Paneer jalfrezi

When you go to North Indian restaurants, you can generally find a whole section of the menu dedicated to paneer dishes. Indeed there is a plethora of dishes that can be made with this versatile protein. While palak paneer, paneer butter masala and muttar paneer are some of the popular favourites, here is a fast and easy paneer recipe that is tasty and can be eaten with roti or rice. I’ve also included a small shortcut which will help you shave a few minutes off the cooking time when you’re in a rush.

Paneer – 200 gm, cut into cubes/strips
Capsicum – 1, cut into large chunks
Tomato – 1 large, cut into large chunks
Onion – 1 large, cut into large chunks

For the masala
Ginger – 1 inch piece, chopped finely
Garlic – 2 cloves, chopped finely
Green chilli – 1, chopped finely
Oil (of your choice) – 1 ½ tbsp
Dhania powder – 1 tbsp
Red chilli powder – ½ tsp
Garam masala – ½ tsp
Tomato – 2, chopped and blended well to make a puree
Salt – to taste

For the garnish
Kasuri methi – 1 tsp crushed

Take ½ tbsp of oil in the kadai and fry the paneer on medium heat so that it is grilled well. Remove paneer, add ½ tbsp more oil and fry the onion and capsicum until it is half cooked. Set aside.

In another ½ tbsp of oil, add the ginger, garlic, green chilli and the masalas and fry well until the raw smell is gone. Add the pureed tomato to this and cook until it is thick like a paste.

(RECIPE SHORTCUT: You can also replace the pureed tomatoes with 2 tbsp of ketchup. Cook for a minute or so, then add water as required to make a paste. I have done this on occasion and don’t mind doing so, as I make ketchup at home and so it is not packed with preservatives and sugar, like commercially available ketchup. This will make an already quick recipe even quicker!)

Add the paneer, capsicum, onion to the kadai and toss well. Add tomato chunks, salt according to taste and cook for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and garnish with crushed kasuri methi.

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