Serious Eats: Recipes

Kadhai Paneer (Stir Fried Cheese and Peppers)

[Photograph: Max Falkowitz]

This is one of the simplest and fastest Indian dishes I know. Start to finish, you'll have dinner on the table in a little over half an hour. Cubes of cheese and strips of peppers are briefly blistered over high heat before meeting a tomato gravy as easy to assemble as any basic Italian tomato sauce. The secret ingredient is fenugreek, both leaves and seeds—it's bittersweet and complex, making this simple, homey dish feel rich and luxurious. Just be sure to go heavy on the lime juice to balance out the sweetness.

If you can't get paneer, other firm frying cheeses will do. Hispanic markets often carry them (though they may get a little melty on you), and many mainstream supermarkets sell halloumi, a salty grilling cheese. Or you can make your own: Scald some milk, add some lemon juice, and strain the coagulated curd in a cheese cloth for a couple hours before pressing it into a block. You'll need a gallon of milk to make a pound of cheese.

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