Paneer is a must order curry for most of us when we eat out and it is also one of the most cooked dishes in my kitchen. I have done innumerable experiments (some were successful too) to cook restaurant style capsicum paneer gravy and never came as close as this one. Got this recipe from a friend and who in turn got it from a chef (connections you bet). This comes closest to the Paneer capsicum at the restaurants and that too without an overdose of butter.
I prepare the gravy in advance and use it with paneer, peas, capsicum, corn and even sandwich fillings when required. You can substitute oil with butter if required but it really does not alter the taste much. Fresh paneer tastes the best and if you are using frozen paneer, do dip it in hot water for few minutes before using it.
You can have this curry with roti and rice both. I have even tried it as a sandwich filling with whole wheat bread and it tastes superb!
- 4 tomatoes quartered
- 1 big onion quartered
- ¼ cup cashew nuts broken
- 2 tbsp oil
- 2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
- 1 ½ tsp red chilli powder
- 1 tbsp coriander powder
- 1 ½ tsp kitchen king masala
- 1 small capsicum diced
- 1 cup paneer
- 1 small onion chopped
- ½ tsp honey
- 2 tsp kasoori methi (lightly roasted and crushed)
- 1 tbsp fresh cream for garnishing (optional)
Boil tomato, quartered onions, and cashew nuts for around 8-10 minutes. Drain the water and let the onions, tomatoes, and cashews cool down completely. Grind them to a fine paste and keep it aside.
Heat oil in a non stick pan. Add ginger garlic paste and sauté. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the chopped onions and capsicum. Mix well and cook for 2 more minutes. Add paneer and mix well. Add the ground paste, red chilli powder, coriander powder, kitchen king masala, and salt. Mix well and let it cook for 3-4 minutes. Add little water (2-3 tbsp) if you find the gravy too thick. Add honey and kasoori methi and mix. Cook for one more minute and switch off the heat. Garnish with a dollop of fresh cream and serve hot with roti or jeera rice.
Paneer roll or Paneer wrap is a whole wheat wrap filled with paneer (Indian cottage cheese) and capsicum filling. Call it a roll or a wrap or a wrap and roll, for me it is a twist to my mom’s way of making us eat the roti sabji. She would just roll the potato curry in the roti and present it to us as a new snack she made for us and voila it would be finished in no time. I make this whenever I want to eat something “different” for dinner but still want to keep it healthy. This snack reminds me of my childhood and all the experiments I have done in the name of creative fillings for these wraps.
I did move ahead of the potato curry and roti combo and experimented with lots and lots of combinations of fillings. I added herbs to the roti dough to add more flavour. My love for adding herbs to food makes this snack stand out from the regular rolls with creamy sauces. You can experiment with the filling and add the vegetables/spices of your choice. I like the ginger and basil combo and nothing can go wrong when paneer is paired with capsicum. You can also add various fresh or dried herbs to add flavour to the rotis or wraps. You can even add pureed vegetables like carrot or spinach to make the wraps colourful and healthier.
I don’t like the wraps which drip while eating. You can be creative with rolling the wraps but this simple method works well for me. You can shape them like calzone and use cheese to seal the wraps or just simply roll them and seal with cheese. When cooking the wraps you can just warm them on a hot griddle or cook them slightly longer to make them crispy at the centre and soft at the edges. The filling and wraps can be made ahead and you can just roll and warm them before eating.
Makes 6 wraps
- ½ cup whole wheat flour
- ¼ tsp oregano
- Salt to taste
- Olive oil/butter to cook the wraps
- 1 cup chopped mixed bell peppers
- 1 onion chopped
- 7-8 basil leaves chopped
- 1 tomato chopped
- 2/3 cup paneer
- 1tbsp ginger chopped
- ½ tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- 1 cheese slice
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- Salt to taste
For the Wraps
Combine all the ingredients for wraps, add enough water and knead a firm dough. Cover and keep it aside for 10 minutes. Knead the dough again for 1 minute and divide into 6 portions. Roll out each portion into approximately 8-9 inches circle and cook on a hot griddle/tava till light brown spots form on both sides. Cook rest of the wraps and cover and keep aside.
For the Filling
Heat oil. Add ginger and sauté for 30-40 seconds. Add chilli flakes and oregano. Wait for few seconds and add onion. Once the onions are translucent, add capsicum and cook for a minute. Add paneer, tomato, salt, tomato puree, and basil and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Add the cheese slice and switch off the gas. Once the cheese slice melts, mix the filling well and keep it aside.
To make the Wraps
Divide the filling in 6 portions. Take a wrap. Add one portion of filling at the centre of the wrap and roll it tightly. Follow the same procedure for rest of the wraps. Cook the wraps on a hot griddle using little olive oil or butter. You can just warm them or cook till they are lightly crispy. Serve with ketchup or a dip.
Corn and paneer (cottage cheese) cigars. This very quick and easy to make snack is just mushy paneer and corn filled bread, rolled and deep fried. This is a twist to the sandwich I make with corn and paneer filling. With the IPL going and Football World cup round the corner, it is going to be lot of night outs and even more snacks and finger foods.
I don’t get the Indian corn here so I used the frozen sweet corn. This adds a hint of sweetness to the filling. If you don’t like sweet flavour, use the Indian corn which is not as sweet as the sweetcorn. Make sure not to crush the corn too much. Grind it very coarsely just enough to be broken into two pieces.
If you can use fresh paneer its great. Otherwise try thawing the frozen paneer cubes before you use them. I soaked the frozen paneer cubes in hot water for couple of minutes and it was good enough to crumble in the mixture.
