Aachari Paneer

All of us, who are born in 60's- 80's, have special memories of their childhood. Our mothers and grandmothers, making every things at home... Every single thing of food was made at home. Those days, not a lot of food items were available at the grocery store. I grew up, watching them, making the Instant Pickle, Different kinds of Pickles, Ghee... My grandmom (Naani) have special technique of making pickles (Aachar).

During my childhood, we traveled a lot, because of my Father's transferable job. It was so much fun, to make so many new friends. The only thing, was our school too keep on changing with every move. But, one thing always remained coon for every year. In every summer vacations, we all siblings go to my Grandparent's house, with my mom.... Our Vacations, were usually, of 2 1/2 months... And it was difficult, for my dad to take leave for so long... Right from the time, we reach to our grandparent's house... We are welcomed, with all types of Mangoes, Raw as well as Ripe Mangoes room, Mandir, everything was ... My Grandparents, stays in an open courtyard house... All the rooms, kitchen, toilet, dining area, food storage room everything was located around the central courtyard... When I go down the memory lane, I have lots of memories attached to this house..

My grand-mom, was an excellent cook, and she knows lots of preparations from all qualities of Mangoes...

And when we were returning back to our hometown, she will pack these delicious preparations of Mangoes with us... Few of these preparations, were varieties of Pickles.... Sour, Sweet, Chilli.... Now, being so far away from family, I miss those days.... those flavors.... So, I developed this recipe, which takes me back to my mother land...

Last time, when I was visiting my mom, we went to a grocery store, which is actually a very big store of that area... Mummy was getting stuffs for her, and I was look for some new Masala, which I can use in my cooking... Then, this Achar Masala caught my eye... It says, it has all the ingredients for making Mango Pickle (Aam ka Aachar)... I got it, but when I opened the packet, it had all raw Masala... My mom told me, after looking at the masala, we make this Aachar Masala, by adding all the raw spices together...

Now, I use this masala, for making Aachari Paneer.... After looking closely, I realized it has those basic ingredients of Aachar- Methi, Pila Sarson, Saunf, ajwain and Kalonji.

Ingredients -
  1. Aachar Spice ( Methi, Yellow Mustard Seeds, Ajwain, and Kalonji)- 2 tbsp
  2. Paneer- 25-30 cubes
  3. Onion - 1/2 (if big), or 2 (if small) (chopped)
  4. Cumin seeds (Jeera) - 1tsp
  5. Yellow Mustard seeds - 1tsp
  6. Tomato - 2 (diced)
  7. Beetroot - size of 1 walnut - (chopped)
  8. Salt to taste
  9. Turmeric Powder - 1tsp
  10. Coriander Powder - 1/2tsp
  11. Kashmiri Red Chili Powder - 1 tsp
Directions - 

  • Heat cooking oil in a pan, Add cumin seeds (jeera) and mustard seeds (sarson), to the oil and let it crackle.

  • Add the Aachar spices to the Oil.

  • Add chopped Onion, fry for couple of minutes... When Onions, are properly coated by oil, add chopped tomatoes.

  • Add chopped beetroot with all the other spices..

  • Add a cup of water and lower the speed of flame and cook till the onion has become translucent.

  • Add diced Paneer, saute and cook till the Paneer becomes soft.

  • Enjoy it hot, with Roti/ parantha...


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