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April 17, 2009

Mirch Paneer- Paneer in Bell Pepper gravy

When we begin to enjoy cooking, the tendency is to start experimenting and throwing ingredients together to create a dish which warms your palate and your heart. I truly believe that this recipe from Raghavan Iyer is one such recipe. This is from his cookbook 660 Curries.

The recipe is simple, easy to follow and it makes you wonder how a dish can taste so good with just a few ingredients. I taught this in my class last night and everyone loved it. One of my students who ardently hates bell pepper, tried it and she is making this again at her home. There is not a thing you want to change.

Water – 2 cups

Raw Cashew Nuts – ½ cup

Red Bell pepper – 1 lb, cut into 1 inch pieces

Green Cardamom pods- 6

Green Chilies (Thai or Serrano – 2 (do not remove seeds)

Salt – 1 ½ tsp

Chilli powder – 1 tsp

Paneer – 8 oz, cut in 1 inch cubes and fried.

Cilantro – 2 T, finely chopped

  • Pour 2 cups water in a medium size saucepan, and add the cashews, bell peppers, cardamom pods and chilies.
  • Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and cover the pan with a lid and cook until fork tender – for about 20 minutes.
  • Blend the peppers along with the water to a fine puree until smooth in texture or you can use an immersion blender as well.
  • Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and stir in the salt, cayenne and paneer and cooked covered over medium low heat for 5 minutes until the paneer is heated through.
  • Garnish with cilantro and serve with plain or flavored basmati rice.

Optional: Make this a completely OIL FREE dish by not frying the paneer.

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