Paneer Lajawab | Side Dish for Naan / Chapati

>>  Saturday, August 4, 2012

For the second day of cooking from Vaishali's blog, I naturally had to select a paneer dish. Somehow reading her post when she posted this Paneer gravy, I decided I must make it sometime. Knowing how much my kids love Paneer gravies, I knew I could do with yet another version of Paneer gravy. I especially liked the fact that Vaishali named the dish as Laajawaab, because that's how her son reacted saying Paneer Laajawaab hai!

The same scenario happens at home. Every time I feed my boys that they like, right on they show their liking with a thumbs up sign. That attests that the dish meets more than their expectation and I am supposed to make it again. Well it was same with this dish too. Not only did Chinnu love it so much, he wanted the same for dinner as well. So I had to save it up just for him.

It is interesting to note my family reaction when I was making this dish. Until the moment I was ready to make this dish, I hadn't actually gone through the recipe and reading it calls for bottle gourd was a real surprise. However in our household, though it might surprise most, bottle gourd is a vegetable that graces the stocks regularly. And it so happened that we had just the amount I needed for this gravy.

Paneer Lajawab
Paneer Lajawab
Knowing that I was cooking with a vegetable with a Paneer, I wasn't ready to reveal to my family. I know they can get prejudiced with it. So I kept the part of the bottle gourd a very guarded secret. When everybody appreciated how  creamy and rich it tastes, I sheepishly nodded and said Vaishali has great recipes. Only with hubby dear, was I bold enough to ask if he wants to know what has gone into the gravy. Knowing that I might say the unexpected, he was smart enough to ask me not to share. He said it was enough to know that the dish is very good and that I can include it in our regular menu, but he was not willing to be part of the secret..:)

Anyway coming to the gravy, I must implore you to try, for you will surely get hooked!

 Step by Step picture Recipe

Paneer Lajawab

Ingredients Needed:

Paneer / Indian Cottage Cheese - 250 gms
Onion paste - 1/2 cup
Bottle gourd puree - 1/2 cup
Ginger Garlic and chilly paste - 2 tsp
Tomato puree - 1/2 cup
Whole Cumin Seeds / Jeera 1 tsp
Turmeric powder a pinch
Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
Roasted cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Milk for consistency (I added about 3/4 cup)
Oil - 2 tsp
Ghee - 1 tsp

For final garnish

Garam Masala - 3/4 tsp
Kasoori Methi - 2 pinches
Fresh cream or malai - 2 tsp (opt, I didn't add)


Chop chilies, ginger and garlic. Make a smooth paste.
For the bottle gourd puree, peel and chop into pieces. microwave for 10 mins. Once cooled, make a puree.

How to make the Paneer Lajawab:

Heat a non stick pan with ghee, roast paneer lightly. Remove and keep it aside.

Then add the oil to the pan, temper with cumin seeds, when it crackles, add onion, ginger garlic chilly paste. Let it cook for couple of mins

Next add the bottle gourd puree. combine everything well and continue cooking for couple of mints, till the moisture is gone. Now add tomato puree and cool for 5 mins in sim.

Add all the dry spice powders and cook till oil separates.

Add paneer and milk to adjust the gravy consistency.

Garnish with fresh cream if you are using.

Sprinkle garam masala and kasoori methi.

Serve with Naans.

Notes: I didn't add the cream or extra milk. The gravy was very rich without all these as such.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 19


Sowmya Karthy August 4, 2012 at 4:04 PM  

Oh the secret ingredient... Wow I did not know bottlegourd can help to make the gravy creamy... Bookmarked


Vijayalakshmi Dharmaraj August 4, 2012 at 4:34 PM  

yummy side dish for roti...

PJ August 4, 2012 at 4:39 PM  

The paneer is indeed lajawaab,Srivalli!So thick and rich. Must have been a great side dish with Naan

vaishali sabnani August 4, 2012 at 4:51 PM  

People have soon as u say there is bottle gourd in the gravy..a big face is things like that..actually even I dont reveal till everyone finishes eating...ha ha...and to tell u another secret..this is one of the gravies which is served in our chef tries to hide things..but a stubborn me keeps digging in stuff to know more:)so glad that ur family appreciated..thanks for trying.

Archana August 4, 2012 at 8:47 PM  

Hmm Please adopt me.
I am hosting WTML All through August’12. Do send me your entries

Priya August 4, 2012 at 10:55 PM  

Even i dont reveal if i'll go for something new than the usual ingredients until they finish their dish.Bottlegourd in Paneer dish sounds seriously mindblowing.

Pavani August 5, 2012 at 12:30 AM  

This is on my 'to-do' list from Vaishali blog too. Adding bottle gourd is a genius idea. Will have to try this soon.

Sonia August 5, 2012 at 4:30 AM  

this is all time fav dish of all indians. Thanks for the twist and adding bottleguard to the gravy. Even carrots and mixed veg soup (mainly with carrots and toms, onions) works well too. This is amazing !

Gayathri Kumar August 5, 2012 at 8:05 AM  

Never though of pureeing bottle gourd and adding it in gravy. What a wonderful idea!

The Pumpkin Farm August 5, 2012 at 11:53 AM  

wow bottle gourd puree , seems like a wonderful idea...just learnt that it helps in reducing body fats, so good way to incorpoarate

Priyas Feast August 5, 2012 at 11:35 PM  

Luv this lajawab paneer version...adding the bottlegourd puree is such a new twist to this gravy..

Chef Mireille August 6, 2012 at 1:58 AM  

looks so delicious!!!!

sushma August 8, 2012 at 9:42 AM  

Adding bottleguard for gravy....interesting and new to me

Harini-Jaya Rupanagudi August 9, 2012 at 5:17 AM  

bottle gourd in a gravy is very innovative! sounds very tasty as well.

valerian gomes August 18, 2015 at 11:02 PM  

Paneer in bottle gourd gravy never thought of it. I will try it out.

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