Paneer Khurchan || Cottage cheese Recipe
Today I am sharing one of my favorite recipes i.e Paneer Khurchan. As the name suggests Paneer Khurchan is basically scrapes of paneer. For vegetarians, paneer or cottage cheese is a great option for high protein dairy diet. Usually, we all consume dairy products as they are rich in calcium and protein. However, cottage cheese is an all time favourite. There are many popular varieties of paneer like butter paneer masala, tandoori tikka masala, navratan korma, paneer korma etc etc…Paneer Khurchan is one of them.
What is Khurchan?
The initial references that I have heard in the context of khurchan have been from the Awadh region. Where, meat from the sigri was added to the residue of a musallam or a dum dish. Then it was mixed well on the fire with a scraping motion and the result was a khurchan.
The final touches for a khurchan need to be given on a griddle or tawa. The technique of cooking a khurchan is what basically differentiates it from other dishes of the same type. Instead of continuing to sauté and stir, let the ingredients stay on low heat. Do this until they concentrate and are almost on the verge of sticking.
This concentrate (which imparts its own unique flavour) is then scraped with a ladle. Then, it is mixed back in the main dish. The process is continued until the dish achieves the correct consistency. Timing and attention is of the essence, else the dish can burn.
You can quite easily make a khurchan at home. Use a good cast iron tawa (if you’re using a non-stick pan, don’t bother). Moreover, the khurchan can easily be the high spot of any dinner party.
In this recipe I have used cast iron kadai instead of Tava but the effect was the same…I generally avoid nonstick for such type of recipes as too much scraping is required.
Paneer khurchanCourse: Main CourseCuisine: IndianDifficulty: Easy
Tawa Khurchan, Paneer dish cooked on tawa.
250 grams paneer (cottage cheese)
90 to 100 grams onions or about 2 medium onions or ½ cup heaped sliced onions
150 grams tomato or 1 large tomato or 2/3 cup chopped tomatoes
1 large green capsicum (bell pepper) or 100 grams capsicum or ½ cup chopped capsicum
1 inch ginger – julienne
1 or 2 green chilies – slit
1 pinch asafoetida (hing)
¼ teaspoon garam masala powder or add as required
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
¼ to ½ teaspoon red chili powder or add as required
½ teaspoon coriander powder
½ teaspoon cumin powder
½ teaspoon kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves) – crushed
1 tablespoon low fat cream (optional)
2 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves for garnish
- Slice 250 grams of paneer into batons or strips about an inch.
- Chop all the veggies. Slice the onions thinly. Chop the tomatoes and cut the capsicum in small cubes.
- Slit the green chilies & julienne the 1 inch ginger. Reserve a few ginger julienne for garnish.
- making paneer khurchan
- Heat 1.5 tbsp oil in medium to large iron tawa. Don’t use non stick pan. You can also use thick bottomed iron or steel kadai.
- Add the sliced onions and saute them till they turn translucent.
- Then add the capsicum cubes and chopped tomatoes.
- Keep on sauteing and stirring them for about about 7 to 8 minutes on a low flame.
- The tomatoes need to get softened and the capsicum just about cooked.
- Then add the spice powders – 1/4 tsp turmeric powder, 1/4 to 1/2 tsp red chili powder, 1/2 tsp coriander powder, 1/2 tsp cumin powder, 1/4 tsp garam masala powder, a generous pinch of asafoetida and salt.
- Stir the spice powders very well with the sauteed onion tomato capsicum mixture.
- Add the slit green chilies and ginger julienne. Stir.
- Then add the paneer strips.
- Stir very well and increase the flame to high. Paneer will leave moisture once you mix them with the rest of the masala base.
- With a spatula, align and place each paneer strip touching the tawa, so that they are cooked evenly as well as get bit golden from the base.
- Cook for a minute and then scrape the paneer strips from the base. Reduce the flame if everything starts to get brown quickly
- Turn over and let the other side get browned a bit.
- Again scrape and stir. Keep on scraping if you see the paneer or onion-tomato bits on the tawa. A note is not to cook too much as then the paneer would harden. The scraping as well as flipping has to be done quickly.
- Lastly add 1 tbsp low fat cream and 1/2 tsp kasuri methi/dry fenugreek leaves, crushed. The cream is optional and if you don’t have just skip it.
- Switch off the flame and stir very well again.
- Add 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves and mix them. You can also garnish with coriander leaves instead of mixing them.
- Serve paneer khurchan hot sprinkled with some lime juice and the reserved ginger julienne, along with some chapatis, tandoori rotis or naan.
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