Monday, October 6, 2008

Paneer-Capsicum Subzi

When you want to eat/serve up chapatis and are deterred by the thought of all the hard work(Chopping Veggies!!!) that goes into making a subzi, this one here is a sure life saver. Just back from work? Can't bear the thought of standing in front of the stove for a long time??? Then try this subzi...It looks grand, elaborate and time consuming, it has paneer in it, it tastes great, it has paneer in it, surprisingly it cooks up in a jiffy, so much so that I love to call it the 'jhat-pat' subzi andit has PANEER in it!!!!! :-). Also, it is a very party-friendly dish. You can cook it as easily for a big crowd as you would for 2 or 3. So, all you paneer lovers, get ready to treat your palettes to this wonderfully simple yet tasty dish.

Back in India, I used to watch a lot of Sanjeev Kapoor's Khana Khazana. Veg-Paneer Jalfraizie was a recipe featured in this show, that caught my fancy. I learnt it and would cook it up quite often. This paneer-capsicum subzi is a toned down version of Sanjeev Kapoor's Veg-Paneer Jalfraizie which contains 4-5 mixed veggies and different spices.

You can improvise on this one in many ways. Make the gravy richer, by adding soaked cashews ground to a paste, or use different colored peppers to make it colorful etc., So, here goes.....

Ingredients :

1 big Capsicum(Green bell pepper) - Washed, deseeded and chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 cup Paneer - Cut into 1 cm cubes
1/2 big onion - cut into approximately 1 cm squares
2 Tablespoons Tomato paste OR 1 big Tomato, pureed
1/2 teaspoon Jeera(Cumin) seeds
1/4 cup fresh cream (Optional)
Mixed Spice Powders:(adjust the quantities as per your requirements)
1 teaspoon Red Chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon Turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon Jeera powder
1/2 teaspoon Dhaniya powder
1/2 teaspoon Garam Masala powder
2 Tablespoons Oil
Salt, to taste

Method :

1. Heat oil in a pan.
2. Add the jeera to it and let it splutter.
3. Now, add the onions and saute until slightly transluscent.
4. Add the Capsicum and saute. Sprinkle some salt over it and mix well. Close the lid and let it cook until tender, but not over cooked. Keep stirring in between, to avoid charring.
5. Now add the Tomato paste/puree and mix well. If you are using the paste, then you will have to add some water, about 1/4 cup, and mix. Let it come to a boil.
5. Finally add the Paneer, the spice powder mix, salt and the fresh cream(if using)and stir to blend well. Close the lid and let it cook for approximately 5 minutes on low heat. Do not cook for more than 5 minutes after adding the paneer, cos, then, it will become hard.
6. Remove from heat and serve with chapatis/parathas/phulkas etc.,

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