To be honest, I’ve never been a big paneer fan. For that matter I have a lot of bad memories of my parents placing a bowl of tinned beets in front of me growing up. That was one of my biggest nightmares.
I obviously wasn’t trying the right recipes. I learned this Paneer Chukandari recipe from Madhup Sinha, head chef of Annayu at the Radisson Blu Edwardian Heathrow. I loved every bite. So much so I convinced him to give me his recipe. This is simply delicious.
Here in the UK, beetroot is in season from June through December so I will be making this one a few more times before Christmas.
I love how the sweet and slightly earthy flavour of the beetroot sauce complements the heated, soft and rather plain paneer. Paneer is rarely served in India on its own. Instead it is used as part of a more complex recipe which is exactly what you are going to get here.
- 2kg Paneer cut into 3 inch cubes or ½ inch slices
- 4kg Raw Beetroot
- 1 teaspoon Ajwain
- 1 teaspoon black Jeera
- 5 tablespoons garam masala
- 2 tablespoons White Pepper
- 2 tablespoons Garlic powder
- Salt to taste
- 1200g Reduction( 600gms fresh Beetroot juice+ 500 ml Balsamic Vinegar )
- 1 ½ teaspoons methi leaves
- 1 tablespoon tamarind pulp
- Peel the Beetroot and wrap in silver foil.
- Sprinkle with sea salt and bake at 180c for about 20 minutes.
- Allow to cool and then blend 3kgs of the beetroot into a smooth paste. (retaind the rest for later)
- Add the ajwain, white pepper, garlic powder, garam masala and black jeera to the puree and stir in.
- Now add the salt and paneer pieces and marinate for four hours or overnight in the fridge.
- TO COOK
- Preheat the oven to 180c.
- Mix in the dried methi leaves and tamarind pulp.
- Skewer the paneer and bake until the paneer feels soft.
- TO SERVE
- Put the remaining 1kg of roasted beetroot through a juicer if you have one. I don’t so I blended it and then past it through a fine sieve a few times.
- Add the balsamic vinegar to the beet juice.
- Add a pinch of salt and reduce by half over medium heat.
- Drizzle on the paneer as soon as it comes out of the oven, sprinkle with some chaat masala (if using) and serve.
I hope you all get a chance to try this one at Annayu. In my opinion Madhup Sinha is one of the best chefs in the UK. Annayu should be on your list of restaurants to visit.