Indian Cuisine

Saunfia Chaman


Here is another easy and lip smacking paneer recipe from the beautiful state of Kashmir, India. In Kashmiri cuisine, fennel and dried ginger used generously and that’s what gives this recipe a different taste from the others. It’s a tomato based silky gravy and the dominant flavours in this dish are roasted fennel powder, dried ginger powder and asafoetida. In Tokyo I did a Kashmir Special food event and everyone really liked it even though it doesn’t have any onion and garlic.


This is my take on Saunfia Chaman and it goes really good with plain rice and roti.

Serves 4


  • 250 gm paneer cut in triangle or rectangle shape
  • 4-5 medium size tomatoes
  • 1 tsp roasted fennel seed powder
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp clove powder
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon powder
  • 2 tsp dried ginger powder
  • ½ tsp asafoetida (hing)
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp or to taste red chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander stems
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger grated
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 ea cardamom and cloves
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 ½ tbsp mustard oil
  • Coriander to garnish
  • Water as needed




Shallow fry the paneer pieces in 1 tbsp mustard oil. In a bowl mix water with salt, ½ tsp turmeric powder, chilli powder and asafoetida. Transfer the paneer pieces in the water bowl. Keep it aside.


Blanch the tomatoes and make a smooth puree.


In the same paneer pan, heat rest of the oil, add bay leaf, cardamom, clove and grated ginger. Saute for about a minute and add all the spice powders with 1 tbsp water. Mix well and add the tomato puree, salt.


Cook the puree for 7-10 minutes till the water dries out. Strain the paneer pieces and add it to the gravy, add coriander stems. Add ½ cup (or more if needed) water and cover.


Keep on a low flame for 5 minutes.


Garnish with fresh coriander and serve hot.


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