Paneer Stuffed Peppers- The Deconstructed Version

In the last series, one of the Masterchef contestants baked a deconstructed Custard Pie. I thought the concept and the result were hilarious. Tom Rennolds had carefully planned  his recipe, he believed in it but sadly despite its grand title the end product was nothing short of a  disaster on a plate.

It is not unusual for  a recipe to  turn out wrong. At Pebble Soup HQ, we are well versed in the confection of  deconstructed dishes here are my  deconstructed cookies and since there has been many more disasters. Unless I have to, usually I keep them quiet and they are not published.

However Stuffed Paneer Peppers is such a good recipe that even though this first attempt was "deconstructed" I would like to shared it. And though it looks like the effort of a very absent minded cook, one who would have forgotten to use the peppers, let alone to stuff them, the recipe works and I am certain that whoever else tries it will do justice to it.

Paneer is an unsalted cheese. Home-made in India, we tend to use the commercial equivalent, Long Clawson Paneer, A popular product which sells well in the UK, 1.000.000kilos a year or 2 packs every minute. Paneer is very versatile, it can be grilled on the BBQ, added to curry sauces or even used in cheesecake recipes. Home-made Paneer is soft, normally used mashed or cubed. Commercial brands are harder therefore easier to grate though....


Hand-grate paneer and you might as well spend your time more constructively sticking trickle to a tree.  A full size food-processor is not a better alternative, too big for the job.  It is in such occasion  that  I am grateful for my Tefal Mini-Express.  I use it almost every day, with time I have grown very fond of it, so have you. Its review is one of Pebble Soup most read posts.

Back to my disaster or reconstructed peppers recipe which should have looked like so, a beautiful recipe by the talented Indian chef Anjum Anand.
But ended like so:

Panneer Stuffed Peppers: the Deconstructed version
  • 4 large red or green peppers,stalks removed, flesh cut in half, seeds scooped out
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1¼ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tsp finely chopped ginger
  • 2 handfuls frozen peas
  • 70g/2½oz green beans chopped
  • salt to taste
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1½ tsp garam masala
  • 250g/9oz grated 'long clawson paneer' paneer
  • 100ml/3½fl oz water
  • 5 tbsp double cream
  • handful fresh chopped coriander
  • 200g/7oz basmati rice, cooked according to packet instructions, to serve

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5.
  2. Place the pepper halves onto a baking tray, drizzle with one tablespoon of the oil and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until softened. Once the peppers are cooked, remove them from the oven and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a non-stick pan. Add the cumin seeds and fry for 20-30 seconds, or until fragrant.
  4. Add the chopped onion and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until golden-brown.
  5. Add the tomatoes, ginger, peas, beans, salt and spices and simmer for 10-12 minutes, or until the tomatoes have softened and reduced to a pulp.
  6. Add the grated paneer and the water and stir until well combined. Bring the mixture to a simmer and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  7. Add the double cream and season well with freshly ground black pepper. Simmer until heated through.
  8. Add the chopped coriander and continue to simmer the mixture for 4-5 minutes, adding tablespoons of water as necessary to stop the sauce from drying out as the paneer absorbs the liquid.
  9. Preheat the grill to its highest setting. While the grill is heating up, fill each of the baked pepper halves with the paneer mixture. When the grill is hot, grill the stuffed peppers until the paneer mixture is golden-brown.
  10. To serve, place one or two stuffed pepper halves onto each serving plate. Spoon a portion of basmati rice alongside each.

Recipe and photo reproduced with permission. Anjum in her original recipe uses home made soft paneer which she crumbles.

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