*In looking through all the photos from this, I just…have to shake my head! I apologize. My kitchen has atrocious lighting, and no amount of editing can make these photos look good. So, just imaging amazing looking food and we’ll be good 😉
It was 8:00 p.m. last night, and both DH and I realized we were hungry. Our hours were thrown off since we got home from a get-together on Saturday LATE (technically, it was Sunday by the time we got home, if that helps!).
I didn’t want to resort to eating crackers, tortillas and slices of lunchmeat. I also didn’t want to eat plain pasta anymore. I wanted something new, easy and flavorful.
I was actually going to make a rice bake that involved Cream of Chicken soup from Campbells (Since we had cooked rice and the can on hand). But when the husband suggested adding Paneer to it, I didn’t think I’d be able to just “wing” it. So I started googling around for recipes that might work with the three.
You’re probably not surprised to know there AREN’T any established recipes out there that combine rice, Paneer and Cream of Chicken soup 😉
So I nixed the soup. Googled again. Came up with some good ideas, and this delightful dish was made in my kitchen.
I would make it again in a heart beat!
2 cups paneer, cubed (I used one package of Paneer)
Half a green bell pepper, cubed (I used a handful of mini orange ones)
1 large onion (I used two medium ones)
2 green chillies (I used one red, but didn’t chop it up. Served as flavor)
3-4 pods of garlic, crushed
1″ piece of ginger, crushed
1 tomato, pureed (I used a handful of small ones)
1 tbsp tomato paste (or another pureed tomato)
A generous pinch of kasuri methi / dried fenugreek leaves (Substituted greek oregano because I had no idea wtf this was!)
1 tsp red chilli powder
A pinch of turmeric powder (Didn’t have on hand. So left out)
1/2 tsp jeera / cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder / dhania powder / malli podi
2 tsp oil
Salt to taste
Chopped coriander leaves to garnish (I didn’t have this!)
Chop the onion into quarters and place in food processor. If you are adding green chilies to the recipe, throw those in here now (if you don’t want them AS spicy, devein and remove the seeds).
I did not use the chilis because I realized I was out of them at the last minute. I had been drying a red chili that a coworker gave me that was a tad hotter than green. Instead of chopping it up, I just threw it in the pan and took it out at the VERY end before I served the dish.
Heat oil and fry this paste until the water lessens a bit (about 8 minutes for me) in a large pan.
Then add the chilli powder, turmeric, cumin, coriander, and crushed ginger and garlic (or ginger garlic paste) and mix well, frying for another minute. It will turn a lovely shade of..brown.. once it’s well-mixed!
To this, add the tomato paste. Confession: I don’t like to buy tomato paste. Even the small cans they come in aren’t small enough for my needs. I end up using a quarter, or a half, and then shove the unused stuff in the fridge. Unfortunately, by the time I need to use it? It’s grown mold!
Ugh. And the thought of spending all that effort to freeze it in an ice cube tray just isn’t worth it to me.
SO. I used Tomato Powder from my favorite shop: The Spice House. You mix 1 part powder to 1 part water and VOILA! Insta-Paste 😀 Worth buying, and highly recommend it for the flavor! It’s so much better than the canned stuff.
And then add the pureed tomatoes. (The picture looks gross. I apologize!) Mix thoroughly and cook to reduce some of the liquid.
Add the green bell peppers (or other pepper…).
Then add the fenugreek leaves (if you have them… I added just a pinch of Greek oregano instead!). And salt. And cook until the peppers are MOSTLY cooked. Just a tad crunch is good since they’ll be able to cook more shortly.
Finally add the cubed paneer and mix gently until well combined. I used an entire package of paneer, cubed it, and just added it. Definitely did nothing else to it!
Garnish and serve! I chose to serve mine with leftover white jasmine rice, and I whipped up a batch of stove-top flat bread (Will share the recipe for that soon).