Spicy Roasted Paneer Salad

Paneer salad

The last few days of December was spent with my husband and my families. First four at my parents’ in Bangalore and another four at his in Mumbai. I can’t even begin to tell you how much we ate and what all we ate. Maybe in another post I’ll elaborate. But once I was on the plane back to Gurgaon, I knew I ate to my heart and stomach’s content and that I had to go easy once I was home. I’m slowly cutting down on sugar and other carbs like wheat and rice. No more chocolates and carb heavy meals every day.

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Mixed dal khichdi with pan roasted paneer

mixed dal khichdi

This khichdi is my go to weeknight dinner when I’m lazy or when I don’t feel like cooking an elaborate meal. It can be cooked under 20 mins and you don’t even have to be around in the kitchen for longer than half the time. I use mixed dal here because I get a little of everything – green, masoor, tur, among others. At most big supermarket you’ll find large tubs of mixed dal sold by weight. I usually get heaps from there whenever I can. To this rather plain Jane khichdi I add a tempering of mustard oil and curry leaves. Mustard oil gives it the kick it needs and curry leaves, well I just love me some crispy curry leaves!

Many people ask what they can do with paneer besides dunking it in lots of gravy. I’m not a fan of it but I picked up a packet from the shop on a whim. All I did was cut it into thick strips, roll it around some spice mix and roast them on a hot greased pan while the khichdi was cooling off in the pressure cooker. Voila! You have a side dish to go with your khichdi without it being deep fried or heavily salty.

Yield: 2 servings

Cooking time: 20 mins

Ingredients:

Mixed dal/dal of your choice – 1/2 cup washed and drained

Rice – 3/4 cup rice washed and drained

Turmeric – 2 tsp

Mustard oil – 1 tbsp

Curry leaves – from 2 sprigs at least

Salt to taste

For roast paneer:

Paneer – 100 gm (or as much as you need) sliced or cubed

Chilli powder – 1/2 tsp

Turmeric – 1/2 tsp

Cumin powder – 1/2 tsp

Salt – 1/2 tsp

Method:

Bring 3 and 1/2 cups of water to boil and tip the dal and rice in it.

Add turmeric and salt.

Cover and let it cook on high heat till the first whistle is let out.

Now lower the heat and let it cook for 10 minutes.

After 10 mins, take it off the heat and let the pressure drop on its own. In the meanwhile make the paneer dish.

Heat oil/ghee in a nonstick pan.

Toss the paneer pieces in the spice mix and place in the hot oil to roast.

Let it get nice and toasty, say for around a min on each side. Keep aside.

Heat mustard oil and throw in the curry leaves. Let them splutter and crackle before you turn the heat off.

Tumble this tempering on the khichdi and you’re done!

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