Paneer and Peppers in Fragrant Gravy is a favourite East Indian recipe perfect for any Indian menu. Paneer is a fresh cheese that is naturally be gluten free. It is often used in saucy recipes and is worth trying if you like the flavours of Indian cuisine.
Paneer is an acid-set, fresh cheese. It is a non-melting cheese made by curdling warm milk with lemon juice or vinegar. It's easy enough to make but you can buy it, sometimes with a gluten free symbol on the package.
Find paneer with the cheese or in the freezer section at East Indian specialty stores and large grocery stores. It can be a fresh block or sometimes already cubed and fried.
Spices from all over the world are readily available and a joy to the adventurous home cook. To explore Indian cuisine you'll need a variety of dried spices. Buy what you're missing and enjoy the adventure.
- canned tomatoes
- cumin seeds
- ground almonds (same as almond flour)
- ground coriander
- cayenne pepper
- sour cream
- paneer (fresh cheese found in the deli case)
To minimize the number of spices you need to have, buy whole spices like cumin seed and coriander seed. I grind them in my coffee bean grinder and fill a spice bottle with the ground version.
Dinner Club: An East Indian Menu
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Paneer and Peppers in Fragrant Gravy
- 1 can diced tomatoes with juices (19 oz/540 ml)
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- 2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
- 3 garlic cloves
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 tablespoon finely ground almonds (this is almond flour)
- 4½ teaspoon ground coriander seed
- 1½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3 tablespoon sour cream
- 1 cup water
- 1 package frozen Paneer cubes, thawed* (14 oz/400 g)
- 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 green pepper, thinly sliced
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- Puree tomatoes, cilantro, ginger and garlic in food processor or blender.
- In a large pot heat oil on medium-high heat. Add cumin and stir until cumin darkens in colour, about 20 seconds. Add onion and cook until golden brown, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes.
- Add almonds, coriander, paprika, turmeric and cayenne pepper to onion mixture. Stir until aromatic, about 10 seconds.
- Add tomato mixture to pan and decrease heat to medium. Cook until sauce thickens, about 8 minutes.
- Add sour cream and water. Stir to evenly combine.
- Add paneer, peppers and salt. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 30 minutes, occasionally stirring gently. Serve hot.