Paneer has a very satisfying texture – as a devoted carnivore I don’t miss meat at all when choosing paneer as part of an Indian meal. Serve with sag aloo, cauliflower in onions, coconut milk and saffron, basmati rice, cucumber raita, hot mango chutney, tomato and coriander salsa and some garlic naan bread.
TIP As for every curry or Asian spiced meal, it’s all in the masala mix and using seeds that you crush or grind will give you a much better flavour than powders will.
I use Sainsbury’s tinned cherry tomaotes.
250gr paneer, cubed
1/2 Spanish onion, finely diced
1/2 tbs coriander seeds
1 tbs cumin seeds
2 fat cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tsp grated ginger
1 tin of Sainsbury’s cherry tomatoes
2 bird’s eye chilies, very finely sliced (or just one if you can’t stand the heat)
2 tbs malt vinegar
4 tbs of olive oil
1/2 flat tsp turmeric
a little Maldon sea salt
Heat a frying pan and dry fry the coriander and cumin seeds till nicely toasted, taking care not to burn them. Crush in a pestle and mortar and set aside. Heat the pan again and pour in half the oil. Fry the onion for five minutes on a low heat, stirring all the time. Add the chili, ginger and garlic and cook for a further minute. Now add the powders and stir immediately – add a little of the tomato juice if your mix begins to stick to the bottom of the pan. Cook for a further two minutes before adding the tomatoes, vinegar and salt. Crush the tomaotes with a fork. Let this sauce simmer for ten minutes whilst you fry the paneer in a separate pan. You can actually deep fry the cheese but I prefer to fry in a hot pan with 2 tbs of olive oil, turning to make sure all sides are cooked. Add the paneer to the sauce and let it bubble for a further five minutes. If you’re a fan of fresh coriander you can finish by shredding some leaves and sprinkling over the top. Don’t forget the Cobra beers.