar, add the smooth paste of onion, ginger , garlic .Sauté for 2 mints at high
Add all turmeric, red pepper, garam masala , coriander powder, salt and sauté for 5-7 mints at high , add chopped capsicum pieces .
Stir/fry continuously so that the masala don’t get stuck on the base or till you see the oil coming out on the sides of fried paste TIP- this shows that the rawness of masala paste is gone and that they are cooked evenly .
Add chopped tomatoes and little bit of water, let it simmer for 2-3 mints.
Add now fresh yogurt and ¾ cup of water let it simmer at med for 5-8 mints.
Add cubed paneer pieces and cook for 2-3 mints at low, serve over chopped coriander leaves for garnishing.

Paneer Manpasand
Ingredients
250 gms of paneer , cut into cubes
2 medium size onions
1 inch ginger
5 cloves of garlic
Make a smooth paste of the above ingredients
Tempering and Flavoring
1tsp of cumin seeds
1 tsp of salt
½ tsp of sugar
1tsp of turmeric powder
1 tsp of red pepper powder
5 cloves
1 sticks of cinnamon broken into random pieces
Half tomato chopped finely
3 -4 tbs of mustard oil
Make a smooth paste of following Coconut based masala
Fresh coconut ¼ cup
Peanuts ¼ cup
1 onion
2 green chilies
Salt as per taste
1tsp of mustard oil
Method
Temper the hot mustard oil with cumin seeds and sugar, cloves and cinnamon
Add the smooth paste of onion, ginger, garlic .Sauté for 2 mints at high
Add all turmeric, red pepper, garam masala ,salt, and add the coconut based masala paste, chopped half tomato also and sauté for 5 mints at high, stir/fry continuously so that the masala don’t get stuck on the base
At this time add water and let it simmer at high for 5 mints or till the gravy becomes dry and the oil starts to come at the sides of frying paste, the color of fried paste should be dark brown . TIP- this shows that the rawness of masala paste is gone and that they are cooked evenly
Add approx 2 cups of water, Add cubed paneer pieces and cook for 5-8 mints at low ,covered . Serve with chopped coriander leaves for garnishing.

Both these Paneer Delicacies is going to Srivalli's place , Visit Cooking For All Season and event details here Curry Mela .
Happy Cooking Friends !

12 comments:

  1. Who can ever say no to paneer??? Reading this post makes me want to go to an asli punjabi dhaba...I've been to some that call themselves dhaba but really are just restaurants disguised as dhabas....now I want the real thing.

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  2. Jayashree,
    thanks for coming, and we all love paneer cooked in any way ..
    probably on highways one can see so many dhabas , If you are in real mood to have asli punjabi Khana , go for a long drive and get into those dhabas , I am sure you will enjoy it ..

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  3. Hi Jaya! Nice writee-up on dhabas. We used to frequent one near Bangalore (with the way BLR is growing, it's probably in BLR now), which made the best paneer dishes! And their parathas were far-out! Your post reminded me of those good ol' days! Both paneer dishes sound yum!

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  4. Jaya, we are still high from our Calcutta trip and just reading your post gives me a big thrill. I feel as if I know the area you're talking about since we used the airport. (I don't, but it feels nice to think I was somewhere there - LOL!)
    And like Jayashree said, many of the dhabas today are restaurants masquerading as dhabas. And which restaurant doesn't serve Chinese? Hell, they even serve Italian!

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  5. Vani,
    I know with growing cities , Dhabas have also grown with the pace , Dhaba parathas are real pleasure to eat ...Thanks for stoping by .
    Sra,
    I know most probably you have taken the route to Airport , and must have crossed Sher- E Punjab , wish I could have told you Before hand about it , Never striked at my lost mind LOL..
    Ya jayashree is true about her observation , most of them are an extension of restraurants .Real stuff is hard to find , except if you are in mood for a long drive on highways , one can get into these small dhabas .Italian OMG !
    Are they really Dhaba ? I dont think so !!

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  6. Nice write up on Dhabas.. Dhabe ke khana ka mazza hi kuch aur hota hai..

    Nice paneer recipes

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  7. dubey ji ka dhaba sounds familiar,..r u frm alld? i hve been to dube ji dhaba and mny more dhabas,,in alld nd other up cities..:-)miss dhaba ka khana alot,,so sometimes when i really feel like havin dhaba ka khana,..i try to cook in dhaba sty;e,..if u hve a minute or two,.do go thru dhaba style besan ki roti nd chicken bhurji post,,,nice one for the event...nd nice meetin u in blogosphere,,,,:-),.ceeya hppy bloggin

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  8. Umm Paneer...love any form of panner and paneer manpasand, handi just so tempting...gud entries ...and nice writeup too

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  9. Swati,
    thanks and yes Dhba food rocks ..

    Priyanka,
    hi and welcome , Yes I am from allahabad and its good to know you , but I cant get into or access your profile , so I am unable to visit your site and see those lovely dishes ...

    Priti,
    hi and welcome , thanks for liking paneer dishes .
    hugs and smiles
    jaya

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  10. You're right! Dhabas have started dishing out everything under the sun these days. This one look totally dhabhaish! Creamy and aromatic!

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  11. Hey i love paneer...thanks for sharing the recipe..will give it a try :o)

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  12. Jaya your paneer dish is surely tempting..thanks for sending such a lovely entry!

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