Paneer or cottage cheese as you might know of, has a rich history that dates back thousands of years. Its origins can originally be traced to ancient India, where it was discovered as a way to preserve milk. Paneer is made by curdling milk with the use of an acidic agent like lemon juice or vinegar. The resulting curds are then pressed to remove excess whey, creating a firm cheese.
Now, what you may not know of is the fact that Paneer dishes have been an integral part of Indian culinary traditions, particularly in vegetarian and North Indian cuisine. From the iconic Paneer Tikka Masala to the comforting Palak Paneer, paneer has evolved to become a versatile ingredient, beloved for its creamy texture and ability to absorb flavours.
Today, let’s discover 5 paneer dishes that you must not miss out on when planning to visit a vegetarian restaurant in Calgary.
Paneer Tikka is undoubtedly a global favourite that combines marinated paneer cubes with a luscious pinch of chat masala. For this, the paneer is first marinated in a blend of yogurt and spices like cumin, coriander, turmeric, and garam masala. It is then skewered and grilled to perfection, resulting in a smoky and slightly charred flavour. The air fills with a tantalizing melody of sizzling and crackling, as the paneer absorbs the smoky essence of the charred embers, melding with the tangy marinade. With each glorious bite, the creamy cheese yields its velvety texture, releasing a burst of flavors that awaken the taste.
Paneer Butter Masala is a beloved North Indian dish that showcases the rich and luxurious flavors of butter and cream. Cubes of paneer are cooked in a velvety tomato gravy, which is infused with spices like cardamom, cinnamon, and kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves). The addition of butter and cream gives the dish its indulgent and creamy texture, making it a delight for the taste buds. Paneer Butter Masala is best enjoyed with naan bread or pulao rice.
Paneer Masala, also known as Paneer Bhurji, is a popular Indian vegetarian dish that is made with crumbled paneer (Indian cottage cheese). It is a flavorful and spicy dish that is quick and easy to prepare. The dish involves sautéing onions, garlic, and spices like cumin, turmeric, and garam masala in oil or ghee. The crumbled paneer is then added to the mixture, along with tomatoes and green chilies, and cooked until well combined. Garnished with fresh coriander leaves, Paneer Masala offers a rich and creamy texture with a medley of aromatic flavors, making it a delightful addition to any Indian meal.
The chili paneer dish is a delight of Indian and Chinese cuisine, combining creaminess with spicy and tangy flavors. The dish begins by frying cubes of paneer until golden and crispy. In a wok or skillet, a medley of finely chopped onions, bell peppers, garlic, and green chilies are stir-fried along with a mix of soy sauce, tomato ketchup, and vinegar. The fried paneer cubes are then tossed in this flavourful sauce, coating each piece evenly. The result is a mouth-watering dish with a perfect balance of heat, sweetness, and tanginess, making Chilli Paneer an absolute favourite among lovers of both Indian and Chinese cuisine.
Paneer Pakora is a delightful Indian snack (fritters) that features cubes of paneer (Indian cottage cheese) coated in a flavorful chickpea flour batter and deep-fried to crispy perfection. Firstly, thick slices or cubes of paneer are marinated in a mixture of spices like red chili powder, turmeric, cumin, and chaat masala, along with a hint of lemon juice to add a tangy kick. The marinated paneer is then dipped into a thick batter made with chickpea flour (besan), rice flour, and a combination of spices and herbs. The coated paneer pieces are carefully immersed in hot oil and fried until golden brown and crispy. The resulting Pakoras (fritters) are crispy on the outside and irresistibly soft and flavorful on the inside. Paneer Pakoras are often served hot with chutney or ketchup, making them a popular choice for tea-time snacks or appetizers during gatherings and festivities.
Want to get your hands on such super delicious dishes? Plus, trying to figure out where to go? Well, the answer is too simple for this. Visit the best vegetarian restaurant in Calgary– Bikaner Sweets and restaurant where you can easily find all of these fantastic dishes.
We hope you visit us, enjoy your meal and have a great time!