I used white bread for this recipe but I would strongly recommend using the multigrain bread. It adds a lot to the flavour. Cut off the edges and roll the bread flat using a rolling pin. Do not forget to seal the edges well by wetting the edges with enough water. You can prepare the filling in advance and fry the cigars when you want to eat/serve them. You can serve these with ketchup or any other dip of your choice.
Makes 8 cigars
- ½ cup corn kernels
- 6-7 cubes paneer
- 1 green chilli
- 2 inch piece of ginger
- 8 slices of bread
- 1 tbsp oil + more oil for frying
- Salt to taste
Steam the corn kernels and grind them very coarsely with green chillies.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a non-stick pan. Add grated ginger and sauté. Add the corn and chilli mixture, paneer, and salt. Mix well. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Keep it aside.
Trim the edges of the bread. Roll the bread flat using a rolling pin. Add approximately 1 tsp of the filling in the centre. Wet the edges of bread with water and roll the bread carefully into cylinder shape and seal the edges.
Heat oil in a frying pan or kadhai and fry the bread cigars on medium heat till they are golden brown. Serve with ketchup or choice of dip. You can even cut the cigars into two to make bite sized snacks.
Paneer is one of the favorite vegetarian curries at the restaurants. This Indian version of cottage cheese is full of protein. It is a different story that the rich and heavy gravy they prepare at the restaurants almost negates the health benefits. I have tried making restaurant style paneer curry at home many times and this recipe comes closest. For me paneer and capsicum are the best combination. Fresh paneer and capsicum are key to a yummy curry.
I do not get fresh paneer here and I rely on frozen paneer when I have guests at home. Put the frozen paneer in hot water for 3-5 minutes and you have soft paneer ready to cook. Now comes the tricky part. Restaurant style gravy but in a slightly healthier version. I leave out the butter for sure. Second substitution I make is, to reduce the quantity of cashew nuts to half and add melon seeds.
I prepare the gravy in advance and freeze it in batches. Every time I want to cook paneer ki sabji, I just take one batch of gravy and defrost it and cook it with panner and the vegetables of my choice. I have the curry ready in minutes.
This curry can be served with hot roti, naan, or with jeera rice. Do not forget fresh cut or pickled onions and some fresh non spicy green chillies.
- 1 ½ cup paneer
- 1 cup mixed bell peppers chopped into square medium sized pieces
- 1 small onion chopped
- 1 big tomato roughly chopped
- 1 small onion roughly chopped
- 20-22 cashew nuts
- 3 inch piece of ginger chopped
- 4 cloves of roughly garlic
- 1 green chilli
- 2 tbsp melon seeds
- 1 ½ tbsp kasoori methi
- 3 tsp chilli powder
- 1-2 tbsp fresh cream (optional)
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- ¼ tsp cumin seeds
- 4 tbsp oil
Heat 3 tbsp oil in a kadhai or a deep pan. Add green chilli, ginger, and garlic. Once the garlic is lightly browned, add onions and saute. Cook till onions are translucent. Add cashews and melon seeds and cook till the cashews are lightly browned sauteing in between. Add the tomatoes, salt, and red chilli powder and mix well. Cook till oil separates and tomatoes are mushy (2-3 minutes). Switch off the gas and let this mixture cool. Once it is cool, grind this to a fine paste and keep aside.
You can store this gravy in the freezer for future use too.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a kadhai or thick bottomed pan. Add cumin seeds. Once the seeds pop, add onions and cook till they are translucent. Add bell pepper and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add paneer and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add the gravy and mix well. Add little water if the gravy is too thick. Cook for 3-4 minutes or till oil separates. Garnish with fresh cream and chopped coriander and serve with hot rotis or rice.
Paneer or Indian cottage cheese is one of the most popular cooking ingredients in northern part of India. It is made by curdling fresh milk. Taste of any good paneer recipe is directly proportional to the freshness of paneer. There are a variety of frozen paneer cubes/slabs available at the super markets. To make paneer at home, please refer to my post on homemade paneer.
As kids, eating paneer was a luxury. We used to get to eat paneer sabji whenever milk curdled at home or if it was a festival or celebration. When I moved to Bangalore, I was pleasantly surprised to see fresh paneer being sold at the supermarket nearby. Namdharis and Karthik’s sweet shop are probably the best places in Indiranagar to buy fresh paneer.
Now in Singapore, I was even more surprised to find variety of frozen paneer from its homeland Punjab. Mustafa centre stocks a variety of paneer (slab, pieces, & fried). I just lapped up some frozen paneer from Mustafa and tried this quick recipe and it did taste just like it used to taste with fresh paneer in Bangalore.
- 1 cup fresh paneer crumbled
- 2 tbsp oil (you can use butter if you like a calorie rich version)
- ½ tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
- 2 inch piece of ginger grated
- 2 green chillies finely chopped
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 1/2 capsicum finely chopped
- 1/2 tomato finely chopped
- 1 ½ tsp red chilli powder
- ¼ cup milk
- ½ tsp of garam masala
- 1 tbsp of fresh coriander leaves finely chopped
- Salt to taste
Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan.
Add jeera and let it crackle. Add ginger and green chillies. Once the chillies are slightly browned, add onions and let them brown a little.
Add capsicum and sauté for about 1 minute; add tomatoes and let them cook till oil separates and tomatoes are mashed when you mix them. Add salt and red chilli powder and cook for a minute.
Now add the crumbled paneer and milk. Milk helps the paneer absorb the spices and makes the bhurji soft. If you find the bhurji dry, you can add couple of more tablespoons of milk. Mix everything and cook for 3-4 minutes. Finally add the garam masala and finely chopped coriander just before switching off the gas.
You can serve paneer bhurji with hot naan, rotis, parathas, or add it as a filling to sandwiches, wraps, or dosa.