Paneer chatpata is an exceptionally delectable vegetarian dish and an all-time favorite dish to most of the adults and kids. This is basically a dish from the north Indian cuisine made with homemade paneer which is shallow fried and marinated in yoghurt along with combination of spices and cooked in a yummy onion and tomato gravy. It is simple and easy to cook dish and has ingredients like shahi paneer masala and kasuri methi added into it to enhance the flavors and taste making it a spicy and tangy paneer to it. Paneer chatpata is a deep-fried side dish that can also be served as snack or appetizer which can be eaten on its own too or goes exceptionally well with any Indian flat breads or plain rice or flavored rice.
Paneer is a fresh cheese common in South Asian cuisine. It is of Indian origin. In eastern parts of India, it is generally called Chhena. The use of paneer is more common in northern India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh due to the prominence of milk in their cuisine. If you're buying paneer from the market, you will find two varieties - hard and soft. Though the soft one is preferred by many, one must remember soft cottage cheese stays fresh for a lesser duration as compared to the hard one. Soft cottage cheese is great for salads while the hard one can be used to make snacks or in curries. The use of paneer/ sana/ chhana/ chhena in Oriya, Assamese, and Bengali cuisine is mostly restricted to sweets like the well-known rasgulla or rosogulla.
I always prefer to make paneer at home since it is cheaper and also more hygienic, homemade paneer is softer and better than the store brought one. All you need are three ingredients - milk, lemon juice or vinegar, and a pinch of salt. When you mix the milk and lemon juice, the acidity in the lime causes the milk to separate into curds and whey. Strain the curds and you will get fresh, homemade paneer. Some of the Paneer dishes are Paneer Butter Masala, Chilli Paneer, mattar paneer, paneer pakora, paneer amritsari, paneer spring rolls, paneer and spinach wonton...
Kasuri Methi refers to dried leaves of the fenugreek plant. It is an herb with a bitter but addictive taste. Used as a spice in Indian curries, its strong aroma and distinctive flavour fascinate the taste buds! It is generally used as a condiment for flavouring various curries and subzis. An ingredient of dry vegetable dishes, dals, pickles, paratha and in some Indians curries. India is the largest producer of the fenugreek in the world and northern states of India like the Rajasthan, Gujarat, Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Punjab are the major producing states of fenugreek. In Indian cuisine, we use both the leaf and the spice as it has a slight sweet and bitter taste.
Paneer chatpata is no extraordinary dish, made with simple ingredients and is spicy, tangy and crispy that makes changes in the spice part to suit your taste.