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As we have quite a few vegetarians in our family, we often make this Paneer Pillau at home, especially at Eid as an alternative to Biryani.

Ingredients

Paneer
3 Tbsps oil
500g paneer
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp jeero seeds, whole
2 cinnamon sticks
1 inch ginger stick, finely chopped
3 elachi
2 tsps garam masala
2 tsps salt
Handful of dhania, chopped
3 green chillies, finely chopped
2 cups basmati rice, cooked

Vegetables

1 onion, cut into thick slices
1⁄2 green pepper, cut into strips
1⁄2 red pepper, cut into strips
1 tomato, quartered
1 brinjal, cut into strips
2 tsps chilli powder
1 tsp coriander seeds, crushed
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp black pepper, crushed
1 tsp kaloonji/black seeds
3 Tbsps oil
Handful of dhania, finely chopped
1 tsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp fresh cream
Salt, to taste

Raita

2 cups double thick yoghurt
1 tsp ground cumin
Salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
Handful of mint leaves, finely chopped

Method

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.

2. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a pot.

3. Add in paneer and fry until slightly browned, set aside.

4. Add onion, jeero seeds, cinnamon stick, ginger, elachi, garam masala, salt, dhania and green chillies to the paneer.

5. Fry until aromatic.

6. Mix cooked rice and fried paneer and toss together.

7. Place in the oven and steam for 15 – 20 minutes.

Vegetables

1. Mix vegetables together with spices and cream.

2. Roast in oven for approximately 20 minutes.

3. Remove from oven and set aside.

Raita

1. Mix yoghurt with the rest of the ingredients.

2. Season with salt and black pepper and set aside.

Assembly

1. Arrange rice on a large platter.

2.Top with the roasted vegetables.

3. Pour over the Roasted Garlic Tomato Sauce (see page 50 for recipe).

4. Garnish with green chillies and serve with Raita.

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