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Paneer Pasanda- With a twist (cottage cheese cooked in a tomato, cream and spice gravy)

By 15:24 ,

I cooked this Paneer Pasanda with Kumror Bichi ( kaddu Beej/ Pumpkin Seed). I had so much of the pumpkin seed at home that I needed to put them to cook use. I make fish, chicken and sometime fish Paturi (fish cooked in wrapped banana leaf) with pumpkin seed. However I never tried to cook it with paneer specially make paneer Pasanda with it. So I thought, why not?
Paneer Pasanda is a quintessential Mughlai dish very popular in North India especially among Punjabis. Pasanda is a Urdu word which means liking The word is a variation of the Urdu word “pasande,” or “the favorite one”. According to Sanjay Thumma, “Pasanda was originally made with leg of lamb, flattened into strips, marinated, and fried in a dish with multiple seasonings. In the present day, pasanda is also made using chicken and king prawns; in each case, the process and ingredients remain generally the same. And for the vegetarians it’s the paneer pasanda that is popularly prepared”
Although originally the dish is associated with gravy made with cream, almond, and coconut milk and heavily seasoned with spices, I have decided to give this dish a twist by using roasted pumpkin seed, which is healthy, have less fat content then almonds but taste just the same. I also did not use coconut milk as it might contradict with the nutty taste of pumpkin seed.  And the result was awesome. Specially R is very fond of paneer Pasanda and only likes them from one restaurant at Pandara Road, Delhi. Nevertheless, he said mine was equally good. That is a huge from him, trust me! This man knows his Paneer Pasanda!

225gm Paneer/cottage cheese

10-pumpkin seed

1-onion diced

1-inch ginger

2-pod garlic

5/6-Kashmiri red chilies

1-teaspoon cumin seed

1-teaspoon coriander seed

1-teaspoon poppy seed (posto/khuskhus)

1-inch cinnamon


2/3- clove

3-tablespoon tomato paste/ puree

½-cup fresh cream

½-teaspon sugar

2-tablespoon oil

Salt to taste


1.    Dry roast the cumin seed, coriander seed, poppy seed, pumpkin seed , kashmiri chili

2.    Make a paste of onion, ginger, garlic and the dry roasted spices

3.    Heat oil and add cinnamon, clove and cardamom

4.    Add the paste and fry well until oil separates

5.    Add tomato puree and fry

6.    Add the diced paneer, salt and sugar and cook

7.    Add fresh cream and cook for another 5/10mins. add milk if it is too dry and you need to increase the gravy

8.    Serve with naan or roti

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