After posting one biryani & one pulao recipe, for the last day of the marathon I am sharing a recipe that falls under the other rice varieties category. In the other varieties of rice, the rice is fully cooked, then seasoned and/or tempered with spices to enhance the flavor of rice. When I announced the Dish it Out event few days ago, I wanted to make something for the marathon that would fit the theme of the event as well. Paneer & capsicum (bell pepper) fried rice came to my mind. I never made this combination before and thought of making tawa style pulao. Tawa pulao is a popular street food from Mumbai and is prepared by sautéing vegetables and rice in a frying pan with pav bhaji masala. Tawa is griddle or a frying pan and pav bhaji is another popular street food from Mumbai. When I checked the pantry, I had a pack of pav bhaji masala but it expired a few weeks ago and had to abandon that idea. I thought of adding some vangi bhaat powder that I had purchased for last month’s blogging marathon but did not get to use it. I eventually decided to make a simple Indian style fried rice that I usually make, with addition of some paneer and bell pepper cubes to fit the Dish it Out theme.
Tempering is called poni or popu or talimpu in Telugu and annam is rice. Poni or popu annam is something I make very often when there is some left over rice or when I am out of vegetables and no leftover curries. I also add pieces of omelet to this rice and it is one filling and comforting one pot meal. I followed the same procedure to prepare paneer bell pepper rice with addition of tomato to make the rice a little flavorful. I used store bought fried paneer and did not have to fry the paneer separately. I love these store bought fried paneer as it is very convenient to add these cubes directly into the curry, without frying it.
Total Time: 15 – 25 minutes (excludes the time to cook rice)
Preparation: 5 – 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 – 15 minutes
- 1 ½ cups uncooked Rice
- 1 medium sized or 1 c cup diced Capsicum ~ Bell Pepper
- 2 ½ – 3 tbsp. Oil (I used 3 tbsps.)
- 2 – 4 Cardamoms
- 2 Cloves
- ½ tsp. Shah Jeera
- Cinnamon small piece
- 1/3 cup sliced Onion
- 4 Green Chilies
- 1 tbsp. Ginger Garlic paste
- 1 ½ tsp. Coriander Powder
- 1 ½ tsp. Salt (adjust to taste)
- 1 tsp. Chili Powder
- ½ cup or 1 small vine Tomato
- 115 – 165 grams or 1 cup Fried Paneer Cubes
- Cook rice and let it cool. I cooked white rice couple of hours before preparing bell pepper paneer rice and let it cool. If one is in a rush, once the rice is cooked, transfer it into a wide dish and let it cool or uncover the rice rice cooker and let the rice cool.. Leftover rice also works for this preparation.
- Prepare vegetables by slicing the onions, cutting the bell peppers into small cubes, chopping tomatoes, slitting green chilies into two and chopping cilantro for garnish.
- Heat oil in a pan, add cardamom, cloves, caraway seeds, cinnamon and let them pop. Add onion and sauté until translucent.
- Add green chilies, ginger garlic and sauté until raw ginger smell goes away.
- Add chili powder, coriander powder, salt, turmeric and mix well.
- Add tomatoes, paneer, mix well, cover and cook for couple of minutes.
- Add bell peppers, mix well, cover and cook for another 2 minutes or until tomatoes are soft and mushy.
- Remove the cover and continue to cook until juices from the tomato evaporate. Also, make sure bell peppers are not over cooked. Once the bell peppers are added, don’t cook more than 3-5 minutes. I like crunchy peppers than the mushy ones.
- Add rice and stir well. Taste the rice and adjust reasoning accordingly. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, sprinkle cilantro and serve hot.
- Pav bhaji masala might spice up the rice a little. I have not tried and would certainly like to try it the next time I prepare this rice.
- I used whole garam masala (cardamom, cloves, cinnamon) when tempering and I felt instead, had a powdered the spices and sprinkled it, the rice could have been even more flavorful. If making a powder of the spices, 1 clove 1 cardamom & cinnamon should suffice or sprinkle little garam masala of your choice)
Event Entries: This goes to Dish it Out: Bell Peppers & Paneer/Tofu hosted by yours truly, an event started by Vardhini.