Kali Mirch paneer is an exotic and extremely tasty dish. Kali Mirch or Black pepper has so many health benefits to aid in digestion. If you add some freshly ground pepper powder to your meal while cooking, It will add a distinct flavor and keep your stomach healthy. You will get amazing peppery flavor only when you use freshly ground black peppers, so for this recipe I recommend not to use store bought black pepper powder.
One more thing, I typically use turmeric a lot in my cooking due to its health benefits. So, the color of the gravy using my method is little yellow. Turmeric is totally optional if you want white peppery gravy.
200gm/.450lb Paneer /Indian Cottage cheese cut in cubes
1 medium Onion Chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 small pieces of Ginger /Adarak
2 Garlic Cloves/Lehsaun
1/8 cup Cashew pieces
1/2 cup curd/plain yogurt (not sour)
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp Oil or /Desi Ghee
1 tsp Kashmiri Red chili powder (as per your taste)
1 tsp Haldi Powder/Turmeric Powder
1 tsp Garam Masala
1 tsp Coriander Powder(Dry Dhaniya Powder)
1 tsp Kitchen king powder ( if available)
1 tsp fresh black peppers ground (Kali Mirch)
1 bay leaf
1,2 cinnamon sticks
Salt according to the taste (I used 1 tbsp)
2 cups of water
1. Turn on the flame in medium heat, add 1 tbsp oil or desi ghee in the pan, then add garlic cloves and ginger pieces in to it. Sauté Garlic and Ginger, so that the raw smell of garlic will be gone.
2. Now add chopped onion in to the pan with ginger and garlic, keep stirring all three until the onion becomes translucent. It will take about 2-3 minutes.
3. Add 1/8 cup of cashew pieces with Onion, Ginger, Garlic and Sauté for another 2-3 minutes and then turn off the stove.
4. When the Ginger, garlic, onion, and cashew mixture cools down, add it to a blender with 1/4 cup of water and make a puree. So now, our main ingredients of this recipe are ready as puree.
5. Now, turn on the flame in medium heat and put it in the pan. Add oil, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, and cumin seeds in to the pan. Wait till cumin seeds start splattering.
6. When cumin seeds are done, then add the puree (onion, cashew, ginger, and garlic Mixture that you pureed) inside the pan, add 1/4 cup of water and stir it for 3,4 minutes. Keep stirring because we do not want something stuck on the bottom of the pan.
7. Now add our all powder masala like turmeric powder, coriander powder, kitchen king masala (if not available, then add garam masala), chili powder, 1 cup water, and a little bit of salt(1/4 tsp) with gravy and mix it
8. Mix all the spices well and cook for 5-6 minutes in the open without a lid. Add beaten curd/plain yogurt with 1/8 cup water in the gravy and mix it. Let it cook for another 2-3 minutes.
9. Now add paneer cubes in the pan and let all cook for 2-3 minutes, and then add our main ingredient- fresh grounded black pepper- Kali Mirch powder into the gravy.
You can increase or decrease black pepper quantity as per your taste but make sure that it's not too much. I love to add black pepper to my dishes for its distinct flavor.
10. Mix black pepper powder and cook in medium heat for 2-3 minutes and then add heavy cream into it with 1/4 cup of water. Let this gravy cook for another 2-3 minutes more, and then turn off the stove.
As mentioned above, if you do not want to use turmeric powder, that is ok with this dish. You can increase or decrease black pepper quantity as per your taste. I will soon post this recipe again without turmeric, and one more thing to notice is that this recipe uses no tomatoes. You can add water as per the consistency you love to eat. If yogurt is not available, then use sour cream as a substitute.