Dishoom’s Chicken Ruby is probably the best thing I’ve ever cooked but it’s a bit of a mission to undertake. While this paneer version isn’t exactly an express recipe, at the very least it doesn’t require marinating anything for 6-24 hours. It’s probably cheeky to call this Paneer Ruby as it’s just Dishoom’s makhani sauce paired with shallow fried, golden paneer, but it’s every bit as satisfying as the chicken version and can be made in about an hour and a half.
The Dishoom cookbook has a wonderful looking paneer curry called Mattar Paneer and it’s absolutely on my to-cook list but after making Chicken Ruby I just had to make the makhani sauce again. Last time I cooked the sauce I found it a little oily so this time I’ve reduced the oil from 175ml to 50ml and the sauce still tastes amazing but feels a bit lighter. This version is slightly more tomatoey as it's missing the extra 50ml of double cream that you add along with the chicken. If you prefer the sauce to be more creamy then increase the double cream from 80ml to 130ml.
- 20g garlic (5-6 cloves, grated)
- 15g garlic (3-4 cloves, finely sliced)
- 50ml vegetable oil
- 20g ginger (grated)
- 2 tins chopped tomatoes (800g)
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- 6 green cardamom pods
- 2 black cardamom pods
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 tsp fine sea salt
- 1½ tsp deggi mirch chilli powder (or ¾ teaspoon regular chilli powder)
- 30g unsalted butter
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 20g sugar
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves (crushed to a powder between your fingers)
- ½ tsp fresh dill fronds
- 80ml double cream (or more, see intro)
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 400g-ish block paneer (my blocks were 226g)
- Makhani sauce: Place a large saucepan over a medium heat and add 50ml of vegetable oil. Add 15g sliced garlic and fry until it just starts to turn golden and crispy. Remove the garlic with a slotted spoon and drain on some kitchen paper.
- Blend 800g of tomatoes to a fine consistency using a stick blender or food processor.
- Add 2 bay leaves, 6 green cardamom pods, 2 black cardamom pods and 2 cinnamon sticks to the saucepan with the oil and allow them to crackle for 1 minute, stirring regularly.
- Turn the heat under the saucepan down low and add 20g grated garlic and 20g grated ginger. Allow both to colour but be careful that they don’t burn.
- Add the blended tomatoes, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1½ teaspoons of deggi mirch chilli powder to the saucepan. Bring to a bubble and cook for around 30 minutes until the sauce has reduced by about half. Stir regularly to make sure it doesn't catch.
- Add 30g butter and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add 1 teaspoon garam masala, 20g sugar, 1 tablespoon runny honey, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, the crispy sliced garlic (fried earlier), 1 teaspoon crushed fenugreek leaves and ½ teaspoon fresh dill fronds to the saucepan. Cook for another 15 minutes.
- If using the makhani sauce immediately, add 80ml double cream and simmer for 5 minutes. If using later, cool the sauce and refrigerate it, adding the cream when you want to reheat it.
- Paneer: Add a tablespoon of oil to a frying pan over a medium heat. Add 400g or so of cubed paneer and fry for around 6-8 minutes, turning occasionally, until the cubes have turned golden brown.
- Combine the paneer with the makhani sauce and serve with rice, naan, or for a real treat, gunpowder potatoes.