Now I am not a good cook… and ergo, I am not going to make this a food blog. So don’t worry! 😛 However, an unchangeable fact of my life is that my husband is a foodie, and I’ve been forced to concur that “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” Truer words have never been spoken, I tell you!
I am barely a decent cook and can just about make edible food to feed the family. However, I’m trying to become better at it. I try to make new dishes whenever possible and to improve and build upon whatever little I already know. So I decided that whenever I try something, I’ll post the recipe here.
Nota Bene: The recipes are not original. In case you got the impression that I invent the recipes I post here, please go back and read the first line of this post again. I usually look for recipes on the internet – I found this one in today’s issue of ‘The Hindu’. But since I am a class-A somberi who forgets to cut out the recipes and bookmark the links, I figured that there may be others like me here. And ergo, I am going to post the recipes here, so that it will help one and all. And my recipes are definitely going to be of the “Beginner” type – nothing too fancy. So all you new brides who are too proud to ask your mother-in-law for help in the kitchen, but want to impress her all the same – come this way please.. 😛
So ummm… returning to the main topic… today I’m going to post the recipe for Chilli Panneer fried rice. A classic staple – since South Indians love Fried Rice, and vegetarians love Panneer. It is very simple, easy to make, and will take a total of less than an hour to prepare the ingredients and complete the cooking! I tried it today, and it came out really well. My Mother in law said “First class ah irukku!” 😀
Ingredients you’ll need (Serves 4):
1 teaspoon oil (for frying the Panneer)
1 tablespoon oil (for saute-ing the vegetables)
175 grams cubed Panneer
3 onions (thinly sliced)
3 capsicums (sliced)
1.5 cups basmati rice (“azhakku”)
2 tbsp Soya sauce
1 tsp pepper powder
1/2 tbsp vinegar/chilly vinegar
5-6 dried chilies (You can use a combination of green and dried chilies as well).
Salt to taste.
A few chopped spring onions and/or a few sprigs of Coriander to garnish.
Method to prepare:
1. The rice should preferably be cooked the previous day, or cooked earlier in the day and refrigerated. This is just to make sure that the grains separate easily, and give that restaurant-quality feel. (And don’t be iffy about the day-old rice; I tried and it really works!). If you cook the Basmati rice just during preparation of the meal, cook it at least half an hour before, put it on a plate and let it cool under the fan.
2. Heat one tsp of oil in a wok or kadai and fry the panneer until they’re golden brown – preferably use cottage cheese instead of Tofu, as that gives a more authentic Panneer flavour). Set it aside to cool. (If you don’t know the difference, cottage cheese is made out of.. well.. normal milk :P, and tofu is made from soy milk.)
3. Use a large kadai – heat one tbsp of oil and fry the chillies until they’re darker.
4. Then add the onions and saute until golden brown, and then add and saute the sliced capsicum.
5. Now add the cooked rice, soya sauce, vinegar, salt and pepper powder. Keep stirring so that the vegetables and sauces mix well with the rice. This should take about 3-5 minutes. But keep stirring so that the rice doesn’t get burnt.
6. In the end, add the Panneer cubes, coriander and spring onion to garnish.
And that’s it! It is as simple as that. Remember that it will taste like classic fried rice – a little bland, not spicy, but full of flavour. So plan your side dish(es) accordingly. A simple raita will suffice. You can buy potato chips or Kurkure for the crisp factor. Alternatively, if you have the time and energy, you can make a proper gravy.
So do try and let me know how it turned out! I also know some excellent Panneer side dishes that I’ll post here soon…
Until then, Ciao! 🙂