Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Paneer Jalfrezi

The kitchen was all set up. Rows of jars, all filled with an array of lentils and masalas lined the shelves. A new microwave, a rice cooker that came free with the MW, a tea/coffee maker and the gas cylinder were all in place as well. We had just moved cities, and finding myself jobless, the kitchen was about to become my playground and I seemed to be ready to cook. Or was I?

Notice anything missing in the things I listed above?

Yeah, you got it...the cooking range!! The one I wanted was out of stock and was likely to be delivered only the following month. So there I was, all set to cook, but unable to.

Or maybe not....there was the MW afterall.

No one I knew cooked in the MW, using it only for heating food. The MW came with an instruction manual and also a recipe book and it seemed that it was geared for all kinds of cooking from grilling, baking, steaming etc. Very tentatively (and very sheepishly, I must admit that I was actually scared), I started my MW cooking journey by boiling potatoes and within a few days, there was no looking back.

MW cooking is not only quick but also uses less oil and water in the cooking process. As a result, food (and especially vegetables) retain more of their vitamins and minerals when cooked in the microwave.

Some dishes ended in absolute disasters (making kadhi, rotis, meat roasts - a definite no no), many others were surprisingly successful (cakes, puddings, omelettes). One of my favourites was and continues to be paneer jalfrezi. This particular way of making it (adapted from Sanjeev Kapoor's TV show Khana Khazana) requires the veggies to be cooked very little and I have made it both on the stove top and the MW, cooking it in the latter keeps the veggies fresher and crisper.


Paneer - 200gms
Onion, 1 large, sliced
Ginger, 1" piece, julienned
Green bell pepper, cut into long thin strips
Tomato, seeds taken off, sliced into long thin strips
Corainder leaves, finely chopped, 1 tbsp

Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Whole red chilli - 2 nos
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder, salt, to taste
Kitchen king masala - 1 tsp
Vinegar - 1 tbsp
Oil - 2 tsp


Heat oil for a minute. Toss in the cumin seeds, let them splutter - this should take about a minute. Next, put in the red chillies for 30 secs.

Add the onions and the ginger and let them cook for half a minute. Stir and put the capsicum in next and cook for 30 secs. Stir and add the paneer and all the masalas and the salt and cook for a minute and 30 secs. Add the vinegar, give it a good stir and add the tomatoes. Cook for a minute and a half, add the coriander and serve.

A friend of mine once told me that good food is all about color. Get the colors right and the food becomes that much more appetising. This paneer jalfrezi, with its lovely mix of yellow, green and red looks good, doesn't it?

Needless to say, this is my entry to Sunshinemom's FIC : Yellow and MEC : Paneer at Rak's Kitchen.

And after a lot of deliberation, also sending this to Click: February 2009 - Cheese/Tofu at Jugalbandi.


  1. You are right, the MW retains beautifully the color, the paneer dish looks very inviting!

  2. Thats a great effort and indeed microwave cooking uses less oil than the stove top method!
    Tahnks for the entry:)

  3. That's impressive. I've only used my (very basic) MW for heating up leftovers, so this is certainly food for thought :)

  4. I am like dee, i use them for heating up.
    Jalfrezi looks yumm.

  5. Can't tell they were made in the MW. Looks so good.

  6. The jalfrezi looks tempting and very colorful...

  7. paneer in the microwave, that sounds new! I only use mine to reheat as well.

  8. Super cool. Must try this seems, though I've never tried the MW!

  9. Indeed they look good dear..i have never tried MW cooking..I dont have the right pans I guess or do u use the normal plates/bowls?..Lovely dish..:)

  10. paneer jalfarzi looks good.. will try it sometime.. have bookmarked it .

  11. Thanks guys! Your comments really keep me going :)

    Varsha, take a look at this link: http://housewares.hardwarestore.com/learning/all-about-microwave-cookware.aspx
    I use glass cookware for cooking in the MW.

  12. wow, u made in mw? looks so yummy.

  13. great recipe n i m a jalfrezi fan...made them just last night, but didn't take a pic as we were hungry ;p

  14. This is my fav. dish.. I call it chilli paneer capsicum:)


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