I had invited some of my friends for dinner at our house, for whom, I had to prepare Jain food. (No onion, garlic, carrot, ginger, potatoes...basically no root vegetables). So I decided to cook a Paneer dish, with different colored bell peppers in it. I used Red and Green peppers to give the dish some color. Though I didn’t use onion, garlic or ginger, or (my favorite) potatoes, the curry turned out pretty good.
Here is the recipe for a Jain Paneer Capsicum Subzi
3 Medium Sized Green Bell Peppers
2 Medium Sized Red Bell Peppers
½ kg Paneer Cut in Medium Size Cubes
1/4th Teaspoon Cardamom Powder (or 6-7 Cardamom Seeds)
1 Bay Leaf
1” Cinnamon Stick
½ Cup Cashews
5 Medium Tomatoes
Water as needed
Salt per Taste
2 Teaspoon Red Pepper Powder (or per taste)
2 Teaspoon Coriander Cumin Powder (Dhaniya Jeera Powder)
½ Teaspoon Garam Masala
½ Teaspoon Amchur Powder (Dried Mango Powder), Optional
1/4th Teaspoon Nutmeg Powder, Optional
2 Teaspoon Ghee/Butter (or Oil)
Put the tomatoes and cashews together in blender, and grind to a smooth paste. Heat Ghee/butter or oil in a pan. Add the bay leaves, cloves and cinnamon. Cook for 2-3 minutes, and then add the tomato-cashew puree, salt, cardamom powder and nutmeg powder. Cook half covered on low-medium flame. Stir occasionally to make sure that the cashew paste doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
While the gravy is cooking, cut the capsicums (bell peppers), in thin -1 inch long slices and add to the curry. Add some water to get the curry of your desired consistency. Add more salt if needed, and cook on medium flame for 10-15 minutes, or until the peppers are almost cooked. Don’t forget to stir after every few minutes to uniformly cook the peppers.
While the peppers are getting cooked, heat some ghee/oil in a pan and add the paneer cubes to the pan. Cook on low flame until the cubes are coated until the paneer has turned golden brown on the outside. Be careful with paneer, as it has a tendency to stick to the pan if it is not stirred frequently. Once the paneer pieces have turned golden brown, remove them from the heat.
Now check the gravy. If the peppers are almost cooked then add the paneer pieces to the curry. Now add all the dry spices such as pepper powder, garam masala, amchur powder, turmeric powder, and coriander cumin powder. Stir and mix well. Cook covered on low flame for 7-10 minutes. Remove from the heat, and serve hot with roti, naan, paratha or rice.
Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of the dish, but you can imagine it was colorful with green and red peppers, and golden brown paneer pieces. Oh ya, and it was very tasty. Wish I had a picture to put up here.
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