Sunday, 21 April 2013

Paneer and Spinach Curry

I only gave paneer a try about a year ago and I love it for several reasons: it's delicious, you can fry or grill it and it keeps its shape, it's cheap and it's low-ish in fat compared to other cheeses.

You can apparently make your own at home very easily, see advice on how at We Don't Eat Anything With a Face - must confess I've never tried it myself because it's so cheap and readily available where I live, so let me know if anyone has a crack at it!

This curry isn't intended to be particularly hot so I've only included one green chilli, but if you do prefer a bit more fire you can substitute for one or more red chillies and keep the seeds in.

So that you're not stressed out trying to prep and watch the pan at the same time, it's worth doing all your chopping, grating, crushing and what have you beforehand. 

You can easily veganise this by making sure you fry in oil rather than ghee, and using either cubed tofu or pre-boiled potatoes in place of the paneer.

Serve with rice, naan, chappattis, raita... whatever you feel like!

Serves 2-3 (2 greedy people, or 2 normal appetites with leftovers)

What you need

2 tbsp vegetable oil or ghee
1 large onion, chopped
1 green chilli, de-seeded and chopped finely
a thumb sized nubbin of ginger, grated
2 large cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric
227g pack of paneer (size as sold in Sainsburys), cut into smallish cubes
1 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
A pinch of salt
500g bag of spinach
chopped coriander to garnish

What to do

Heat up your oil or ghee over a medium heat, then add the onions, ginger, garlic and chilli. Turn down the heat a little if necessary so that you can just sweat them all together until soft rather than browning - this should take around 5-7 minutes.

Add the dry spices and cook for another minute. Stir in the tomatoes and a little salt to taste, then leave to simmer for 10-15 minutes.

While the sauce is simmering, heat up a little oil in a separate pan - preferably non-stick - then add your paneer. Keep turning it until it's brown on all sides, then set to one side. You need to add this right at the end or it'll go soggy.

Once the sauce has been simmering for a while, it should have reduced down quite a bit. This is good. Loads of water will come out of the spinach once you add it, so your sauce even needs to look a bit on the dry side.

Add your spinach - the easiest way is a handful at a time, waiting for the last handful to wilt in before adding another. Cook for another minute until all the spinach is soft and wilted in, then stir in the fried paneer.

Garnish with coriander if you're a fan, serve with whatever accompaniments you fancy, and enjoy!

No comments:

Post a Comment