Paneer with Rice and Peas

Another Madhur Jaffery classic dish. Her dishes really are foolproof provide you read them through beforehand. You can eat this on its own with chutneys and pickles or with a sag side dish.

150g-200g pack of paneer – cubed
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
2 bay leaves
5 cardamom pods
½ stick cinnamon
Basmati rice – the amount you use depends on how many people you are feeding
Frozen peas – again, adjust the amount depending on the numbers you are feeding
1 green chili – finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin

Heat the oil in a large saucepan – one with a lid – over a medium flame.

Fry the paneer until brown. This happens quickly and watch out as the paneer spits hot fat onto you and your clothes. Remove the browned paneer cubes with a slotted spoon and put to one side.

Keep the pan over the heat and add a little more oil if required. Throw in the cinnamon, cardamon pods and bay leaves. Fry for 2-3 seconds then add the rice. Stir well to ensure the rice gets coated with the oil. Now add the peas, chili, salt and cumin. Add enough water to cover the rice and peas by about a centimetre and bring to the boil. Boil rapidly for 5 minutes until most of the water is absorbed. Place the paneer on the rice, cover and switch off the heat. Leave with the lid on for about 20 minutes until all the water is absorbed.

Remove the bay leaves, cardamom pods and cinnamon. They usually float on top of the water so should be easy to find. Mix well and serve while hot.

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