Paneer, chickpeas and sweet pointed peppers shak

This is one of those cupboard-raiding recipes that ends up being bloody delicious! It’s a variation of the Paneer Jalfrezi for people who don’t have enough peppers. I wasn’t sure that the chickpeas would work with the paneer as they are both rather subtle in flavour but the pepper really lifts the dish and the roasted cashews add a nice crunchy surprise.

Ingredients:

  • 6 green cardamoms
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 6 cloves
  • 2 tbs ground nut oil
  • 1 large bayleaf
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 large onion diced finely
  • 2 tbs ginger – garlic paste (made with 2 inches grated ginger and 4 cloves garlic minced then mixed together to form a paste)
  • 1 large green chili chopped finely
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin coriander powder
  • 400g organic chickpeas – drain water and rinse
  • 2 organic sweet pointed peppers – cut off stalk, remove seeds and slice into thin julienne strips
  • 1 block paneer cut into 2 cm cubes
  • 3 tomatoes diced finely
  • 1 tbs tomato puree
  • 6-8 curry leaves
  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • Handful of cashew nuts – dry roasted in a pan before hand to make them slightly crunchy
  • Juice of half lemon

Cooking:

  • Put a large sauce pan or frying pan on medium heat and dry roast the cinnamon, cloves and cardamom until they start to smoke slightly. Remove and set aside for later
  • Add oil to the pan, once it is heated add the bay leaf and cumin seeds
  • When seeds start to sizzle add onions and cook until they start to brown, stir frequently to prevent sticking
  • Spoon in the ginger/garlic paste, chili, cloves, cinnamon and cardamoms – stir for a minute or so until the ginger/garlic starts to go a light brown
  • Now add the chili powder, cumin/coriander, turmeric and sugar. Keep stirring and cook for a minute or so until the mix is all well combined
  • Add the chickpeas and peppers stir and cook for about 5 minutes until the peppers begin to soften. Stir frequently.

  • Add the paneer, tomatoes, tomato puree and curry leaves. Mix thoroughly. Turn heat down to low – medium and cook for 5-8 minutes. Check every few minutes and stir.
  • It is ready for salt and lemon when the tomatoes are mushy. Add salt and lemon to taste.
  • Throw in the cashew nuts, stir and cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Serve with basmati rice and nice glass of wine. Yum, yum,  yum!!
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