Capsicum and Paneer Sabzi in Cashew Gravy
When you think of winters, you only imagine North Indian cuisine. I guess a trip to North India during winters would be the ultimate proof that you can eat and savour the best food ever and that includes right from your morning breakfast of parathas to your evening snacks of pakoras. And since the weather is extremely cold, you end up digesting such heavy meals too, much to your amusement.
This sabzi always reminds me of my trip to Amristsar few years ago in the month of January itself, when we travelled to Punjab to attend my close friend’s wedding. Post the wedding, we decided to make good use of our vacation time and visit Amristsar, which is a food heaven. By the end of the journey, we both were literally stuffed, but it also happened to be one of the best experiences we had. Amritsar has a lot of varieties to offer. Sadly I was not a blogger then, so couldn’t capture the foodie moments to share.
Punjabi cuisine is synonymous with rich gravies, cream, malai and ghee ka tadka / tempering. So, even though I always try and cook healthy food at home, sometimes the craving for the rich gravies sets in, especially when we have been really diligent with our daily workouts. So, once in a month or so, when I have collected some malai or cream from the milk, I usually make this vegetable or similar kinds that require the cream and the thick gravy. The beautiful mustard colour of this gravy goes really well with some parathas and salad on the side. The sabzi is not overpowering in terms of masalas etc. It is quite simple and cashew lends a sweet tinge to the dish.
Cashew as an ingredient, earns a reputation of being fattening and calorie dense etc. When I read about it couple of years ago, I somehow felt that they should be a part of the diet in a healthy way unlike the deep fried versions of masala cashews etc. Cashews contain proanthocyanidins and high copper content in cashew nuts help fight against cancerous cells. Loaded with magnesium, it is great for lowering your blood pressure, prevents gallstones. It contains good cholesterol and is great for losing weight (contrary to the myth that it makes you gain kilos).
Always remember one thing, any ingredient in excess is going to cause some side effects. The key is moderation and you can enjoy everything.
So go ahead, make this lovely bowl of sabzi / veg and enjoy it with hot parathas or phulkas, with desi ghee ofcourse, Pure Punjabi Style.
If you like cottage cheese and capsicum, check out another main course option i.e. Paneer and Capsicum Rice or Paneer bhurjee aka scrambled cottage cheese with Indian spices.
Recipe for Capsicum and Paneer Sabzi in Cashew Gravy (Step by step pics below)
Prep Time – 15 mins
Cook Time – 20 mins
Serves – 3 nos.
- 3 Medium Sized Shimla Mirch or Capsicums chopped into medium sized chunks
- 150 gms of paneer cut into chunks
- Cashew – 6 nos.
- Onions – 1 nos. finely chopped
- Tomatoes – 1 nos. Pureed
- Garam Masala Powder – ½ tsp
- Red chilli powder – ½ tsp
- Turmeric Powder – ½ tsp
- Milk – 1 tblsp
- Cream – 1 tblsp
- Oil – 2 tblsp
- Jeera or Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
- Kasoori methi – 1 tsp
- Water – as required to adjust gravy etc
- Salt as per taste
- Soak the cashews in warm water or milk for atleast 10 minutes and grind it into a smooth paste.
- Chop the capsicums into medium size chunks and steam them for 5 minutes. The vegetables should be crunchy and retain their colour.
- Cut the paneer into chunks.
- Finely chop the onions and Puree the tomatoes and keep aside.
- Heat a heavy bottom kadhai or a non-stick pan, add oil and once it heats up, add cumin seeds or jeera and let it roast slightly before adding the finely chopped onions.
- Sweat the onions until slightly brown in colour and then add the pureed tomatoes. Add the turmeric powder, red chilli powder and let it cook over medium flame until the tomatoes cook well and the raw smell is completely gone.
- At the stage, when gravy is thick and you can see some oil on the side of the kadhai, add the steamed capsicum and the paneer chunks. Mix everything well and add salt as per taste.
- After 5 odd minutes, add the cashew paste, garam masala and mix everything together. You will see the gravy will thicken after few minutes. Check and adjust the salt at this stage and add some water if you feel the gravy is too thick for your taste.
- Mix cream and milk together and add the same to the simmering vegetable mixture.
- Give it a quick stir and switch off the flame.
- Crush and add the kasuri methi for the lovely aroma.
Recipe Notes –
- If you see from the images, my cashew paste is not really in a paste form, its slightly runny. I prefer the same.
- I have kept the spices very mild as we prefer the same at home. You can go ahead and add coriander powder and cumin powder too in step No. 6 above.
- The quantity of cream used is very less and I have tried to compensate the other 1 tblsp with some milk. You can add more if you like, it does taste better. Also, store bought cream is fine too. I have used simple home made malai.
- Adding or sprinkling kasoori methi is optional. However it lends a lovely aroma to the dish. Do it only after the vegetable is cooked and off the heat.
- This Vegetable pairs well with rice as well as rotis. Ideal for serving it to guests too for a party or brunch at home.
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