Late summer vegetables team up with fried cheese in this quick and easy eggplant, bell pepper, and paneer curry.
eggplant, bell pepper, and paneer curry

You guys!! I learned how to fry paneer cheese!!

With only moderate amounts of cursing and just one near eye death experience (thank goodness for glasses). This is in contrast to my previous attempts, which still ended in a pan of fried paneer, but also scalding burn marks on half of my body because OVERZEALOUS OIL. <– It’s a killer.


What is my secret, you ask?

Well, it requires a moderate amount of agility, a touch of speed, and absolutely no precision at all whatsoever.

Basically…I call it theΒ “run and hide method”.


And it goes something like this:

Step 1: Heat oil in large deep pot.

Step 2: Place paneer in oil. Cover with splatter guard.

Step 3: RUN. Preferably into another room, but definitely out of reach of any oil. And don’t underestimate that stuff. It can go the distance.

Step 4: Come back in 2-3 minutes and turn off the heat. RUN again.

Step 5: Return when all sizzling has stopped. Remove splatter guard (at your own risk). Flip paneer. Return heat to medium-high. Cover with splatter guard. RUN.

Rinse, repeat, until you’ve browned the paneer on 2-3 sides.

Success in fried cheese form can be so sweet savory.


It’s Recipe Redux time again and this month’s theme is about Getting Back to the Dinner Table! And basically how all the hustle and bustle of the back-to-school season can really put a damper on home cooking. Whenever I’m struck with a bit of cooking ennui (and yes it does happen!!), playing around with ethnic cuisine always gets me back on track. Sometimes that means fiddlingΒ with a new technique and sometimes it means throwing some of my favorite spices into a pan and calling it curry. I don’t discriminate.

Curries often have a bad rep of being time-consuming, but this one can actually be cooked in under 30 minutes and uses a bunch of produce that is in season right now. I used green bell peppers since that is what I got in my CSA the past two weeks, but really any sweet pepper will do.


Eggplant, Bell Pepper, and Paneer Curry
Late summer vegetables team up with fried cheese in this quick and easy eggplant, bell pepper, and paneer curry.
Yield: 4 servings
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 8 oz paneer, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 1 tbs minced ginger
  • 1¼ tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp black mustard seeds
  • ¼ tsp asafetida powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 medium bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and cut into thin strips
  • 4 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh basil
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 medium eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • salt, to taste
  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large, deep nonstick or cast iron pot over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the paneer to the pot and cook, flipping every few minutes, until browned on all sides. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel-lined plate.
  2. Heat the oil again and the jalapeno, ginger, cumin seeds, black mustard seeds, and asafetida to the pot. Cook until the seeds start popping, about 1-2 minutes. Quickly add in the bay leaf and bell peppers. Saute for 4 minutes.
  3. Stir in the tomatoes, coriander, and the fresh basil. Cook for 6-8 minutes, or until the tomatoes start to break down into a sauce. Stir in the turmeric, garam masala, eggplant, paneer, vegetable broth, and salt. Cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring every few minutes, until eggplant is tender. Serve warm.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ¼ of recipe

Indian food at home!

saag paneer

Saag Paneer

dal makhani

Dal Makhani

paneer tikka masala

Paneer Tikka Masala

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36 Responses to Eggplant, Bell Pepper, and Paneer Curry

  1. Krista says:

    Oh you make me laugh, Joanne. πŸ™‚ I can picture this perfectly. πŸ™‚

  2. Eeeek! This curry is pretty much screaming my name. And really, who am I to ignore?? This needs to be my dinner tonight for REAL. πŸ˜€

  3. Veggies + fried cheese sounds like the perfect amount of balance and deliciousness!

  4. Nicola says:

    I just got a splatter guard! Hopefully it helps me avoid the burns and the clean up! Hate scrubbing my stove and countertops. This looks so good! I love Indian food and this is healthier and better looking than my favorite takeout!

  5. since i got back from london i’ve had curry cravings! this should satisfy them nicely!

