I hate wasting food and I don't like to see anyone tossing away food that is in completely eatable state into the dustbin. In our home we were always taught not to waste food keeping in mind that so many people and children are in empty stomach because of their inability to meet the basic necessities of life. Before we got up from the dining table my mother always made sure that we polished off every crumb left on the platter. But not everyone is brought up the same away. Hence in a party or function when I see plates heaped with uneaten left overs are thrown into the garbage; it makes my heart cringe a bit. I wonder why some people love filling their plates with edibles beyond their eating capacity and then waste them. At least if they would have been discreet enough to take only the amount they could eat, lots of unnecessary wastage could be averted and the residue from the party could be used to feed some hungry mouths.
Recently in a party held at my home, I cooked this Paneer Fried Rice which won me brownie points from the guests. I love paneer and it often comes to my rescue when I need to entertain a group of people who are vegetarian. Any paneer preparation, say Paneer LaJabab, Shahi Paneer, Kadai Paneer or Matar Paneer are instantaneous hits among the invitees.
Ingredients: Cooking time: 20 minutes
ü 300 gm long grain basmati rice (cooked)
ü 150 gm paneer or cottage cheese(cut into squares of small size)
ü 1 red or orange or yellow bell pepper (cut into squares)
ü 1/2 cup of sweet corn kernels
ü 1 cup of green beans (chopped)
ü Black pepper taste wise
ü Salt to taste
ü 2 tsp sugar
ü 1/4 cup broken cashew nuts
ü 1 tbsp raisins
ü White oil
ü 4 green cardamoms
ü 4 cloves
ü 1 bay leaf
ü 1 inch cinnamon stick
1) Heat oil in a wok. When oil turns hot, toss in the paneer squares and shallow fry them. Take them off the flame and keep aside.
2) Into the same oil, add 1 tsp of ghee and when ghee melts into the oil, slide in the ingredients for sauté and allow them to sputter.
3) Add bell pepper and green beans. Shallow fry them stirring occasionally.
4) Add sweet corn kernels, broken cashew nuts and raisins. When cashew nuts brown a bit and raisins puff up, add the rice. Around this time, turn off the heat.
5) With a wooden or metal spatula, mix the rice properly with the ingredients. Add salt, sugar and black pepper. Combine everything, stirring carefully.
6) Turn on the heat and adjust the flame to low. Add some more ghee and stir couple of times with the spatula. Switch off the flame and keep the dish covered for 10 minutes before serving.
7) Serve hot with any favourite chicken or mutton curry of yours.