Bell Peppers with Cottage Cheese

Browsing the net a couple of days back, I came across this programmer freelancers site, where one can hire a programmer to work for you on a project or hourly basis. One entry caught my eye. It was a gent from Delhi, who claimed to have an engineering degree along with a masters degree in computer applications and tons of experience. His profile showed a total of 3 hours worked and a total earning of $1! Intrigued, I examined the entry closely.

Apparently, this highly qualified and experienced programmer decided to work for the sum of $2 per hour. He obviously had not read the terms of the site that stated that a certain percentage or a minimum sum of $5 will be deducted from every project gained on the site. Proceeding to land a small job, he completed it in 3 hours and therefore earned$6. Out of that $5 was deducted by the website, leaving him with the princely sum of $1 or Rupees 40 for 3 hours or about Rupees 100 for a day’s work. No surprises that the profile didn’t see any further activity.

There was also a similar person from a neighbouring country who charged an hourly rate of $4875. Surprise surprise, he hadn’t received a single assignment.

Bell Peppers [shimla mirch or capsicum] with Cottage Cheese [paneer] is a very commonly made dish in north India and is part of daily cooking. I like to make it just a little differently. Normally, the peppers are left to soften and cook in the pan with the gravy. This usually takes away the color and leaves them soggy. I like them green and crisp, but cooked. Blanching them for about 3 minutes in salted boiling water usually achieves that result.

Green Bell Peppers with Cottage Cheese [Shimla Mirch Aur Paneer]
  • 2 cups chopped bell peppers
  • 1.5 cups diced cottage cheese
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 2 tsp MDH Kitchen King Masala
  • 1 finely chopped onion
  • 1 tsp Cumin seed [jeera]
  • 1. 5 tsp chilli powder
  • .5 tsp turmeric powder [haldi]
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp oil


  1. Blanch the bell peppers in boiling, lightly salted water for 3 minutes. Rinse with cold water. Drain. Set aside.
  2. Heat some oil in a non stick wok/kadai.
  3. When moderately hot [a wooden spoon dipped in it should bubble just a little] add the jeera, chilli powder, haldi/turmeric, salt, kitchen king masala. Stir.
  4. Add the onions. On low heat, fry till the edges turn brown.
  5. Add the ginger paste. Fry on low heat for 30 seconds.
  6. Add the bell peppers and stir fry for a couple of minutes.
  7. Add one cup of water. Bring to a boil.
  8. Add the diced cottage cheese.
  9. Cook on high heat for a further 2 minutes.
  10. Adjust the seasoning and take off the heat.

Serve with rotis, paranthas. There will be very little gravy. Using this recipe, the bell peppers will be crisp but cooked. If you like your peppers soft, add a little more water and cook on high heat [step 6] for about 5 minutes before proceeding to the next step.

Sid Khullar

Sid Khullar is the founder of Chef at Large, a blog that began in 2007. He enjoys cooking, writing, travelling and technology in addition to being a practising Freemason. Health and wellness is a particularly passionate focus. Sid prefers the company of food and animals to most humans, and can be reached at