My husband and I both love paneer. My husband more than me ! The other evening, I had this sudden urge to eat paneer jalfrezi. This is a very simple and delicious dish that has bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, spices and of course paneer! It is usually a dry dish with very little sauce, but there do exist versions with sauce. To me, Jalfrezi is dry & flavorful.
Will you believe me if I tell you that I made this dish in under 15-20 minutes?? Yes, I did. When I tell someone that I did something in such a short time, people find it hard to believe!! But it is possible!! The reason I can make a dish this quick is because I prep as I cook. While I pan fried the paneer, I got the vegetables I required out of the refrigerator. I chopped the onions and kept ready. While the pan was getting hot, I chopped my tomatoes. When I sautéed the onions, I chopped the bell peppers & the paneer and kept ready. When everything was in the pan and coming together, I even cleaned the kitchen! I made this dish and had dinner as I was doing my laundry.Of course, you cannot do it for all dishes and definitely this method may not work for everyone, but it works for me!! I made this dish and had dinner as I was doing my laundry.
Here is how to make this super simple dish!!
Prep time: 15 mins ( for those who prep)Cook time: 10minsTotal time: 25 mins
Paneer ( Indian cottage cheese): 250 gms
Cooking oil: 1 tbsp + 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
Dried red chillies: 3-4, broken into pieces.
Onion: 1 medium sized, diced large.
Ginger: 1 inch piece, sliced julienne
Tomato: 1 medium sized
Green bell pepper: 1
Red bell pepper: 1
Orange bell pepper: 1
Turmeric powder: 1 tsp
Garam masala powder: 1/4 tsp
Kasoori methi( dried fenugreek leaves): 1/2 tsp.
Vinegar: 1 tsp
Salt: to taste
Coriander leaves/cilantro: 1 tbsp, chopped for garnish.
Slice the paneer into bite-sized pieces. Sprinkle a little bit of salt and keep aside.
Wash, deseed and slice the bell peppers and tomato into 1 cm thick slices.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a skillet/ frying pan.
Place the paneer pieces in a single layer. Fry it for 2-3 minutes on each side or until lightly golden.
Remove from the pan and keep aside.
To the same pan add the other 1 tbsp oil. Heat on medium heat.
Add cumin seeds. Once they splutter, add the turmeric powder, red chillies, diced onion and ginger.
Sauté for 2 mins. Now add the bell peppers, sauté for a minute.
Add the sliced tomato and sauté for a minute or two.
Add garam masala, salt, kasoori methi & vinegar. Mix well. Saute for a couple of minutes until it all comes together.
Turn off the flame. Garnish with finely chopped cilantro.
Serve hot with rice/ roti( flatbread)/ poori ( fried flatbread) or just regular bread.
Cooking made easy:
Whenever you bring a block of paneer, cut it into bite-size pieces, soak it for 10 mins in warm water that has a pinch of turmeric and a little salt . Then pan fry it until golden brown. You can store it in the freezer for future use.
Tip for healthy living:Paneer is a great source of calcium for vegetarians.
Food for thought:
One cannot and must not try to erase the past merely because it does not fit the present. Golda Meir