- 2 tablespoons ghee, or butter
- 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
- 1/ 2 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
- 4 whole green cardamom pods
- 2 whole cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 whole black cardamom
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 2 cups paneer, cut into triangles
- 1 3/ 4 cups tomatoes, cut into wedges
- 1 onion, peeled and cut into quarters
- 2 large cloves garlic, peeled
- 10 whole cashews
- 10 whole blanched almonds
- 1/ 3 cup chopped dried mango
- 1 whole red chilli
- 2 teaspoons Kashmiri chilli powder
- 1 1/ 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/ 4 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 large pinch saffron
- 1 1/ 4 cups water
- 1/ 3 cup heavy cream
- 1 inch piece ginger, julienned
- 1 teaspoon kasoori methi, (dried fenugreek leaves)
- 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, fresh chopped
Heat 1 tablespoon ghee in a large pan. Add the whole spices (cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, cloves, cinnamon, green cardamom, black cardamom and bay leaf). Allow to sizzle for 20-30 seconds and then add the chillies, onions, ginger, garlic, nuts, apricot or mango pieces, tomatoes, saffron, turmeric, salt and 1 cup water. Stir well and cover with a lid. Simmer on a medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes until everything is soft. Allow to cool down. Remove the bay leaf, black cardamom and cinnamon stick and discard.
Blend the mixture until completely smooth and creamy. I give it a good 60-90 seconds.
Pass the mixture through a sieve to remove any unwanted skins and seeds from the tomatoes and spices. Add the remaining 1/4 cup water to the blender jar and swish around to catch the rest of the sauce. Pass this through the sieve and into the sauce too.
In the same pan, heat up the butter until melted and bubbling. Add the ginger juliennes, chopped coriander and Kashmiri chilli powder. Return the strained sauce to the pan and stir well. Fold in the paneer. Cover and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes.
Switch the heat off and stir in the cream, kasoori methi and ground cardamom.
Serve hot, garnished with chopped cilantro leaves, dried rose petals (optional) and cream (optional).