Recipe: Paneer in Softly Spiced Tomato Sauce


This is based on a Nigel Slater recipe. It’s rather more loosely based than I was planning. I watched a video of him cooking it and made a quick note of the ingredients. Unfortunately I wish I could link to the recipe or video, but I didn’t take a note of the link. Or (more importantly) the proportions of the ingredients. So, this is my guesswork version! The original recipe didn’t have any chilli in it, I do remember that much. It also didn’t have paneer or nigella seeds, but they seemed to be a good idea.

Paneer is a traditional Indian cheese. It’s a lovely ingredient, quite firm and closest to Halloumi in taste, but not as salty (and not as squeaky!). It holds together in cooking and doesn’t melt and go gooey, so it is excellent in sauces. Quite a lot of supermarkets stock it, but if you can’t find it, tofu would be a good substitution.

The spicing is subtle in this sauce, but it is far from insipid. It’s like a pasta sauce but with indian spices instead of italian herbs.

 photo DSCN0693_zps086c108d.jpg

1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp brown mustard seeds
1 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 large tin chopped tomatoes
200g paneer, cubed
1/2 tsp nigella seeds

Brown the onions in a little oil.
Add the chopped garlic, cumin and mustard seeds and cook for a couple of minutes.
Add the turmeric powder, stir thoroughly and then add the chopped tomatoes followed by enough water to fill half the tin.
Season with salt.
Stir it thoroughly, bring to the simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes.
Add the paneer, stirring carefully so it doesn’t break up.
Simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes or until the sauce has thickened a little.
Serve, sprinkled with the nigella seeds.

Serves 2, with some naan bread to soak up the juices.


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