First of all I should tell you don’t get confused by the name. It is a very interesting recipe and you will be amazed by the final result.
My mom came up with this recipe long back and surprised her guests at the parties. I am not sure from where she got this recipe, but I would like to give the credit to my mom.
It is an exquisite dish to serve at a party or in any special occasion. The soft and tender balls of paneer with the stuffing, soaked in a creamy sauce, are a real winner at any parties. It is a complete vegetarian dish and may be served with rice or chapattis.
Eggless Egg Curry
Recipe: serves 2-4 people
Recipe source: my mom
For the paneer balls and the stuffing:
- 4 cups of whole milk
- ¼ cup lemon juice to curdle the milk and make chhena
- 1 cup of chana dal or cholar dal soaked overnight in water
- 1 green chilli
- 1 inch ginger
- 2 teaspoons of garam masala
- 1 teaspoon of nutmeg powder
- 2 teaspoons of turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Salt to taste
- 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons oil to make the stuffing
- 2 teaspoons of corn flour
- Oil for frying the paneer balls
For the gravy
- ¼ teaspoon whole cumin
- 1 bay leaf
- Whole garam masala (1 clove, 2 green cardamoms, 1 small stick of cinnamon)
- 1 table spoon cumin powder
- 2 teaspoons coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon ginger paste
- 8-10 cashew nuts soaked in warm water and made into a smooth paste
- 1 cup whisked yogurt
- 1 teaspoon of garam masala powder
- 2 teaspoons ghee or clarified butter
- Green or red chillies for garnishing
For the paneer balls:
First bring the milk to a boil in a heavy bottomed pan stirring occasionally. When the milk starts boiling add the lemon juice mixed with two tablespoons of water gradually and stir the milk gently. When the milk starts to curdle, switch off the heat. Once the milk fat separates from the whey, drain it on a strainer lined with cheese cloth. Now rinse the chhena or Indian cottage cheese in cold water and squeeze well. Hang it for a while and then place it on the kitchen counter and keep a heavy object over it. You can use a pressure cooker filled with water. Let it sit for some time but make sure that chhena is not too dry. Now take the chhena on a flat plate and add 2 teaspoons of flour and start kneading it with the back of your palm for about two to three minutes until smooth. Add ¼ teaspoon of sugar and a pinch of salt and mix well. Cover the dough with a cling wrap and leave it in the refrigerator for some time.
Drain the chana dal and blend it with a green chilli and ginger. Blend it smooth. In a pan add oil and heat. Add the blended dal and add the spices, salt and sugar into it. Mix in well. Keep on stirring the mixture till it releases from the sides of the pan. The stuffing is ready. Remove from pan and cool.
Take the chhena and divide into 4-6 balls depending on the size.
Divide the stuffing into equal portions and make small balls out of them. Taking one paneer ball at a time, flatten it on your palm and try to make a bowl shape. Insert a stuffing ball into it and cover from all sides. Try and give it an egg like shape. Dust with corn flour and fry until golden in color. Repeat with the rest of the balls and stuffing.
To prepare the gravy,in a wok add oil and when the oil is hot add the whole cumin, bay leaf and the whole garam masala. When the masala starts to pop, add the ginger paste and the dry spices except the garam masala. Add two table spoons of water and stir. When raw smell of the spices is gone add the cashew nut paste and the whisked yogurt. Add water and mix in very well and let it cook for a while. Check for seasoning. Keep stirring and when the gravy is thick add the garam masala and the ghee. Cover and let it stand for five minutes.
Finally cut each paneer ball length wise and serve with the gravy. Garnish with slit chillies.
This recipe involves several steps so you can make the paneer and the stuffing days ahead and do the final steps later. While adding the dry spices in the oil I prefer to mix it in a bowl with two table spoons of water. That way the spices do not burn.