Methi Paneer is yet another addition to the paneer recipe series. Again, there are different varieties we have enlisted. All of them are popular paneer recipes from Punjabi cuisine. You can watch the recipe videos on Tasted Recipes YouTube channel.
Today we are making fenugreek & cottage cheese curry. I mean methi paneer. 😀
Like I said above, methi paneer has two native ingredients—first, fresh methi, aka fenugreek leaves. Second, paneer, the Indian cottage cheese. The combination of these two items and Indian spices gives you methi paneer.
Your methi paneer carries a variety of flavours in it. It is mildly hot, medium spicy & a little bitter due to fresh fenugreek seeds. In short, the outcome is a balanced combination of seasoning.
Needless to say, when you have a perfect blend of spices, the aroma can’t go unnoticed. In other words, the recipe contains item-specific fragrances—for example, woody, pungent, bitter, etc.
Since we have discussed the taste, I can’t resist speaking about the texture.
This dish has a gorgeous golden yellow colour with a light orange shade. The dark green fenugreek leaves on the paneer is a contrasting compliment. All in all, the recipe has a rich gradient. It looks beautiful as well as is delicious.
TR’s extra shots to make Methi Paneer
While working with a lot of ingredients, you need to be cautious. There are high chances that things can go south. Therefore, here are some helpful tips.
- Methi (fenugreek leaves) – Toast methi leaves without water or oil. Do this until water evaporates from the leaves. The methi will become loose. If leaves start burning or sticking at the pan’s bottom, lower the flame.
- Cook, until oil separates – Doing this will properly cook all the masala. Do not hurry up the process, or the gravy will have a raw taste of ingredients.
- The green colour of methi – Maintaining the green texture of methi can be intimidating. Hence, keep the flame low. Cooking on a lower flame will maintain the colour. However, lowering the flame is not the only solution. If the leaves aren’t fresh, they will instantly leave the original colour.
- Heavy cream – It gives a smooth texture & taste to the gravy. Another critical point is adding curd, cashew paste, almond paste or yoghurt, which has the same result as heavy cream.
- Warm water – Adding warm water maintains the temperature of the gravy. If you add normal or cold water, the temperature will suddenly fall. Therefore, always use warm water.
- Sprinkle garam masala – There’s a reason why we aren’t frying garam masala with other items. The garam masala is a collection of spices. Frying or sauteeing it will neutralize the strong flavour & aroma. Hence, add the same with paneer. Doing this will give you the raw taste of various powdered spices.
- Fried paneer – Frying paneer & then adding it to the gravy gives a crisp taste & texture. It elevates the overall taste & looks of the final dish. On the contrary, you can also add plain paneer instead of fried one.
Methi Paneer FAQs
It’s time to answer your queries. Here’s a list of questions with answers.
Can I substitute fresh methi with the dry one?
Always use fresh methi, not the dry one. Dry methi leaves (kasoori methi) are bitter & are used for flavouring. So do not substitute the fresh leaves with dry ones.
Do I need to soak fenugreek leaves?
No, there’s no need to do so. Still, if you want to do then soak in saltwater overnight. Take care you don’t add too much salt. Dirt & impurities will wash away this way.
Can I cook methi separately?
Yes, but use the spice mix & masala as mentioned above, or it won’t be methi paneer anymore.
Can I replace fenugreek leaves with celery or other herbs?
No. There’s no substitute for fresh fenugreek leaves. I don’t recommend dry methi leaves due to their intense flavour. In short, don’t replace fenugreek with other herbs.
Can I add fenugreek seeds (methi dana)?
There’s no need to add methi dana. The fresh methi leaves are enough to leverage the bitter & spicy taste.
Is it necessary to toast the green methi leaves?
Yes, doing this will reduce a lot of manual labour while cooking. In addition, toasting will evaporate excess water from the leaves, making them dry. If you don’t do this, the methi leaves will release a lot of water that will unnecessarily stretch the cooking time. Hence, toasting is an inevitable process.
Can I skip adding milk to this recipe?
Yes, you can. Make sure you add heavy cream or curd instead. These items will maintain the silky-smooth taste & texture.
How much paneer do I need to make methi paneer for 15 people?
You will need approx 1 kg paneer to make this recipe for 15 people. Count 200 grams for every four people. Keep 100 grams of extra paneer if case you need it.
How many servings will I get from the above measurements?
Using a 200-250 grams paneer, you will get 3-4 serve adults. If you grate 50 grams of paneer more, your servings will dramatically increase to just 200-250 grams of paneer. Try it.
How much time will methi paneer take to cook?
The cooking time is 30 to 45 minutes provided everything is ready. The washing, cleaning & chopping of fresh methi leaves is not included in the cooking time.