It's such a joy to bring together different ingredients without having to follow any rules. I mean, why can Indian spices not join hands with Chinese sauces and give us the best of both worlds? Indo-Chinese cuisine - something I totally relish, has given us an insight into how dishes can be tweaked to suit the palates of the consumers. So when it comes to whipping out dishes in one's own kitchen and bringing together different cultures, the choices are innumerable.
This recipe is my take on 'Paneer Chilly', a famous Indo-Chinese dish which I have made more 'Indian' by adding Indian spices. I have chosen not to fry the paneer, and to throw in a little more vigour into the dish, have added red bell peppers. I'm so in love with the deep red colour of these peppers, the subtle sweetness they offer and the beautiful contrast they provide with the paneer.
I like this dish to be very spicy so do adjust the spice level according to your taste. If the dish turns out too spicy, add some tomato ketchup or lemon juice.
2 large onions
2 tsp ginger gralic paste
2 green chillies, finely chopped
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 medium tomato
1 large red capsicum
1 medium green capsicum
1 tsp soy sauce
1 to 2 tsp red chilli sauce (I used Ching's)
2 tsp vinegar
1 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tbsp kasuri methi (optional)
400g paneer, chopped into cubes
Coriander leaves or / and spring onion greens for garnish
Heat oil. Sauté chopped onions till they turn brownish. Add ginger garlic paste and green chillies and sauté for a few minutes. To this add the powders and roast. Add diced tomato and bell peppers and cook covered for 4 to 5 minutes or till they are cooked (keep stirring every minute).
Now add the sauces and vinegar and mix well. Cook for a minute. Add paneer, salt to taste (remember, the sauces have some salt in them) and kasoori methi and mix gently so as not to break the paneer.
Garnish with coriander leaves.