Paneer Akbari: This Mughlai Style Paneer Is Feast For Soul

For more than 300 years when the Mughals ruled India, they brought a significant change in the culinary map of the country. The Mughals, as we all know were of Persian descent. While Babur may have had a tough time adjusting to the local fruits, vegetables and spices, the rulers that followed him not only embraced the Indian style of cooking but their Khansamas also brought in various culinary secrets of their homeland in Persia and shaped what we know as ‘Mughlai cuisine’ today. India was no stranger to meat, but they brought in many new ways of cooking and presenting meat. Kormas, Kebabs, Kaliyas and Biryani is said to be a Mughlai gift to India. That said, they also brought a world of change to India’s overall vegetarian fare. No, kidding. Mughal emperor Akbar was actually vegetarian on most days of his later life. His leaning towards vegetarianism is discussed in great detail in his biography Akbarnama written by Abu Fazl. Because of the ‘great burden on his shoulders’, he abstained from meat on Fridays and all-important months of the calendar. He also introduced his family to a variety of vegetarian dishes and encouraged his chefs to cook, simple, vegetarian food.  

How To Make Paneer Akbari: Tips and Tricks  

Paneer Akbari also comes from the Mughal lineage of rich gravy dishes. One of the most impressive quality about the dish is that it uses no tomatoes, and yet it tastes so wonderfully balance. Another thing we love about the gravy dish is how soft it is. To do that, you can simply boil the cubes of paneer beforehand. This would take the rawness of paneer and make them creamy and moist. And once these paneer cubes in the gravy, it would fit in like a missing puzzle of the jigsaw.

To prepare the gravy, you need to saute onions in a pan till they are golden brown. Once they are brown, take them off the flame and blend them into a coarse paste.

Now, make sure you put your flame on medium when you sautee dry red chillies, cumin seeds, turmeric powder, cloves, cardamom and dry kasoori methi leaves, lest you burn your spices. Mix in the onion paste. Add some Tandoori masala. Mix until the gravy is looking red and luscious. Now add in the paneer, cook till done. Garnish with heaps of fresh coriander leaves.  

Paneer Akbari is apt for any occasion where you have to cook something that will be loved by vegetarians and meat-lovers alike. It is rich, but also so easy to put together. This, in fact, is one of the easiest recipes of Paneer Akbari.  

Click on this link to follow the complete recipe of Paneer Akbari. Let us know how you liked it. You can pair it with rice or roti of your choice, be it naan, rumali roti or khamiri.  

Have a lovely Mughlai feast at home.