I met a friend today and we were swapping childhood stories about how her mom cooked some super exotic dishes at home and how my mother was the most “Jugadu” cook ever.All most all our birthday parties had channa masala noodles which by the way we all loved!,bread rolls,fryams and a giant giant vat of Rasna but the “fine cutlery” along with my mothers 10 minute Paneer Capsicum recipe was taken out at the more grown up parties.
Our Love for Paneer Capsicum
I am not lying here but it’s really her goto recipe-it’s served every time important guests come home,it was served when my inlaws came home for the first time, it was served when my brother’s inlaws came home the first time, it was served when my husband and I visited home the first time after marriage and I am pretty sure it was one of the first “house” recipes my mother introduced to my sister in law.
That said, when you read the recipe don’t baulk at me.It’s not one of those fry till you die type of a recipe.It’s a recipe that totally resonates with my mothers personality and that’s super duper.
This recipe can be made start to end in about 15 minutes.The base of the Paneer Capsicum is the bhuna masala but instead of spending too much time doing that, my mother used to add a spoon or two of tomato pure to help with the colour and the browning.The capsicum and the paneer are added towards the end and barely cooked to maintain their structural integrity.
Serves: 4 servings
- 100 gm Paneer
- 2 Capsicum
- 2 Onions Chopped
- 1 Small Onion-Cut into quarters.
- 2 Tomatoes Chopped
- 3 tbsp Tomato Puree
- 1 tbsp Coriander Powder
- 1 tsp Jeera/Cumin
- 1 tbsp Oil
- 1 Fresh Green Chilli
- Salt to taste
- Add oil to the pan and heat on High Flame.
- Once the oil is hot, add the jeera.Let it splutter.Add the Green Chill & chopped onions.
- Once they soften and become translucent add the quartered onions.Saute tfor about 30 seconds more till the quartered onions start to become translucent and chopped onions brown a bit.
- Add in the Coriander Powder and saute for 10 seconds-making sure the masala doesn't burn.
- Mix in the tomatoes along with their juices and the tomato puree.
- Cook till the masala has thickened and tomatoes have disintegrated-takes about 10 minutes.
- Add a tbsp of water if the masala is burning or looks dry.
- Add the capsicum and cook for about 30 seconds.
- Next add in the paneer and mix everything together.Cook for 30 seconds more and Paneer Capsicum is ready!
Tips on Cooking with Paneer
I want to share a quick tip on how to resurrect old paneer.I know most of us are not fortunate enough to get fresh soft paneer and it can be frustrating.My mother in-law almost always takes fresh paneer from Bangalore because the Chennai Paneer scene is beyond pathetic. The trick to make any not so awesome old, dry looking paneer usable is to soak it in some warm water with a tiny bit of white vinegar.Infact I store my fresh paneer in a box full of water and vinegar and it stays soft and fresh for almost a week.
Also I never cook or fry my panner.Cooking the paneer makes it tough and thats not the texture I am after.And I am the laziest person when it comes to frying so that’s really out of question and in my opinion a very redundant step.
Do leave me a note if you want me to post more such recipes.Also if you try it and like it’d review me on the blog.