Paneer Capsicum Rice
(No Onion and Garlic Recipe) (Gluten Free) (Low oil) (Kid friendly) (Lunch box ideas)
For an extremely perfect planner like me, some days are really difficult especially when you are hounded by the question – What to cook for lunch? Though the refrigerator has veggies stocked in it, all the masalas are neatly stored in bottles, yet the mind wanders what to make for lunch?
Also, this is not a good idea especially at 6 am in the morning when you are busy packing lunch for the husband and trying to head out for a morning walk yourself. Well, one such morning, couple of days ago, led to me making this paneer capsicum rice.
It was a Tuesday and that is also the day I fast (since ages now) so making lunch for a single person i.e. my husband becomes a task. Especially if the husband prefers lots of vegetables in everything he eats, including dal. I was done with making him a Ragi Roti (we try to include ragi or any other millets like jowar or oats instead of going completely whole wheat) and a dry sabzi or vegetable. Now the husband announced that he would be coming home late that evening and needs something power packed to keep him going. Narayan avoids eating out and takes his bag full of dabbas or small tiffin / lunch boxes containing small portion meals packed for a whole day. Since the day would be busy, I decided to make him a quick stir fry rice that had some paneer and capsicum enough to fuel his engines during lunch along with the single ragi roti. A quick chop of vegetables and paneer, some leftover rice from the previous night and voila, the dish was ready. The husband returned back home late night thanking me for that lovely rice dish (questioning me rather, why I don’t make it often) that kept him going through the enumerous calls and meetings with clients.
It’s been over 6 years of our marriage and I wake up every single day to make a variety of dishes as part of his daily meals plan to work, without any help. I plan the meals a day or two in advance, buy vegetables and ensure that we eat a lot of variety in all our meals so that we don’t get bored. If you ask me, do I find joy in this? Absolutely!! I quit my job post marriage with the only intention of focusing time on family and my interests. I find joy in the little things I do. A comment from fellow bloggers or readers saying how they liked my dish or the photographs on the blog really peps me up and is really enough to put a big smile on my face for the rest of the day. This dish, is just like me, simple in its own sense, doesn’t need too much, yet stands out as being one of a kind!
Recipe for Paneer Capsicum Rice
No Onion and Garlic Recipe
Prep Time – 10 mins (if you have cooked rice or leftover rice)
Cooking Time – 10 mins (30 mins if you plan to pressure cook rice separately)
- 1 cup cooked rice (I had leftover rice so used the same)
- ½ cup or 1 big Capsicum chopped into medium sized chunks
- Paneer or Cottage Cheese – ¼ cup (cut into cubes)
- Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
- Jeera or Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
- Oil – 1 tblsp
- Turmeric Powder – a pinch
- Salt as per taste
- Coriander leaves as required
- Heat a kadhai, add oil and then add the mustard seeds.
- Once the mustard seeds crackle, add jeera or cumin seeds and let it turn slightly brown before adding some turmeric powder.
- Now add the chopped capsicum and paneer or cottage cheese. Stir it well and let the capsicum cook for 5 odd minutes. Remember to not overcook. We need the capsicum to be crunchy.
- Add the cooked rice into this mixture alongwith some salt and finely chopped coriander leaves. Give it a good mix, close the kadhai or the heavy bottom pan with a lid and allow it to cook on low heat for another 5 odd minutes so that the vegetables flavor the rice well.
- Switch off the flame, serve the dish with some raita of your choice or plain curd will also do.
Recipe Notes –
- You can add tofu instead of paneer or cottage cheese to make it vegan.
- You may add any variety of bell peppers i.e. the red or the yellow ones. Since I had our very own Shimla Mirch at home, I preferred to use the same.
- Ideal for kids as it has no masalas or spices. You can throw in some steamed corn too if your kids like it. Excellent lunch box option for the long breaks in school. Paneer is a good source of calcium and protein ideal for the kids. If your kids don’t like to see the chunks of paneer, grate them and add it along with the capsicum, they won’t notice much.
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