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Paneer Jalfrezi

Paneer Jalfrezi

A dry, spicy, tangy stir-fry of paneer & peppers that comes together in minutes.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 450 g firm, unsalted paneer I used 2 x 225g packets of Everest paneer
  • 1+1 tbsp oil divided
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp kasoori methi
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red chillies
  • 1 large onion sliced thinly into half moons
  • 4 cloves garlic sliced crosswise
  • 1-2 green chillies, slit optional
  • 1 red pepper/bell pepper/capsicum sliced thinly into strips of about 7 cm x 1 cm
  • 1 green pepper/bell pepper/capsicum sliced thinly into strips of about 7 cm x 1 cm
  • 4 tbsp passata or pureed tomatoes
  • salt & lemon juice to taste
  • ginger julienne for garnish optional
  • chopped coriander leaves for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Cut paneer into fingers about 6 cm x 2 cm x 2 cm. If using supermarket paneer like Everest brand, basically, you need to cut the block into 4 pieces lengthwise and cut across once to give 8 fingers.
  • Using a pestle & mortar, crush the coriander seeds & cumin seeds to a coarse powder. Combine with kasoori methi and crushed red chillies. Set aside in a small bowl.
  • This step is completely optional if you're in a hurry, but it will make a huge difference to the texture of the paneer. Bring about 3-4 cups of water to the boil in a large saucepan, add 1 tbsp salt & 1/2 a tsp of turmeric powder. Mix well and turn off the heat. You need it hot for the next step.
  • In a large, heavy frying pan (I use my cast iron pan), heat 1 tbsp oil and fry the paneer fingers over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to ensure they are a golden brown in places. If you're not following the step above, season with a large pinch of salt & transfer to a plate. If you are following the step above, remove with a slotted spoon and dunk into the hot salted water. Allow to sit while you get on with the rest of the procedure.
  • Assemble all ingredients close to the hob. Add the remaining 1 tbsp oil to the pan and add the onions. Fry over a high heat until the onion slices are charred in places, then lower heat, add the garlic and stir fry for about 30 - 45 seconds.
  • Now add the spice mixture, stir well and allow to fry for a few seconds until you can smell them. Do not let your attention wander - they burn easily! Add the passata/pureed tomatoes and fry until all the liquid evaporates.
  • In the meantime, drain the paneer and dry it well on kitchen towels.
  • Back to the pan, put in the chillies (if using) and the sliced peppers. Fry over high heat until crisp-tender. You don't want them completely soft here. Add the paneer, mix well, fry for a further minute or two until the pieces are coated with the onion mixture. Turn off the heat, sprinkle a large pinch of salt and a tbsp of lemon juice.
  • Mix well, taste and adjust the salty and sour flavours to your preference. Serve garnished with ginger julienne (if using) & chopped coriander leaves.

Notes

Recipe origins: I don't exactly know where this recipe is from but my Mum has been making it for years. I also remember eating the exact same dish at an Indian restaurant in Dubai many times, so perhaps she just reverse-engineered it. 
Keyword chicken, chillies, indian, paneer, peppers, spicy, stirfry, tangy