There are so many dishes that I have learnt from my husband. Since both of us are from two different regions and cultures, it makes our diet a beautiful blend. I feel quite lucky that we don’t restrict from trying new flavors, which is probably why cooking is still playful for me. The only paneer dish that I grew up eating is in the form a light curry, prepared by Ma in Bengali style. I will share that recipe someday. Today it’s Paneer Bhurji Curry that Arvind inspired me to learn. I probably made it sound like a big project when actually the dish is so quick and easy to prepare. It can be your weeknight meal too.
Paneer is our go-to ingredient. And since Avyan likes paneer, I get motivated to cook with it quite often. The boy is always distracted during mealtime. He wants a car or a book in his hand. While he is quite capable of doing everything on his own and does it with great interest. When it comes to mealtime, he wants me to feed him. If I make a dish that he likes, then thankfully he eats without fuss and I am all about no fuss moments.
Paneer Bhurji is a popular north Indian side dish where the un-ripened fresh soft cheese is scrambled and cooked in spices. It is mostly served along with bread. A step further is this curry where in the end, you add water to make a thick gravy. I seriously didn’t even know a curry version existed until Arvind mentioned it a few weeks back. We have a few favorite paneer dishes that I prepare on repeat. Paneer Bhurji Curry was something new to me and I am quite hooked. It is so simple and quick.
One key note about the recipe is that my version is extremely mildly spiced because our little fella cannot handle heat yet. So, adjust the chili powder as per your taste buds and heat level.
- 1 block paneer, 14 oz/396 g
- ½ green bell pepper
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1- inch ginger
- 1 red onion
- 2 to matoes
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 green cardamom
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
- fresh cilantro leaves for garnish at the end
for the spice paste
- 1 tablespoon coriander powder
- 1 tablespoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon fennel powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
- Grate the paneer block. Finely chop the garlic, ginger, onion, tomato and green bell pepper.
- In a bowl, add all the ingredients listed under the spice paste, add 3 tablespoons of water, mix it around and keep the bowl aside.
- Place a heavy bottom pan on medium heat and pour the oil. Once the oil heats up, drop the cumin seeds, bay leaf and cardamom. Stir around for a few seconds and then drop, the chopped ginger, garlic and onion. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder. Stir around and cook for 3 minutes.
- Drop the spice paste and mix it. Then, drop the chopped bell pepper, stir, cover the pan and let it cook for 3 minutes.
- Scatter the grated paneer, mix everything and cook for 2 minutes. Then, add the chopped tomato, stir it around and cook for 2 more minutes.
- Pour 1½ cup of water and ½ teaspoon of salt. Give it a mix, cover the pan and let it simmer for 3 minutes.
- Finally, add garam masala powder, stir and cook for 1 last minute. Check for salt and add any if, needed.
- Scatter fresh cilantro leaves and serve the curry warm.