¼cupfinely chopped cilantro / coriander leaves for garnishingcilantro/dhania
Add 2 tablespoons of oil to a wok kept on medium heat. Add onions along with salt and when they start to soften, add ginger, garlic and green chilies (if using).
Fry the mixture for a couple of minutes and then add tomatoes and blanched almonds (or cashews), if using.
Continue to cook the tomatoes until they turn soft and mushy. Add chili powder and mix well.
Add 1/4 cup cold water to this mixture and mix well. Let it cool down for 5-10 minutes before transferring it to a blender. Grind it into a fine paste and set it aside.
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the same wok kept on medium heat. Add the spices - bay leaf, cinnamon stick, black cardamom, pepper, cloves and fry them for about a minute. [This is an optional step - feel free to skip it if you don't have whole spices at home]
Add the ground paste and mix it well. Stir in the peas and cover the lid. Let the mixture come to a boil. Once the mixture comes to a boil, add garam masala [along with sugar, if using] and mix well.
Add paneercubes and gently stir them in. Let it simmer for about 5-6 minutes. Add cream (if using) and stir it in. Garnish it with roasted fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi) and/or coriander leaves.
Serve hot with rice or roti.
I love the flavor that the whole spices infuse into the oil but feel free to skip the spices (bay leaves, black peppercorns, black cardamom, cinnamon stick and cloves) if you don't have any. The dish tastes great without it as well.
You can add 3 tablespoons of cream instead of cashews or almonds. Make sure to add the cream at the end just before serving. Wouldn't advise using both cream and nuts.
Blanching almonds - Soak raw almonds in boiling water for about a minute. Drain them before soaking them in cold water for about a minute. Squeeze the almonds to peel the skin off.
For a hint of sweetness, add a teaspoon of sugar. Totally okay to skip it!
For soft, melt-in-the-mouth paneer, microwave the paneer for 30-60 seconds before adding it to the curry. They should be spongy to touch.
NOTE – I am not a registered dietitian or nutritionist. Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and can vary depending on the exact ingredients you use.