Paneer or fresh cottage cheese, a popular ingredient of Indian cuisine, is a favourite among most vegetarians. It is also an important source of protein and calcium. Pan frying them is easy and tasty. Just mix paneer with other ingredients and shallow fry. Marinating it gives a good crusty outer layer. It makes a good evening snack or a starter for a party. Here is a quick and easy recipe that does not need long hours of slogging in the kitchen.
Serves – 8-10; Preparation Time – 15 minutes; Cooking Time – 15 minutes.
Paneer – 500 gms (cut into 1.5” squares and 0.5”thickness)
Oil – 2-3 tbsp; Capsicums – 2 medium (Cut into ¾” cubes); Onions – 2 medium (Cut into ¾” cubes); Marinade – Thick curd (1/2 cup) hung to drain the water; Cream – 4 tsp; Lemon Juice – 1 tsp; Tandoori Masala – 1 tsp; Chat Masala – ½ tsp; Red Chilli Powder – ½ tsp; Black Salt – ½ tsp; Turmeric Powder – a pinch; Salt – to taste.
Mix hung curd with all the other ingredients of the marinade and marinate paneer with it. Keep aside in the fridge till serving time. At the time of serving, heat a non-stick pan.
Spread 2 tbsp oil on it. Place the marinated paneer pieces one by one on the hot pan (they should not overlap).
Cook on both sides for 1-2 minutes till masala slightly coats the paneer pieces (over cooking hardens paneer). Place them on a serving platter.
Toss capsicum and onion pieces on the pan. Saute and sprinkle chat masala.
Place one capsicum piece and one onion piece on each paneer cube. Pierce them with a toothpick and serve hot with coriander chutney.
Relish this delicious Indian vegetarian snack this weekend. Be careful, it can be quite addictive.
–By Deepa Gupta