Paneer ( cottage cheese ) is a very humble yet diverse ingredient . It can be a starter on its own ,used with other vegetables as a side ,used in main dish like I did or even as dessert .
Paneer fried rice is again a one pot meal , easy , quick yet flavourful and filling .
Basmati rice – 1 cup ( wash and soak for 1/2 hour)
Paneer -1cup paneer cubes and 1/2 a cup of coarsely crushed paneer
Onion -1 small ,finely cut
Green chillies -9-10 finely cut ( depends on your heat level )
Ginger Garlic paste -1tsp
Mixed vegetables ( diced) – 1 cup
I used carrots , French beans , capsicum )
Garam masala powder -1tsp
Salt and oil – as desired
I sneaked in a couple of tsps of ghee 😀
Spices for seasoning
Fennel seeds ( sombu) -One tsp
Bay leaf – One Big
Cassia bark ( pattai) -1 Big
Cardamom, clove ( optional )
Coriander and Mint leaves – 1/2 cup washed
Cook the soaked rice and keep aside . Rice must be cooked with individual grains clearly seen not mushy so usually 1:1 water should be good enough .But you know your rice so adjust accordingly
Heat pan , add oil , add in the spice for seasoning. Sauté the onion and green chillies , once they are done add in the ginger garlic paste and sauté a bit more then add in the vegetables and sauté until it’s well coated with the oil , add the required salt , reduce the flame and cook covered for about fine mins . The vegetables need to cook in the steam . We don’t want too much water added in . Check to see if the vegetables are cooked , not too mushy though . Then add in the paneer cubes and the crushed , combine well with the rest of the ingredients in the pan . Cook closed for another couple of mins, check for the spice levels, if you think you can do with more heat then add in a tsp of plain chilly powder or just plain crushed green chillies .Then add in the cooked rice,mix well,cook closed for a couple of mins. Check for salt,and garnish with the coriander and mint and it’s ready to be devoured .
* if using capsicum, make it the last to go in after all the other vegetables are semi cooked or cut them into larger pcs .
* if you want to add salt to a finished dish , mix the salt in a couple of tsps of water and then add that in so it will mix in well .
*the rice can be cooked with a bay leaf and a cassia bark , if you love your masala flavour
* whole cardamom and cloves aren’t everyone’s favourites, so you can coarsely crush them witb your ginger garlic paste do get the flavour .
* to give this simple dish a bit more sophistication, blend cashews, green chillies, ginger, and garlic and add it to the seasoning .