Thursday, January 29, 2015



"Achar" is the Hindi word for pickle and achari is used to describe any dish in which this achari masala is used. For example, elsewhere in this blog, you will find the recipe for Achari Kumbh.

Today's recipe, which uses Paneer or Cottage Cheese is adapted from Achari Paneer by Chef Sanjay Thumma of VahChef.  This uses different ingredients to make the achari masala and I liked the addition of tomato and capsicum ground to make a paste. I also liked the use of vinegar to give the dish a tangy taste. I didn't use the dil leaves as it was optional.

  • Paneer, 200 gms
  • Byadgi Red Chillies, 4
  • Cumin Seeds, (Jeera), 1/2 tsp
  • Mustard Seeds, (Rai),  1/2 tsp
  • Fenugreek Seeds, (Methi), 1/4 tsp
  • Coriander Seeds, (Dhania), 1 tsp
  • Tomatoes, 2
  • Capsicum, 1
  • Onion, 1
  • Ginger Garlic Paste, 1 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder, (Haldi), 1/8 tsp
  • Oil, 1 tbsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Yogurt, 1/2 cup
  • Vinegar, 1 tsp
  • Sugar, a pinch

Cut the paneer into cubes and shallow fry them in a little oil. Keep aside
Chop the tomato, capsicum and onion. Keep aside.
In a pan, dry roast red chillies, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and coriander seeds, allow it to cool 
Transfer this to a blender and make a powder.To this, add the chopped capsicum and tomato. Blend this to form a paste, without adding any water. This forms the achari masala.
Heat oil in a kadhai, and when it gets heated add the chopped onion and salt
Saute till the onion turns golden
Add the turmeric powder, ginger garlic paste and saute for a few minutes
Now add the prepared achari masala and mix it well
Cook on medium flame, stirring from time to time, till the oil separates
Add the yogurt, a little water to give the gravy the consistency you require,
Add vinegar and cook some more till oil separates
Lastly add the fried paneer cubes, mix well, add a pinch of sugar and cook for a few minutes
Serve hot with rotis or chappatis

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