1teaspoonKasoori Methi, crushed lightly with your fingers*
6~9No Boil Lasagna Noodles
2¼cupsGrated Mozzarella Cheese
2tablespoonsGrated Parmesan Cheese
2tablespoonsCilantro, finely chopped
Make the Filling:
In a large sauté pan on medium heat, melt ghee and oil. Add onions, a pinch of salt and cook till the onions are lightly browned around the edges, about 3~5 minutes. Stir in ginger-garlic paste and cook for 1 minute or until the raw smell cooks off.
Add carrots, bell peppers and mix well. Cover and cook till the veggies are tender, about 8~10 minutes. Stir in the green peas, marinara sauce, turmeric, red chili powder, ground cumin & coriander, garam masala and salt. Mix well, cover and simmer for 8~10 minutes.
Stir in the heavy cream and cook till heated through. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Turn off the heat and set aside for a few minutes to cool.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Keep a baking sheet ready.
If using regular lasagna noodles, cook them according to the package instructions. Drain and use in the recipe.No boil noodles, do not need any prep. But I soak them in warm tap water for about 5 minutes to give them a kick start before baking. You can skip this step, but make sure to bake it a little longer to ensure evenly cooked noodles.
Spread ¼cup of paneer-vegetable mixture evenly in the bottom of a 8" square baking pan. Place 3 lasagna noodles slightly overlapping or just 2 noodles with a little gap.Spread half of the paneer mixture evenly over the lasagna noodles. Sprinkle ¾ cup of mozzarella cheese. Top the cheese with 2 or 3 lasagna noodles. Spread the remaining paneer mixture followed by ¾ cup of cheese. For the final layer, place 2 or 3 lasagna noodles and the remaining ¾ cup of mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese. Cover tightly with aluminum foil.
Place the baking pan on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes (bake for 15 minutes if the noodles have been soaked ahead). Remove the foil and bake for another 5~10 minutes or until the lasagna is bubbling and the cheese on top is melted and golden brown.
Remove from the oven and let it sit for 5~10 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro before serving.
I recommend using no-boil lasagna noodles because they are easy to use and convenient. I soak them for about 5 minutes in warm tap water before layering. Note that this is an optional step, but it makes them slightly pliable and gives a kickstart to the cooking process.
Bake for 20 minutes if you don't soak the noodles. If you do soak, then bake for 15 minutes.
You can use regular lasagna noodles as well. Just cook them according to the package directions.
Feel free to use whole-milk or part-skim mozzarella cheese.
Parmesan cheese adds a nice salty cheese flavor to the lasagne. But you can omit it, if you don't have it on hand.
Use any of your favorite vegetables. Cauliflower, broccoli, corn, green beans, etc. will also work. You need about 4 cups of veggies in the recipe.
You can use tomato puree instead of marinara sauce. In that case, simmer the sauce for at least 20~25 minutes to deepen the flavor.
Kasoori Methi adds an unique flavor and aroma to the dish. But if you can't find it, omit it and add some fresh cilantro instead.
You can make the veggie mixture at least 2 days in advance.
Omit kasoori methi if you don't have it on hand.
To make Vegan Paneer Lasagna:
Substitute paneer with super firm or extra firm tofu or cooked beans.
Use non-dairy cream like coconut or almond instead of heavy cream.
Skip the butter and use oil.
To make lasagna ahead of time:
Layer and prepare the lasagna, then wrap it tightly with aluminum foil and refrigerate it for up to 1 day or freeze for up to 1 month.
If frozen, thaw in the refrigerator overnight before baking.
To make the lasagna for a crowd, make a double batch of veggie filling and use a 9oz. box of lasagna noodles. Bake at 400°F in a 9"x13" for 25 minutes covered with foil and 5~10 minutes without.
Leftover veggie mixture is great to serve with naan or roti. Or toss it with cooked pasta for a delicious desi style pasta.