In the first of my series of cheese recipes, I taught you how to make paneer, a soft Indian cheese. I use paneer in all sorts of different recipes, but today I’m sharing my favourite paneer curry. This isn’t a light and healthy option, as it contains cream, but it’s definitely delicious.
This recipe is from one of my favourite Indian cookbooks, Anjum’s Indian Vegetarian Feast, by Anjum Anand. (I love it so much I’m currently working on cooking it cover to cover!) The recipe has a few more steps than a basic curry, because you need to marinate and bake the paneer, but trust me, it’s worth it!
For the tikka marinade:
- 10 g root ginger, peeled weight
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 150 g Greek yogurt
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp paprika
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil (I use coconut oil as I don’t like the added chemicals in normal vegetable oil)
For the curry:
- 400 g paneer, in 3-4cm cubes
- 500 g vine tomatoes, quartered
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 60 g unsalted butter
- 1 black cardamom pod
- 6 green cardamom pods
- 5 cm cinnamon sticks
- 4 cloves
- 20 g root ginger, peeled weight, grated
- 4 garlic cloves, grated
- 1 tbsp tomato purée
- 2-4 small green chillies, whole but pierced with the tip of a knife
- ½ tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1½ tsp dried fenugreek leaves, crushed with your fingers
- 1-1½ caster sugar, to taste
- 60-80 ml single cream, to taste
1. Blend all of the marinade ingredients together until smooth (I use a stick blender). Coat your paneer with the marinade and then leave in a bowl in your fridge for at least an hour. (The longer the better!)
2. Blend your tomatoes with a stick blender until smooth.
3. Heat your oil and half the butter in a large pan (I use a large non-stick wok with a lid) and add the whole spices for 10 seconds.
4. Add the ginger and garlic and cook gently until they start to colour.
5. Add the tomatoes and tomato purée and cook at med-high heat until the tomatoes release the oil. (Aprox. 20 mins)
6. Turn your heat to med-low and cook the paste until it darkens considerably. (aprox. 10 mins)
7. Add 250ml water and bring to a boil. Then pass the sauce through a sieve, with the back of a spoon, and throw the solids away. You will be left with a light, smooth sauce.
8. Heat you grill to the highest setting. Lay your paneer out on a foil-lined tray and grill for 8-10 mins, until the edges are a little charred. Turn them over once, mid-way. Remove from the over and set aside.
9. Heat the remaining butter and add the green chilies, tomato sauce, powdered spices, salt, sugar, and a splash of water. Simmer for 3 mins.
10. Add the paneer and simmer for another 6 mins.
11. Add the cream and simmer, moving the paneer around gently. (Add a bit of water if necessary to make the sauce the consistency of single cream.)
12. Taste and add more salt, sugar or cream, as needed.
13. Serve over rice or with Indian flat bread (naan, chapatti, roti) and revel in the deliciousness.