1black cardamom (बड़ी इलायची)- seeds removed and husks discarded
2 to 3green cardamom (छोटी इलायची)- kept whole or seeds removed
2 to 3cloves (लौंग)
1inchcinnamon stick (दालचीनी)
1single strand ofmace (जावित्री)
a small piece ofstone flower powder (पथर फूल का पाउडर)
For Paneer Pulao
1.5cupsbasmati rice (बासमती चावल)or pulao rice
250 to 300gramsIndian cottage cheese (पनीर)
1medium to largethinly sliced onion (पतले कटे हुए प्याज)
1/3cupgreen peas (हरा मटर)- optional
1/3cupchopped carrot (कटी हुई गाज़र)- optional
2tablespoons ofclarified butter (घी)or oil for preparing pulao
2 to 3teaspoonclarified butter (घी)or oil for pan frying the paneer
3 to 3.25cupswater (पानी)
1teaspoonginger garlic and green chili paste (अदरक लहसुन और हरी मिर्च पेस्ट)
1Indian bay leaf (तेज पत्ता)
1 to 1.25teaspoonlemon juice (नींबू का रस)
1.5 to 2tablespoonchopped mint Leaves (कटा हुआ पुदीना पत्ता)
salt to taste (नमक स्वाद अनुसार)
Ingredients for Spicy Paneer Cubes (Optional)
1/4teaspoonred chili powder (लाल मिर्च पाउडर)
1/3teaspoongaram masala powder (गरम मसाला पाउडर)
salt to taste (नमक स्वाद अनुसार)
1pinch ofturmeric powder (हल्दी पाउडर)
1tablespoongram flour (बेसन)
3/4teaspoonginger-garlic paste (अदरक-लहसुन का पेस्ट)
1/4teaspoondry fenugreek leaves (कसूरी मेथी)
Preparation Paneer Pulao
In a bowl, add 1/2 teaspoon of cumin, 1/2 teaspoon of carom seeds, 1/4 teaspoon of fennel, seeds from 1 black cardamom, seeds of 2 to 3 green cardamom seeds, 2 to 3 cloves, 1-inch cinnamon, 1 single strand of mace, and a small piece of stone flower.
Put them in a small dry grinder or coffee grinder jar and grind them coarsely. Now keep it aside for later.
Wash the basmati rice in tap water until the water clears, and the starch comes out. After soaking the Basmati rice for 30 minutes, drain the water and keep it aside.
In a mortar pestle, grind ginger, garlic, and green chilies into a paste.
How to make Paneer Pulao
Melt ghee in a pot or pan for paneer casserole. After adding bay leaves, fry for 2-3 seconds. After that, toss in the thinly sliced onions.
Cook the onion until golden brown or caramelized.
Next, add ginger, garlic, and green chili paste. Cook till the smell of raw ginger-garlic subsides. (It will take about 10-15 seconds on low heat).
Add pre-chopped mint leaves and ground pulao masala. Stir and mix it for a few seconds.
Also, add green peas and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add in soaked rice. Fry for a minute, shake gently. Then add lemon juice, water, and salt. Mix everything well.
Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and boil it on a low to medium flame until the rice grains are soft. If the pan runs out of water, add a little more.
While the rice is cooking, cut the cottage cheese into cubes.
For frying paneer, heat ghee on a nonstick pan. I recommend using a nonstick frying pan. Since, while frying, the paneer cubes usually stick to the iron Tawa or frying pan.
Now put cubed paneer in the pan and fry it till it becomes light golden. Don't overcook them; otherwise, they will become dense and rubbery. Keep the fried paneer cubes aside.
After cooking the rice, let it sit for 5 minutes. Then, add the fried paneer pieces to the rice and mix gently.
Cover the pan with a lid and keep it aside for another 5 minutes. It softens the cheese while the cheese also absorbs the aroma of the casserole.
Serve hot Paneer Pulao by garnishing it with mint leaves and a few fried paneer cubes on top. You can serve paneer pulao with Raita, Dal fry, or Dal Tadka.
Paneer Pulao by Punam Paul from https://punampaul.com/paneer-pulao/