Vegetarian Paneer Recipe:
This is my own variant on the traditional paneer and spinach dish that is so common in India and available as a side dish in many Indian eating places as Saag Paneer.
I have made it now twice for our garden group pot-luck dinners and each time people loved it, and in fact a certain husband ate 3 large bowls of it on Monday night! I tend to vary the recipe slightly each time I make it, depending on what is in my fridge/freezer and also what seeds I have in stock but this is close enough to what makes it good…. I have given quantities for 2, so just multiply up if you have more to feed. Note fresh spinach and tomatoes make a great difference to this dish – never use tinned and frozen only in an emergency!
Paneer recipes: Variants depending on your taste!
For 2 people:
120g Paneer cubed.
Red pepper eg Romano as this is sweetest, sliced.
Gd bunch of fresh spinach chopped.
Handful of chopped fresh coriander.
Either tinned tomatoes chopped, fresh tomatoes chopped approx 1Lb, or tom puree
2 tsp chilli oil or 1 small fresh chilli finely chopped – adjust to heat required, red or green, and size or amount;
Veg stock as needed during cooking.
2 tsp korma paste.
2 tsp onion base (Waitrose make this) or small red onion.
2 tsp coconut, lemongrass and ginger base (Waga Mama make this) or 1” fresh ginger sliced thinly (I find that using it from the freezer makes it easier to peel and then slice thinly).
1 clove of garlic finely chopped.
1 tsp dried coriander.
1 tsp dried cumin.
.5 tsp nigella seeds (black onion).
.5 tsp turmeric.
1 tsp garam masala.
Black pepper as liked.
Rapeseed oil – organic is best, especially 1st pressing. 1-2 dsp. Note the difference in taste this gives.
Optional additions: (choose one!)
Tomato puree or passata if want more tomato depth.
1 stick celery finely chopped.
Swap spinach for bunch swiss chard
Add apple if like sweet taste
.5 tsp cinnamon
Small handful curry leaves
.5 tsp fennel seeds
.5 tsp of any seed combination that an Indian shop offers eg mango powder or…
Plain greek yoghurt with some mint sauce stirred through.
Basmati rice or naan
- Heat large pot. Add oil and heat a little more. Fry onion for approx 3-4 mins whilst chopping pepper etc, add pepper, celery, apple if using. Add chopped fresh tomatoes. Add chilli, ginger and garlic. Keep stirring and fry each addition for around 2 mins. The mix should begin to soften and the onion to become golden.
- Add any bases if using.
- Add paneer and fry 4-5 mins until paneer begins to colour.
- Add seeds, korma paste, and any other flavouring. Fry 1-2 mins stirring to ensure that paneer is well covered.
- Add stock, or tinned tomatoes, or passata plus water.
- Leave to cook approx 20 mins checking every 10 to ensure that there is enough water. Check that fresh tomatoes are well softened.
- Add spinach and cook 5 mins. Stirring through sauce.
- Add fresh coriander after turning off the heat and stir through.
Serve with rice etc.
The yoghurt may be necessary if you have made it too hot.