Well, the plus is because this is my take on paneer jalfrezi, which is a familiar dish in Indian restaurants. But as is the case with most Indian restaurants, the version there tends to be too red, too tomato-ey, sometimes too spicy and definitely too oily, with a nice little layer of oil on top.
So mine’s gonna look different: this time I even took a pic of how it came out!
Here we go: this is probably going to feed two hungry, or three not so hungry people. Pair this up with a light riesling (yeah, pretty stereotyped here, I am afraid!). Add naans or chapatis to eat this with!
- Vegetable or canola or peanut oil to cook in
- 2 medium onions
- 1 teaspoon of garlic paste, or equivalent cloves of garlic
- 1 teaspoon of ginger paste, or equivalent amount of fresh ginger
- 1-2 medium bell peppers or a large one
- 1 large or 2 medium sized tomatoes
- 1 large or 2 medium sized (yellow or green) squashes
- 1 pound of paneer, fresh if possible.
- Spices: 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, 1/3 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1/3 teaspoon red chilly powder (preferably Indian, and quantity to be adjusted for taste), 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon coriander powder, 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
- Alright, start off with the usual frying of onions till they become translucent, the cumin seeds till they crackle and pop, then the ginger and garlic too so they release their flavor into the oil. After they’ve been cooked in a bit, lower the heat.
- Add chopped tomatoes with the juice, fry till they get nice and smushy. Raise the heat back up first, then lower it so things don’t burn
- Add the bite sized chopped bell peppers and then squash, raise the heat a bit to help them cook a bit faster and then lower it so they don’t burn.
- Add all the spices, mix ’em up well with the rest of the food.
- Raise the heat, add chopped bite sized paneer, mix it in thoroughly.
- After cooking the mixture above for a while, add some water (not too much, say, the water should be under the level of the food by an inch, half an inch inside the pan), raise the heat on high.
- Cook on high till the mixture comes to a boil, keep stirring and let it cook on high for a few minutes.
- Lower the heat to a slight simmer and cover and let it cook till the paneer cooks through. Occasionally check on it and mix the whole thing up.
Last thoughts: the cumin seeds add a nice crunchy feel but you can omit them or reduce them in quantity if you don’t like that sort of thing. Also, I added the squash since I like squash and I also like to add lots of veggies to my food.The traditional jalfrezi does not have that.You can add peas and or corn too – they add volume and a wee bit of sweetness. These would go in between steps 5 and 6 above.