Growing up, there were a few standard paneer recipes that were made at our house. Being from the east of the country, paneer really wasn’t core to our food. The Delhi impact was not as high for paneer as it was for Rajma and Chole 🙂 Those we adopted with much more enthusiasm than we did paneer. I think it stemmed from the fact that we thought paneer was a bit bland.
However, all my friends ate paneer in many forms and quite often. That’s where I grew to develop a stronger taste for paneer and realized that while it is not spiced or bursting with flavour on its own, it provides a lovely canvas for a whole range of flavours. Now I am at a level where I can just eat paneer heated on a pan, dusted with some salt and garam masala; topped off with a squeeze of lime. Much proud, I say! 🙂
This recipe for tawa paneer is something I have tweaked and honed ever since I started living by myself, 4 years ago. Paneer was my quick fix dinner after a long day at work. It is easy to make, quick to cook and is really tasty!
This recipe can be made with or without the capsicum (though I recommend with) and can also be made with crumbled paneer instead of cubes (in that case, cut the capsicum much finer). It is something I make fairly often on weekdays for dinner and the husband, K, has also learnt now. He can whip up this dish quite happily as well 🙂
200g Paneer – cubed
1 onion – chopped finely
2 small tomatoes – chopped finely
1/4 tsp ajwain (carom) seeds
1 tsp cumin (jeera) seeds
1/2 tsp coriander (dhania) seeds
2 dried red chillies
1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste
1/4 tsp turmeric (haldi) powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1 green capsicum – cut to the same size as paneer cubes
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp fenugreek (methi) powder
1/4 tsp dried mango (amchur) powder
salt to taste
1 tbsp oil
- Heat oil in a flat pan (tawa). Add the cumin, coriander, ajwain seeds and dried red chillies.
- Once they splutter add the onions. Let the onions cook down and get soft and golden brown, about 3-4 minutes
- Add ginger garlic paste and cook for a couple of minutes till the raw smell goes away. Add the turmeric and red chilli powder and cook for a minute.
- Add the capscium and a pinch of salt and cook for 5-7 minutes till they become slightly soft. Do not overcook , they shouldn’t be too soft or mushy. The crunch and texture is important for this dish 🙂
- Mix the tomatoes and some salt to the onion masala and cook till the tomatoes are soft and oil releases from the sides. The salt adds flavour and also helps the tomatoes to cook faster. Keep stirring so as to ensure that the mixture doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Add the garam masala, fenugreek powder, dhania powder and cook for a few minutes.
- Toss the paneer through this mixture, ensuring that the pieces are coated well with the masala. Add the amchur and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Check for salt, adjust per your taste. Add the coriander and half a teaspoon of lemon juice. Serve with hot chapatis 🙂