Ok! So this doesn’t sound like a special recipe and it has no real story other than the fact it was whipped up on a whim. I definitely did pat myself on the back after creating this one 🙂 With the invasion of North Indian food,you can get this at most restaurants and of course each place serves it up in its own style. I do not know the original recipe for this dish – this is something I came up with on a whim for a Sunday lunch – the reason being that all that we had in the fridge that day was paneer and some “basic” vegetables All said and done it was a good lunch which we enjoyed – thank God! the concoction turned out alright. I think I want to try this with some home-made paneer next time 🙂
With regards to this post, it reminded me about the methi paneer I made last year. I had made it on a whim and never made note of what I did! Now I don’t think I can re-create that again. To think that it turned out well and I don’t know how to make it again 😦 I didn’t want a repeat of that and that is how you have this…..
What you need:
- Paneer cubes – 100 grams – I used the Amul Paneer pack you get at most stores out here in Chennai
- 4 medium sized tomatoes – pureed. What can I say? I love my lycopenes!
- 2 medium sized onions or 1 large onion – quartered and separated.
Basically you cut the onions into half and then lengthwise. Once that’s done rough chop them into small quarters and then separate the layers. Well you might sniff a bit but the taste of the final version will make all hard work worth its salt
- 1 large green bell pepper – Quartered just like the onions! only this time you won’t be sniffing 🙂
- 1 carrot – cut into spears.
I have never added carrots to a paneer recipe before and I should say I was pretty impressed. Btw I steamed the carrots in the microwave for about a minute to soften them. Carrots do take long to cook when they are used as is
- 1/2 cup Green peas – only because they were in the freezer and cos we like our veggies
- 3 small cloves of garlic grated – Oh yes! I managed to sneak them in without anybody noticing 😉
- 1 inch of grated ginger
- 2 teaspoons of Kasuri methi – 1 of these tea spoons were heaped
- Finely chopped daniya / cliantro / coriander to garnish – Use as much as your heart desires! We love the taste and smell of this awesome Indian herb out here.
- 1 green chilly – slit length wise. Add more if you want more spice.
- 1 tsp cumin / jeera seeds
- salt to taste
- 1 tsp Jeera / cumin powder
- 1 tbsp coriander powder
- 2 tsp garam masala powder
- 1 tsp Kashmiri Lal mirch powder – If you don’t have this use normal chilli powder as per taste. I love the beautiful redcolor of the Kashmiri Lal Mirch. Everest is a good brand for this spice [No! Everest didn’t pay me to say this!]…
- 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder
- 2 tbsp – Olive oil. You can use normal vegetable oil. In my case the olive oil was at arms length and I was too lazy to bend down and get the vegetable oil.
And for the cream of this dish:
1 tbsp milk powder dissolved in a little water to make a thick paste
Why do you need this you ask?? Just because I felt like it is my answer!But it did make a difference to this dish – it made it yummier 🙂 The subtle sweet taste of the milk powder complimented all the other spices used in this recipe very well indeed.
Now that we have everything I had on that Sunday, here is how you get it done:
Heat a lovely non-stick pan and add the oil. When the oil is hot enough, add the cumin seeds and when these start spluttering add the quartered onions, green chilly, grated ginger and garlic and saute well.
If you have the garlic police on your case, you will shut the kitchen door like me and switch on the electric chimney before anybody can say what’s that smell??
When the onions start turning translucent and a golden, add the green bell peppers / capsicum and the carrots and saute well. Add some salt now – I heard it quickens the cooking process.
Next dump the peas, the turmeric, coriander, jeera and chilli powders and incorporate the spices well. When the veggies seem partially cooked, crush the kassori methi with your hands and add them to the mix. In my experience dry herbs when crushed give a lovely aroma and taste to the food.
Cook for a few minutes and slowly add the paneer cubes and gently fold them into the veggie mix – you don’t want to break the cubes.
After cooking for 2-3 minutes, add the tomato puree, the garam masala and gently stir. Allow the veggie and paneer mix to cook on medium until the puree starts leaving the sides of the pan. I did not make this as a gravy but more like a semi dry dish..in other words there was no tomato gravy floating on anybody’s plate.
Check for the taste of salt and other spices at this stage and also ensure that raw smell of tomatoes is non- existent.
Now for the final touch – add the milk powder paster to the veggie n paneer mix and mix well. Cook for a few minutes, do a taste check and if you are happy with the taste, switch off the gas.
Serve hot with some rotis or chapathis or any other toasted bread of your choice……It will taste great with some plain white basmati rice too!!