Paneer Kali Mirch (Black Pepper Paneer)

If you are bored of eating paneer the same way, then try this Paneer Kali Mirch.

This has cubes of paneer tossed in a creamy sauce flavored with lots of freshly ground black pepper.

It’s slightly hot from the pepper which is balanced out by the sweetness and creaminess from the cream, yogurt and cashews.

I can never get tired of sharing paneer recipes with you guys.

It also helps that you guys seem to love them all! That definitely motivates me to keep sharing more of them.

Few days back when I thought of cooking with paneer, my first thought was to make something different.

You know, something different from the usual paneer makhani and palak paneer and other usual stuff which I make pretty regularly.

I have had paneer kali mirch few times at restaurants in Delhi and so I thought of making it the other day when I had a paneer block in my refrigerator.

Kali mirch=black pepper so this recipe has freshly ground black pepper in abundance.

Black pepper is the prominent flavor in this paneer recipe, it also makes it hot. Sarvesh isn’t a black pepper fan but even then he enjoyed it and if you happen to love it like me, then you will really enjoy this recipe.

This Paneer Kali Mirch

✔makes a nice change from regular paneer recipes.

✔perfect meal for a special weeknight dinner.

✔easy to put together.

✔pairs so well with naan, especially garlic naan.

You might think this recipe is hot since we are adding a lot of black pepper here.

And honestly, it is hot but not fiercely hot. If it was that hot, me and Sarvesh would have never been able to enjoy it.

The hotness of the black pepper is balanced by the yogurt and cream in the recipe.

Paneer Kali Mirch has the perfect flavors to enjoy the taste of black pepper without it overpowering the dish.

Black pepper powder v/s freshly ground black pepper? Now, for this recipe I highly recommend using freshly ground black pepper.

I used my spice grinder to grind some whole peppercorns. I roughly ground them as I didn’t want a super fine powder.

The freshly ground pepper gives so much more flavor than using store bought black pepper powder. If you don’t have a spice grinder, use a mortar and pestle to crush the peppercorns.

Other than the peppercorns, the recipe also calls for some cashews and cream to make it creamy and yogurt to give it a little tang.

There’s also some coriander powder, cumin powder and garam masala to add to the flavors.

But, as I mentioned before the star of the dish is the black pepper and hence the name.

I have used store bought paneer here. Whenever you are using store bought paneer, make sure to soak it in hot water for around 20 minutes and then use in the recipe.

That makes the paneer much softer!

Vegan Options

Can you make this vegan? Yeah absolutely.

Replace paneer with extra-firm tofu and yogurt with plain almond milk yogurt.

In place of cream, use coconut milk or cream.

Follow the rest of the steps as it is.

So next time you have a block of paneer and want to try something different, give this recipe a try.

I am sure you will not be disappointed.

Method

1- Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a pan on medium heat.

Once hot, add the chopped onion, ginger and green chili. Cook for around 4 minutes, stirring often until onions soften.

2- Then add the cashews.

3- Stir often and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes until onions start turning very light brown in color. Turn off heat and remove the pan from heat.

4- Transfer the sauteed onion, ginger, chili and cashews to a blender and blend to a smooth paste. I did not add any water while grinding it, if you are having difficulty grinding the mixture, you may add some water. Set aside.

5- Meanwhile, also grind 1.5 teaspoons (6 grams) of peppercorns using a spice grinder. Don’t make a fine powder, you want it coarse.

6- Now, heat 1.5 tablespoons of oil in the same pan on medium heat. Add the ground onion paste and cook on medium heat for around 3 minutes.

7- Then remove pan from heat (this is to make sure the yogurt doesn’t curdle as we add it) and start adding the whisked yogurt (yogurt should be at room temperature). Keep whisking as you add the yogurt until all of it is combined.

8- Place the pan back on heat and add the spices- coriander powder, cumin powder and garam masala. Stir and cook for 30 seconds.

9- Add in 3/4 cup (6 oz) water, I filled the jar that I used for grinding the onions with water and pulsed it few times to get any remaining paste and added that water to the pan. Stir well.

10- Then add the salt and then the cream.

11- Now, add the crushed peppercorns and mix well.

12- Then add in the paneer cubes. Mix well and let the paneer simmer for 2 to 3 minutes on low heat.

Serve paneer kali mirch warm with some garlic naan.

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