Thursday, June 19, 2014

Hydrabadi Paneer, Spicy Cottage Cheese Stir Fry

Did anyone ever asked you what were the best days of your life? The one period of life you always want to go back to? When I close my eyes and think, I travel back to my hostel days. The days when life meant fun, the days when things were simpler, the days those are now passed.  That’s life, when I was in school, I wanted to go to college and when I did start going to college-I wanted to earn money. And now when I have my own earnings, guess what I wish for? I wish I could go back to my hostel days.

Life was easy, we had to go to college, study and pass in the exams-that’s all. We never had to worry about hostel fees, world news-nothing. But we were stupid enough to make life complicated by trying to grow up or giving importance to brainless boyfriend-girlfriend relationships. Anyways, I had some amazing friends or I must say roommates then but NISHTHA was indeed special. I knew her since school days and she was a year junior to me. Come what may-we were always there for each other. Hmmm! she is a partner in crime, a guide, a shopping companion and a soul sister. She is strong, straightforward, beautiful and a big-time FOODIE.

That's Nishtha...the pics shows that she is a huge Foodie ;)

Back then we had little pocket money and when mess food was inedible, pale or boring (which was most of the time) we would go on the streets of Ahemadabad and search for economical and tasty food. Sometimes it was a plate of pani puri and at times a bowl of bhelpuri on CG road; tasty and filling thali from Vaibhav or spicy Aloo Parathas from Bermis....we went anywhere and everywhere looking for good and inexpensive food. She infact discovered about a restaurant ‘Seva Cafe’ that served food on pay as much as you like basis –yeah I know we were so nasty but we had no money *evil grin*.Occasionally we walked on to the lanes of IIM where hawkers sold all kinds of cuisines out of which VIP Punjabi was our favourite.

The vendor arranged the red plastic chairs and tables on the side of the road and start preparing his tandoor for Naan. With spark in our eyes and mouth filled with saliva we waited for our beloved Hydrabadi Paneer and naan to arrive on our table. We were serenaded by the constant stream of honking, foot traffic, and hawkers but who cared- for us there was nothing better than biting into the scoops of Hydrabadi Panner, naan and raw onion salad. We then returned back to hostel with broad smile on our face and huge contentment to our tongue and tummy. Thank you Nish for always being there for me, for giving those wonderful memories.  Friendship is not a big thing, its a million little things.

So last weekend I thought of replicating the same Hydrabadi Paneer subji and let Mr. Husband know why Nishtha and myself liked it so much. Huge chunks of Paneer/cottage cheese and capsicum are coated with the hot blend of spices and tomatoes- more like a stir fry. Pair it with parathas, naans, puri or simple chapatti- you are ought to enjoy this curry. Mr. Husband loved it and would like to go to VIP Punjabi with me when we visit Ahmedabad *happy dance*. But you ladies must totally make this and please your partners too :-)

1 and 1/2 cups of paneer
4 cloves garlic/lehsun
2 medium size onion
2 tomatoes/Tamatar
1 large capsicum/bell-pepper/shimla mirch
2 dried red chilies
1 teaspoon coriander seeds/dhaniya
1 teaspoon cumin seeds/jeera
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder/haldi 
1 tablespoon red chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon garam massala (recipe HERE)
Salt to taste 
1 teaspoon dry fenugreek leaves/kasthuri methi
2 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon coriander leaves


  1. Chop paneer, 1 onion and capsicum into cubes or large chunks.
  2. In a grinder make a paste of 1 onion, garlic cloves and whole coriander seeds.
  3. Heat oil in wok/kadai. When oil is hot add dried red chilies and cumin. Let it splutter.
  4. To this add the grinded paste with 1/4 cup water. Let it cook till there is no raw smell.
  5. Next, mix in chopped tomatoes and all the remaining spices with 1 cup of water. Cover and cook it on a low flame till it gets soft and mushy.
  6. In a separate pan sauté the chunks onion and capsicum. It should be soft but yet crunchy. Do not overcook them. Keep aside
  7. In the same pan toss the pieces of paneer till it gets light brown colour.
  8. Finally add onions, capsicum and paneer to the tomatoes paste. Stir well. Cook covered for 5 minutes.
  9. Garnish with coriander leaves and Serve hot.
You can skip onion and garlic if you want. 
For more richer taste, add 2 tablespoons of cream in the gravy.

Sending this for Independence Day Event at Cooking With SJ for Hudson giveway


  1. Loooks spicy i make this often at home:)
    Loved reafing about hostel dayzzz

  2. Ohhh man. . .I am drooling. . Thank you so much Shweta!! Miss our hostel days terribly.

  3. Wow loved your hyderabadi paneer ......invitng clicks too...lovely post dear

  4. Sounds tempting paneer dish !

  5. Paneer curry looks delicious and inviting... nice clicks too..

  6. paneer gravy looks super and I agree with you.. hostel days are always fun

  7. Looks mouth watering.. Ya hostel days r always fun

  8. looks your clicks! first time here, glad to follow you :)


Do not be a silent reader, do leave your comments :)