Kashmiri Chaman Kaliya (tcha-mun cul-e-yah) is one of those utterly simple dishes that delivers on taste on a day when one meal is all that you are going to get. Kashmiri cuisine is a melting pot of Persian, Afghan, Middle East, Indian. Most Kashmiri dishes revolve around meat, but there are a bunch vegetarian dishes as well. This is a classic dish served in all Kashmiri menus.
I make my paneer at home, if time permits. Using store bought paneer makes it a very quick dish. This mild dish is very unusual in its spicing; green cardamoms and fennel combine giving a flavor so subtle you have to eat to believe it! It is generally made with milk but as I wanted to try my dish without it. If you do add milk to this recipe below, use 1/2 cup of whole milk and bring it to a good boil while simmering with all the spices. That would make the curry get a yellow-ish tinge.
Give this recipe a try and let me know in comments below how you enjoyed it. Happy Cooking 🙂
Kashmiri Chaman Kaliya
Cut the paneer into triangles or cubes. In a flat pan, add 1.5 tbsp of mustard oil and once the oil is hot add the paneer cubes.
Shallow fry the paneer cubes till they are golden brown on both the sides.
In a bowl, add 2 cups of water a bring it to a bowl. Add 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder, kashmiri red chilli powder and salt. Once the water is warm enough, soak the shallow fried paneer cubes. This step will ensure that the paneer cubes stay moist even the next day. They turn very smooth and of course flavorful. Soak them for 10 mins and later drain and keep it aside.
Blanch 3 tomatoes, remove their skin and puree them. Else use store bought tomato puree.
In the same pan used to fry the paneer, add oil and once hot, add cumin seeds, bay leaf, cumin powder, coriander powder, fennel powder, cinnamon powder, turmeric powder and grated ginger. Saute everything on low to medium flame till the aroma from the seeds start coming out. Add 1/4 cup of water and the tomato puree and let this simmer. Soon water will start emitting from the edges. This will take 10-15 mins.
Now add the paneer cubes and saute everything together. If needed add another 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water. Remember the paneer cubes will soak all the gravy, thus if you like to enjoy a little curry it is better to add a little extra water.
Add fresh chopped coriander leaves and 1 tsp of garam masala. Check for seasoning and serve it hot with some basmati rice or naan.