  6. A wonderful curry! Those peppers from your CSA look so great.

  7. you are hilarious! eggplant and paneer? love!

  8. We are just getting use to eating dishes with curry- and we are loving it! What a tasty dish you made here- can’t wait to try it!

  9. I tried paneer for the first time a couple of months ago and I really liked it. Kind of a softer version of Halloumi. I haven’t tried to cook it myself yet though.

  10. Fantastic way to use all those summer veggies!!

  11. YAY! Congrats on mastering frying paneer cheese! Joanne, this curry sounds wonderful!

  12. Julia says:

    Ohhhh the oil spatter! It’s the worst in the summer when you’re nude…err…I mean, wearing a tank top…and it splats on your chest and arms. The end result is always SO worth it though! I’ve never made paneer, but one of my gfs has been wanting to show me how to do it. I’m just imagining sinking my teeth into this delish fried paneer with eggplant and bell pepper – it looks soooo tasty!

  13. Yum! Now I just have to find me some paneer and a bodysuit, and I can get to frying! πŸ˜€

  14. Corina says:

    I love paneer cheese and this is a great recipe for it. I’m always happy with Indian food for dinner.

  15. Michaela says:

    This looks fabulous!!!! You’ve used some awesome spices so I’m sure this is packed with flavor

  16. Lynn says:

    You had me at paneer!

  17. Sarah says:

    Hahahaha run and hide style of cooking suits me best as well. And omg Indian food is my favorite and I want this meal in my belly NOW!

  18. Hotly Spiced says:

    I know what you mean by ‘run’. A few years ago I was making corn fritters and had poured too much oil into the frying pan. While I was hovering over the pan, the oil just exploded up like a volcano and gave my arm a really savage burn. But…I had growing in the backyard, an aloe vera plant. If you put aloe vera onto a burn it takes the pain out almost immediately – a lot better than anything you’ll buy at a chemist xx

  19. This looks amazing! I love paneer πŸ™‚ Pinning!

  20. easypeasy says:

    Curry under 30 min.s That is totally up my street. Can’t wait to try it! πŸ™‚

  21. I love your method! Definitely something I’d do. πŸ™‚ I have yet to prepare paneer at home, though I have fried halloumi. I’d imagine it’s similar. This curry looks fabulous!

  22. cheri says:

    I love paneer cheese, what a great looking dish Joanne!

  23. Monica says:

    “Run and hide” method of frying paneer sounds just my style. I love my splatter guard, too. : ) This looks delish – a great way to use up all the lovely produce we have now.

  24. I often end up with surplus bell peppers so this is a great way to pack lots into a single dish!

  25. Once I stop chuckling about this run and hide method…I will have to see if I can find paneer here in Alabama. πŸ™‚

  26. Lori says:

    Such a perfect meal! I love paneer, but don’t cook with it at home much. Must try this.

  27. Oh, I am so hanging for summer – it’s the end of winter here and I am getting a bored with the current range of veg:-) But will tuck this away for when eggplant and peppers are in season.

  28. Kalyan says:

    Just mouthwatering…looks lovely and delicious!

  29. That type of deep frying scares me. The curry sounds scrummy πŸ™‚

  30. Kelly says:

    Hahaha – too funny πŸ™‚ It has been a while but I run when I have to fry things up too. Love this paneer curry with eggplant!

  31. Eileen says:

    Hooray for paneer! It’s possibly my favorite component of Indian cuisine. πŸ™‚ This curry sounds like a perfect combination for the late August harvest!

  32. I love paneer in anything. This curry looks mouth-watering, Joanne! And congratulations on mastering the frying paneer! πŸ™‚

  33. Lisa says:

    All of my favorites in there. While I often fry paneer for the recipes I make, sometimes it’s not necessary, so you save the running away step πŸ™‚

  34. Johanna GGG says:

    I love the run and hide method of frying – just as long as the kitchen doesn’t burn down meanwhile πŸ™‚ would love this curry and also probably need a splatter guard

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