Seared Paneer with Fragrant Sautéed Peppers

Seared Paneer with Fragrant Sautéed Peppers

For her first Chef in Residence recipe of October, Noreen Wasti has shared with us a warming Seared Paneer with Fragrant Sautéed Peppers.

From Noreen: "Paneer is a super versatile pressed fresh cheese originating from the Indian subcontinent — it’s great in curries, stews, seared, marinated, and more. I personally love it seared as it becomes golden and laced with crispy edges which are so delicious."

"For this recipe I sear the paneer in AWAKE olive oil and pair it alongside the most gorgeous sautéed Jimmy Nardello peppers that I cook down with shallots, garlic, turmeric, chili flakes, nigella seeds, and a splash of PARASOL vinegar for a hint of brightness."


"Make a meal out of it and enjoy with a plate of fluffy, steamed basmati rice — simple, quick, and so satisfying. I was lucky enough to use SĀCH Foods paneer for this recipe, a small-batch, organic, handcrafted paneer with amazing texture and taste — highly recommend!" 

Seared Paneer with Fragrant Sautéed Peppers  

By Noreen Wasti

(Yield: serves 2)  



  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp AWAKE olive oil, divided  
  • 2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced  
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced  
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric  
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes  
  • 1/2 tsp nigella seeds  
  • 1/2 pound (about 5) Jimmy Nardello peppers*, stems removed and sliced in rings 
  • 1 tbsp PARASOL vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt  
  • 6 ounce slab of paneer*  
  • handful fresh cilantro, to finish  


* Jimmy Nardello are a mild and super sweet frying pepper, if you can’t find them feel free to use any  sweet red pepper such as Cubanelles or Italian long peppers.  

* This is the entire slab of SĀCH Foods paneer, feel free to substitute with any other brand available with  a similar weight.  



Heat 1/4 cup of the AWAKE olive oil in a medium-size sauté pan over medium heat. 

Once the oil is glistening add the shallots, garlic, turmeric, red chili flakes, nigella seeds and let bloom for 2 minutes.  

Add the sliced peppers with the PARASOL vinegar and salt, sauté for 10-12 minutes, stirring every so often until the peppers are soft and almost jammy (lower the heat to medium-low if the garlic starts  browning too fast).  

Remove the sautéed peppers from the pan onto a plate and wipe the pan clean with a paper towel. 

Place the same pan back over medium heat with one tablespoon of AWAKE olive oil. 

Once the oil is glistening add the slab of paneer and sear until golden brown on both sides, about 2-3 minutes per side. 

To serve ~ slice the seared paneer in wedges and serve with the sautéed peppers and a generous garnish of fresh cilantro (also great alongside steamed basmati rice).