10.24.11_Paneer Jalfrezi

I'm not sure why I never cooked Indian food prior to our vegetarian adventure. It comes across as super complicated when in reality the Indian dishes I have made have been some of the easiest and least stressful out of the bunch. The Paneer Tikka Masala was straight forward and delicious, the Aloo Gobi Chana literally could not have been easier, and now adding to that list, I made Paneer Jalfrezi which involved nothing but prep work. So simple.

When I came across this recipe I was originally drawn to the bright colors of the food. Phillip and I both really enjoyed the paneer in the Tikka Masala dish so I wanted to try another dish with this. We both enjoy spicy food as well so when I read that this dish packed some heat I was excited about it. The other great part about this recipe was that I already had most of the ingredients from past recipes, all we had do buy was a little bit of produce.

I decided it would be easiest to do all the prep work at once so that when it came time to cook all I would have to do is add the next ingredient to the pan rather than ferociously chopping while something else was already in the pan. I even let Phillip help and for those who have lived or cooked with me, they know this is a big deal. We sliced up an onion (I used half instead of a full one since Phillip isn't a huge fan), two Roma tomatoes, a bell pepper (Phillip chose red), a pretty big Serrano pepper (instead of 2 Thai chilis), and minced 3 cloves of garlic and an inch of ginger root. Phillip cut the paneer into little strips as well.

Once everything was chopped I started the rice I was going to serve the dish with since that always takes the longest. After the rice was simmering for about 5-10 minutes it was time to start cooking the main course. All you had to do was add cumin and coriander seeds to some hot oil, then start adding the ingredients a few at a time. The recipe had a very specific order and amount of time for each ingredient so I did my best to stick to it. In addition to the ingredients we chopped up, the recipe also called for salt to taste, 3/4 tsp of tumeric, and 1.5 TBS of red chili flakes. I did about half the chili flakes this called for because I did not want to die from this meal.  In the end all of the ingredients ended up in the same pan and mixed together. After everything was cooked,  you remove the mixture from the heat and sprinkle it with 1/4 tsp of sugar, 1/2 tsp of garam masala, and 1.5 TBS of white vinegar or lemon juice (I used a combo).

We served the Paneer Jalfrezi over the rice and also had some naan I had put in the freezer from when we had the Aloo Gobi. The dish made more food than I expected and there was enough leftover for Phillip to take for lunch the next day. The next time you think about attempting to make Indian food I say go for it. You'll probably be surprised how easy and delicious it ends up being.

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