tomato and paneer curry with spinach and peas

i often cook with halloumi but when it comes to its fellow squeaky cheese, paneer, i’ve been neglectful. until that is, i saw a delicious looking recipe for a tomatoey pea and paneer curry that i needed to try.

as i hadn’t cooked with paneer before i decided to use it in different ways. i followed the recipe for half the paneer, which was fried in a little oil, until golden, before adding to the curry. the rest of the paneer was added without any precooking.

david and i both preferred the paneer which had been fried. it had a little more flavour and i preferred the texture - the contrast of the slightly crisp outside and a squeakier inside. obviously it’s up you what you do but, if like me you’re a paneer virgin when you try this recipe, it might be worth trying both options to see which you prefer.

tomato and paneer curry with spinach and peas* serves 4

3 tablespoons oil

2x227g packs paneer, cubed

1 large red onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 teaspoons grated ginger

1 ½ teaspoon cumin seeds

1 tablespoon ground coriander

a large pinch of cayenne pepper

800g of tinned chopped tomatoes

150g peas

150g baby leaf spinach

lime juice and soft brown sugar to taste

heat the oil over med-high heat and fry the paneer in batches until golden. drain on kitchen paper.

pour off excess oil, leaving about 1t. return pan to the heat and cook the onion until soft. add garlic, ginger and spices and cook, stirring, until fragrant. add the tomatoes plus 120ml water, bring to the boil then simmer for 15 mins.

add the peas and simmer for 3-4 mins then return the cheese to the pan and simmer for another minute or so. remove from heat and add the spinach and stir in until wilted. season to taste with lime juice and sugar. serve with basmati rice and yoghurt.

* i tore this out of a magazine but don’t know which one so can’t credit it properly.