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Easy weeknight dinner – Paneer Rolls

March 15, 2015
My little photo gallery on my apartment wall

My little photo gallery on my apartment wall

It’s another BEAUTIFUL day here in Minneapolis! We’ve been having a few un-seasonally warm days (hoping this doesn’t jinx it!) and today, when the temps got to as high as 63F, a few friends and I decided to do a little fire and dinner outside. It felt SO wonderful to enjoy the fabulous weather and sunshine!

We were talking about the relationship we have with our parents and one of my friends was telling us how everyone in his family misses his late mother so much. They all feel a deep void in their lives and they miss the love she freely and generously gave to them. He shared that today would have been her birthday.

I’ve had many conversations with this friend about his mother, and today really made me think about how she must have affected her family’s lives. My career has moved to a place where I am working much longer hours because I truly and thoroughly love what I do and want to exceed every expectation I have from myself. But I thought about what my daily life and activities lead up to. Not career-wise. But broadly in my life. Pardon me as I spell out my existential crises 😉 But don’t you wonder whether people will remember you when you leave? How will I be remembered? And who will miss me? What impact am I having on the people who matter? I’m not sure I can say that my influence on any one person today has been sharp enough to warrant a deep longing for me, if I ceased to exist. Perhaps it’s even selfish of me to think this way. We all want to be needed and missed. I don’t know the answers. I do know that now, I’m not sure if I’m doing everything in my power to be the true and best me to the few people who matter in my life. And I’m not sure how to.

Easy, weeknight dinner - Paneer (cottage cheese) and roti (flatbread) rolls.

Easy, weeknight dinner – Paneer (cottage cheese) and roti (flatbread) rolls.

So, last week, when I came home from work and felt accomplished, yet tired after a day of making a difference at least in my work life, 🙂 I realized I had little energy to cook. But I also needed something nutritious. Common story, right? 🙂

I checked the fridge and found a gorgeous hunk of Paneer (Indian cottage cheese) I had picked up from the desi grocery store. I knew I also had some hummus I made the last weekend, and some frozen whole-wheat roti or Indian flat bread.

Marinating Paneer in a few spices, lemon juice and chopped cilantro

Marinating Paneer in a few spices, lemon juice and chopped cilantro

I proceeded to cube the panner in large, slim hunks, and then ‘marinated’ them in 2 different spice mixes, lemon juice, and some chopped cilantro. I grilled them in a little oil in a frying pan. The paneer grills pretty quickly! Once crisp on all sides, I heated up some flatbread, then spread a dollop of hummus, arranged the paneer, rolled up the flatbread, and voila! I had a yummy, high-protein, low-fat, low-sodium, high-on-flavor dinner. Recipe below!


Easy weeknight dinner – Paneer Rolls (for 2)


– Low-fat Paneer – 1 slab, from your local Indian grocery store. I love the ‘Swad’ brand

– A handful of chopped cilantro

– 1 tbsp chaat masala (available ready-made as a spice mix)

– 1/2 tbsp Tandoori masala (available ready-made as a spice mix)

– Juice of 1/4 lemon

– 1 tbsp olive oil

– 4 frozen or fresh Indian flatbreads

– 3-4 tbsp Hummus – any flavor of your choice, or my preference – home made



– Cut the paneer in 1-inch strips, then halve them if needed

– Place in a bowl with all the other ingredients and mix well

– In a grilling pan or a frying pan, heat the oil. Add the paneer pieces one by one

– Let one side crisp for about 2 minutes on medium heat. Then turn over to let the other side crisp

– Heat the flatbread in the mean time. When cooked, spread a dollop of hummus across in the middle. Place the hot paneer pieces. Roll the flatbread, and eat! You could add a cup of plain greek yogurt, or some grilled veggies on the side of your meal.

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