Monday, August 2, 2010

Very Veggie Paneer Bhurji - sloppy spicy scramble

I saw these rolls at the local bakery, not dinner rolls, but something between a hot dog bun and a hoagie, and totally white. They looked soft and just waiting to be filled in with some delicious filling. I decided not to let their colour work against them, and to make up for it with loads and loads of vegetables. I had some Paneer that had to be used up soon and I pretty much cleaned up the vegetable drawer of what I had. Some very pungent celery gave this a kick and a strong flavour. The only other seasonings I used were paprika and black pepper, and some dried
basil. The flavour was unique and just as I love it - spicy with the pepper but not 'hot', minus the heat that you would get with a green or red chilli.

Carrots, peppers, onions, tomatoes, fresh corn, green peas, all went into the pot along with some tomato sauce. You can add anything of your choice really. Squash, zucchini, asparagus, and mushrooms will all taste equally good and add to the veg element.Adding the tomato sauce was a spur of the moment inspiration. The amount of cooked veggies was roughly 3 times that of the paneer. I simmered the mixture long enough to get a thick conconction, but if its left slightly semi-liquid, this will make a great sloppy joe( although without the traditional condiments), whether you use a long roll or a burger bun.In the end I added crumbled Paneer to the mixture. Needless to say, you can easily add tofu instead of the paneer. I will definitely make this with tofu next time. The Paneer being 'rich' in animal fats, made this quite filling and added a creamy texture. The rolls also turned out to have a buttery flavour which I had not expected. I served these simply, just ladling the mixture onto the roll, without any toppings. I did not find the need for any condiments, since the filling was spicy and strong flavoured enough, even when eaten with the bread. If you are a pickle lover, a nice cruncy dill pickle will taste great as an
accompaniement. Add some baked hips of choice, and a cool drink and this is a sure way to bliss.

The recipe is as follows -

3 small onions

1 large carrot

1 large green bell pepper or capsicum

1-2 stalks celery

1 cup fresh corn kernels

1 cup green or sweet peas

2-3 tomatoes1/2 cup tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes

1 Tbsp oil1 tsp paprika

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp chopped garlic

200g paneer or 1 packet tofu

fresh bread rolls or hoagies

1) Chop all the vegetables such as onions, carrots, celery, peppers and tomatoes in a small or medium dice. Chop or mince the garlic.

2) Heat 1 Tbsp of oil in a pan or wok and start adding the vegetables one by one. Add the carrots first since they will take the longest to cook. Saute the carrots for 2 minutes and add celery. Gradually add onions and saute till they change colour. Add water or broth to avoid
sticking. Add the bell peppers and fry some more. Add the corn and the peas. If you are using frozen sweet peas, add them at the end so they dont shrivel. Mix in the corn and peas and add garlic and chopped tomatoes. Mix and let this simmer until most of the tomatoes are cooked

3) Add seasonings and the tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes. Let the mixture come together and simmer. Add salt to taste, and a pinch of sugar.

4) Add crumbled paneer or tofu. Add half a cup water.

5) Mix this in. As this simmers, this will have a 'sloppy' consistency. You can let it thicken as much as you want, depending on how robust your bread is, or how much of a mess you want to make while eating.

6) Switch off the heat, and let this cool to room temperature.

7) For serving, split the roll in half and ladle enough filling to make this a hearty sandwich. Enjoy!8) This can also be used a filling for regular bread, or in a burrito or wrap with some crunchy fresh veggies.

( the photo does not do justice to the actual product, the colours are washed out due to a low battery)