Paneer is Indian cottage cheese. Its made by curdling hot milk by adding sour agent like lemon or vinegar. It's then strained and moulded into desired shape before adding to dishes. There are many paneer dishes in Indian cooking, one of the ways I like to eat is by making it as a side dish in a dry stir fry style just like this dish. I cook this dish in Iron pan, but you can use stainless steel pan or nonstick pan (though I don’t recommend using non-stick pans). Cooking in Iron Pan also adds extra Iron to dishes.
250g Paneer (Cut in small cubes) (You can buy paneer from Indian shops or make it yourself. Bring 1 litre milk to boil, then add 2 tbsp lemon juice. Wait for milk to curdle, now strain the milk using cheese cloth to separate cheese from whey, wash it under cold water still in the cloth and squeeze excess water. Flatten and weigh Paneer down with something heavy like stone mortar and pestle. Rest in fridge for 15 min before cutting in cubes.
1 Large or 2-3 Small Clove of Garlic and 1/2 inch Ginger, Crushed together
1 Red onion finely chopped
1 Green Chilli
1 Small Red and Green Capsicum, chopped in small chunks
1 Medium Tomato, Diced
1 Tsp Ajwain (Carom seeds) or Cumin
1 Tsp Masala Turmeric Blend (substitute with just 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder, 1 tsp coriander powder)
1/2 Tbsp Rose Garam Masala
1/2 Tbsp Royal Chaat Masala
1 Tsp Cooking Sea Salt
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
2 Tbsp Oil
1. In an iron pan on medium heat heat oil and add ajwain or cumin seeds to crackle. Then add ginger garlic paste, cook for 1 minute followed by chopped onion and green chilli.
2. Fry until onions are translucent & have some slightly brown edges, now add red and green capsicum and cook for 7-8 min until they cook but still have some bite to it.
3. Now add tomatoes, Turmeric blend, garam masala and salt. Cook for 5-6 min.
4. Add cubed Paneer and give it a gentle mix. Handle Paneer with care so they don't break.
5. For finishing touches add lemon juice, Royal Chaat masala and serve.
A) You can shallow fry Paneer pieces before adding them to the dish. Gives it an interesting flavour.
B) You can substitute Paneer with Tofu for Vegan Variation.
C) Don't over mix Paneer as they might break, you wanna keep nice chunks.