A recipe, at last! I’ve had the photos and notes for this blog post ready for a good week and a half and felt super-prepared for once, but then life got in the way. It was nothing terrible, but I was just too mentally swamped to work on blog posts. That changes today.
I know it wasn’t all that long ago that I posted a paneer recipe — the tandoori paneer from earlier this year even uses the same basic ingredients. But this method, where I do use some tandoori powder as well, is a little different and a lot less involved. It’s pretty easy to get the whole dish ready in about half an hour, which is perfect for a weeknight or a lazy weekend. And it also might be more suitable as the weather warms up — when you might not want to turn on that oven for a few months
I guess you could argue that this is a version of “kadai paneer,” though it’s not necessarily a traditional method of making it. A few years ago, right before I was about to move out of my parents’ house for real after a two-year post-college stint of living with them, my mother put together a binder of recipes for me. Some recipes were her go-to dishes and others were just interesting-sounding recipes she’d collected over the years. She had two methods for preparing a paneer and green pepper dish like this one, though the first method involved tomatoes (which aren’t my favorite food). So I decided to try the second method, which is essentially what resulted in the recipe here.
The end result is flavorful — it can function perfectly as a main dish, perhaps served with a little tandoori roti. Or it can be part of a more involved meal like the one I had it be a part of, accompanied by some dal, raita and rice. Either way, you can happily skip the takeout to make a dish like this instead.
- Serves about 3-4
- 12 ounces paneer (I use readymade, but if you make your own, more power to you)
- 1 green pepper
- 1 small- to medium-sized red onion
- 1 green chili, sliced up (optional)
- 1/2 tablespoon neutral cooking oil
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 3/4 to 1 teaspoon tandoori masala
- Salt to taste
- 1. Chop up the paneer, onion and pepper into bite-sized cubes/rectangles. (Essentially, you want the pieces to be somewhat proportional to each other).
- 2. Heat the oil over a low-medium flame in a wok or deep pan.
- 3. Add the onions, stirring occasionally and let them get pink.
- 4. Add the paneer and fry for about 1 to 2 minutes. (You'll see the pieces get a little brown).
- 5. Add the green pepper, turmeric powder, tandoori masala, green chili and some salt. Stir all the ingredients together so that the spices are evenly distributed (your paneer will take on a nice yellow color).
- 6. Let the concoction cook another 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, before turning off the flame.
- 7. If you'd like the peppers a little more "cooked," you can cover the wok or pan for a few minutes while the flame is off before serving. If you are very hungry like I was, go ahead and dig in right away while the peppers are still a little crunchy.
- Adapted from Mama Rad.
- I tend to use green peppers here as it's somewhat traditional, even though I don't use them that often for other dishes I cook, but there's no reason why you can't use a red pepper, for instance, if that's what you prefer.
Song Pairing: The Zombies, “This Will Be Our Year”
This short and sweet track (something reminiscent of this recipe’s cook time) is a happy little tune that also seems to suit the slightly optimistic feeling that comes with spring time. Turn it on, pop a little paneer in your mouth and simply take a moment to enjoy the simpler things in life.