Chili n Paneer rice…I mean Chili in Paneer!
Usually on Kanum Pongal day, we would prepare an array of rice dishes. I suppose the tradition started in the olden days to include more vegetables and fruits into the diet citing festivals as a reason. Aviyal is a good example where there are at least five vegetables in one dish. Sometimes the festival recipes feature the seasonal fruits, like nagapazham for Vinayaka chaturti or Sugarcane for Pongal, Multi-Vegetable Kootu for thiruvadirai etc.,
But this year, I wanted to do something different. Basically the reason was that I had some mushrooms I got last week that I needed to use fast, and broccoli was also in the same condition. I had made a special spicy paneer last week and I had to use that as well.
N is not too fond of mushrooms or zucchini or broccoli and I always have a tough time to make him eat those. But he loves chinese food and this is how I fooled him into eating veggies that he does not like, by making a chili Paneer Rice..Nope, not paneer in chili sauce but chili in panner. And a cheeky way to finish off the left over rice as well.. Interesting? Read on…
To Make Chili Paneer:
Milk- 2 cups (400 ml)
Yogurt- 2 tbsp
Sambal Oelek Paste- 1 tbsp
Finely Chopped Green Chilies- 2
For the rice:
Basmati rice-1 cup
Mixed vegetables like Carrot, Broccoli, Cauliflower,Peas,Mushrooms- 1 cup
Red onion- One small size
Finely Chopped Green Chili-1
Sunflower oil- 1 tbsp
Green onions- to garnish
Cilantro- to garnish
Salt- to taste
Sambal oelek- 1 tsp
Sriracha hot sauce- 1 tsp
Schezwan sauce- 1 tsp
White Pepper powder- 1 pinch
Soy Sauce- 1 tbsp
To make the Chili Paneer:
Simmer the milk and when it is about to boil, add the yogurt and lemon juice and let the milk curdle. Simmer for another 3-4 minutes, switch off, add about 1/4 cup of ice cold water(to get more paneer). Add the chopped green chilies and sambal oelek. Hang the Paneer in a cheese cloth or through a strainer.
Drain the whey water from the paneer. Shape the paneer into cubes and shallow fry in oil. I made small lime size rounds out of chili paneer and shallow fried them in my appam pan. Once paneer is fried on both sides, drain the oil and keep the chili paneer aside.
This Paneer can be made ahead and stored in a refrigerator to use in any snacks, samosas or as a topping. Just have the store bought Paneer? Quickly grate it and mix it with the sauce and proceed like above.
For the rice:
Wash the rice well and cook it with 2 cups of water and salt to taste. Fluff it with a fork and keep aside. Fried rice usually tastes better with left over rice so use any left over rice if it is handy.
Heat Sunflower oil in a frying pan/Wok and add chopped red onions and all other veggies. Add salt and quickly stir fry till the veggies are 3/4th cooked. Add the Chili Paneer, the sauces(Sambal Oelek,Sriracha Hot Sauce,Soy Sauce), pepper powder and stir fry for another 2-3 minutes, mixing the ingredients well. Add the rice and quickly mix once.Check for salt and add more if needed.
Garnish with green onions and cilantro. Serve hot with a smile as though you don’t know what veggies are hidden inside
Don’t want to use rice? Use some rice noodles/ wheat noodles instead. Still no? Just stir the Chili Paneer in veggies and use in as a wrap.
This version of Vegetables in Chili Paneer as a topping/filling for samosas, bhel puris, spread for pav bhaji/Wrap is one entry and the chili paneer fried rice is my second entry for Radhika’s Healthy Fast Food Event, hosted along with Sudeshna of Cook like a Bong.
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