In our household, Paneer or Cottage Cheese finds it way very occasionally. The husband hates anything that is too much of milk or smells like milk. And another rare happening is deep frying. I hate deep frying stuff and often refrain from making anything that has to be deep fried. Don’t be astonished if I say I make puri at home only once a year – true. With this prologue let me get on to the recipe of the day – Paneer Takatak. When I saw this recipe for the first time on a cookery show, I wanted to try it out immediately. This involves a bit of deep frying and I had decided on skipping the step. The husband being husband, said he would not eat the dish if it had plain Paneer. Thus, he pushed me into the idea of deep frying the Paneer – a task I left to him while cooking 😀
As the name suggests, this recipe using Paneer can be made Tak-a-tak or oh-so-easily! The only time consuming task is chopping up the vegetables and deep frying Paneer. To put the recipe together, it hardly takes ten minutes. This Paneer dish tastes quite different from the usual Paneer gravies. It is kind of dry, but works as a perfect side dish for rotis. I made this to go with Triangle Parathas/Ajwain Parathas – a recipe I am going to post tomorrow. So stay tuned! 🙂
To make Paneer Takatak
Serves – 3 or 4
Time to prepare – 30 mins
What I used –
- Paneer/Cottage Cheese, 200 gms
- Onion, 1 large
- Capsicum, 1 medium
- Tomato, 1 large
- Maida/All Purpose Flour, 2 tbsp
- Besan/Gram Flour, 2 tbsp
- Turmeric Powder, ½ tsp
- Kashmiri Chilli Powder, 2 tsp + 1 tsp
- Coriander Powder, 1.5 tsp + ½ tsp
- Jeera/Cumin Powder, 1.5 tsp + ½ tsp
- Chaat Masala, 1 tsp + ½ tsp
- Jeera/Cumin, a generous pinch
- Oil, for deep frying + 1 tbsp
- Salt, as required
How I made –
- Cut Paneer lengthwise into fingers. Add the chopped paneer fingers onto a bowl. Add Maida, Besan, 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder, ½ tsp coriander powder, ½ tsp jeera powder and required salt. Sprinkle little amount of water and let all the spices and powders coat the Paneer well. Let it rest for 5-7 mins.
- Chop Onion and capsicum into cubes. Also, chop tomato into largish cubes.
- Meanwhile, heat oil for deep frying. Add the marinated paneer fingers in batches and fry until golden brown. Drain on to a tissue and set aside.
- In a pan, heat 1 tbsp of oil. Add jeera and let them splutter. Add cubed onion pieces and fry until half done. Add cubed capsicum as well and give a quick stir for 2 mins.
- Add turmeric powder, 1.5 tsp of Kashmiri Chilli Powder, 1 tsp of coriander powder, 1 tsp of jeera powder and 1 tsp of Chaat masala. Add required salt and fry for a couple of minutes.
- Add cubed tomato pieces. Do not stir too much, else the tomatoes can get mushy.
- Quickly add the deep fried Paneer slices and give it a quick stir. The vegetables and masala should coat on the Paneer slices. Remove from heat.
- Serve hot after sprinkling ½ tsp of Chaat masala on top. Goes really well with Triangle Paratha/Ajwain Paratha – recipe coming up tomorrow!
- Deep frying Paneer is optional, but this dish tastes a lot better on deep frying Paneer.
- The vegetables should be not cooked until well done – they should retain the crunch. Especially the capsicum.
- Tomatoes can go mushy on cooking for more than five minutes, but looks wise if they hold their shape, it looks better. Mine turned mushy, but no impact to the taste.
- One can remove the pulp of tomato but the juices add to the flavor.
- Garam masala can be added as well, but I didn’t use any.
- Chaat masala is essential for this dish as it adds a unique punch.