Paneer and Capsicum masala

Cottage cheese or Paneer as we call it is a mildly flavoured end product that remains after curdling the milk and throwing off most of the whey. Half a cup of paneer is a low calorie high protein snack.

Since I have sisters in Delhi and Mumbai, whenever they come down to kochi, accompanying them is always absolutely fresh paneer – so fresh you can just cut into cubes and eat it just like that. Tastes so good . Unlike we down south where we have to soak the paneer in hot water before adding it to the gravy or masala, the paneer my sisters bring can be added just before serving and it’s so soft- unbelievable.

At home, every week I buy paneer and try out the different brands available in the market. The present favourite brand of paneer is Hatsun , of course the other brand I totally rely on is Milky mist – should keep an eye on the manufacturing date tho.

All of us love paneer pakoras – just cut up the paneer, sandwich 2 cubes with green chutney, dip into the pakora batter and deep fry on high heat till golden brown. You just can’t stop with one – it’s so, so good. The ideal snack for a rainy day with a cup of chai and a good book – but at home – paneer pakoras is welcome anytime – come rain or sun!

Sharing with you a recipe that is one of the many favourites at home:

Ingredients:

  • Paneer-250 GMs
  • Capsicum-1 minced
  • Onions-2 sliced
  • Tomatoes blanched -2
  • Ginger- garlic paste -1 tbsp
  • Cashewnuts – 1 tbsp
  • Curd-1/2 cup
  • Raisins-1 tbsp
  • Kashmiri chilli powder -2 tbsp
  • Garam masala-1 tbsp
  • Cummin powder – 1 tsp
  • Hot water- 3/4 cup
  • Sugar – a big pinch
  • Salt
  • Coriander leaves / Kasturi methi leaves to garnish

Method:

  • Soak the paneer in hot water and keep aside.
  • In a little oil/ ghee, add sliced onions and fry till brown and soft.
  • Add ginger- garlic paste and fry well.
  • Add chopped blanched tomatoes and fry till soft and a paste is formed.
  • Add all the powders, cashewnuts and raisin ground with curd and fry on a low flame till oil floats on top. ( keep covered for 10 minutes)
  • Add capsicum minced, hot water, sugar and salt and bring to a boil.
  • Taste.
  • Add paneer cubes,
  • Let it simmer in the gravy for a couple of minutes.
  • Sprinkle chopped coriander leaves/ roasted kasthuri methi leaves and serve hot with roti / rice of your choice.

Chefs tips:

  • Always use fresh paneer for the best results.
  • In certain recipes, fresh tomatoes HAVE to be used, cannot substitute tomato purée.
  • You could add half a cup of fresh milk at the end to give you a more creamy and richer masala.
  • I use only Kashmiri chilli powder in cooking as the dish looks great and is less spicy.
  • In the place of paneer, you could use mushroom and baby corn, potato and peas and even paneer and peas, the weight has to be 250 GMs .
  • This serves 3-4.

Till my next post,

Cheers

Rose

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