Cheese curry rocks my world. Two of my favourite things, all rolled into one. This recipe is really easy and slightly cheatsy as I use powder and pastes. That’s how I like this recipe though. It’s how I first started making it when I discovered paneer about 10-odd years ago.
Every time I make this curry it’s different, depending on your Tandoori paste/powder. This week’s offering was a Tandoori powder made by Clare Food Store on City Road in Cardiff and it’s really lemony and delicious. During the spring, summer months, I use spinach in this recipe, but at this time of year, it’ll work with kale or watercress; delivering you a bodacious autumn kick-ass curry.
Ingredients: One block of paneer, a bag of Anya potatoes, a small bag of Kale, 2 x half mooned red onions, black onions seeds, really ripe fresh vine tomatoes, 2 x fat cloves of garlic, 1 red chilli seeds in or out, depending on your preference, sundried tomato paste, Tandoori powder, a medium curry paste, lots of olive oil, salt and pepper.
Method: The key to this recipe is getting the paneer really tasty and crispy.
1) Get out your bestest, biggest tupperware (I bloody love tupperware) and slather it in oil, about 3 big heaps of Tandoori powder, and a few dollops of sundried tomato paste. Mix together, add seasoning and then cube your paneer. Add the paneer to the mixture, put the lid on and shake. Leave this to marinade whilst you prep the rest of the ingredients.
This is quite an oily, dry (as in, not very saucy) curry. The sundried tomato paste clings to the ingredients just enough to make it completely mouth watering.
2) Cook the Anya potatoes until they are almost done. You just want to let them finish when they are amongst the rest of the ingredients so that they soak up the flavour.
3) Whilst the potatoes are boiling, half moon the onions, slice the garlic and finely chop the chilli and then fry them all up in a big pan in a table spoon of olive oil and the onions seeds. Add another heap of Tandoori powder and a spoon of sundried tomato paste, so that the ingredients are coated.
4) Now is the time to work the magic with the paneer. Heat a pan to get it nice and hot; pour in plenty of olive oil (or something with less of a flavour, depending on how you feel about olive oil in curry) and then fry that cheese like you’ve never fried cheese before. I want it crispy on both sides. That is all. Put it to one side until we’re ready to add it to the curry.
5) Now add the potatoes to the onion mixture, get them well coated and add the quartered tomatoes – cook them up for a five minutes and then add the kale. Add a small amount of boiling water at this stage, just to mix all of the ingredients together. Once the consistency is as you’d like it, add the paneer. Keep stirring over the heat and add a dollop of curry paste and one more of sundried tomato paste for luck. Add a trickle more water and stir lots. Don’t lose the crispiness of the paneer though! The curry should be ready after another 10 minutes or the flavours merging on the hob.
I usually serve this with a dollop of simple plain yoghurt and a big squeeze of lemon. I don’t even put it with rice – it tastes too good by itself. If you can’t live without the carbs, I’d go for a simple Indian flat bread like paratha to scoop it up the traditional way.