Cost £2.49 in total to make and served 3 of us as a main meal (so approx 83p each)
I first tried ‘paneer’ a couple of years ago in an Indian restaurant. I’m a great lover of cheese but never before had I thought of combining it in a curry! I was a little hesitant at first and simply ordered a side dish to ‘give it a go’. I have never looked back, it was absolutely delicious and now it has taken over my Indian takeaway and I very often order it as main rather than just a simple side.
Apparently this Indian cheese is not a complex thing to make and many restaurants will make it themselves from scratch. I haven’t quite gone this far yet, especially when Tesco sell a pack for just £1.50!
Now usually a curry can be a time-consuming and complicated thing. It can take a while for flavours to develop and meats to tenderize. But this little beauty I managed to knock up last night in-between igniting a bonfire (long story) and putting the kids to bed.
Like a lot of my ‘midweek’ dishes it requires very little skill or time. So what are you waiting for?
1 onion, finely chopped (9p, Aldi)
1 chilli pepper, deseeded and finely chopped (15p, Aldi)
1 tsp cumin seeds (1p)
2 tsp garam masala (1p)
1 tsp ground coriander (1p)
1 tsp ginger powder (1p)
2 cloves garlic, minced (6p)
1 tin chopped tomatoes (31p, Aldi)
200g frozen spinach (22p, Iceland)
1/2 cup low fat natural greek yoghurt (10p, Aldi)
1/2 cup water
1 tsp salt (1p)
226g pack of paneer cheese (£1.50, Tesco)
1 tsp coriander leaf (1p)
Again I used my wok to make this because of its high edges = less splattering over the kitchen). Don’t fret if you don’t have one though, a large pan or a deep frying pan should be fine.
Fry the onion and chilli until soft. Push to the side of the pan and add the cumin seeds stir for about a minute to allow them to crackle.
Add the garam masala, ground coriander, ginger powder and the garlic. Fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and saute for 5-10 mins.
Pop your spinach in a microwaveable bowl and defrost in the microwave. Take them out and press all the excess liquid out (I used a fork and a sieve for this). Now add the spinach to the pan. Stir and cook for about 3 minutes.
Take the pan off the heat. Get out your hand blender and blend the mixture until it’s smooth (but not pureed). If you have a proper blender then you could use that, but I don’t and even if I did I wouldn’t want the extra washing up!
Put the pan back on the heat and stir in your yoghurt and the water, plus the salt and the paneer (diced into cubes).
Stir it up and then cover your pan and allow it to simmer for 10 minutes. If your wok or pan doesn’t have a lid simply use a piece of tin foil. I used this time to cook some rice and wipe round the kitchen tiles where I had splashed a great deal when using the blender!
Sprinkle the coriander leaf on top and stir (in the summer when I have fresh coriander in the garden I will use that – but for me in the winter it is more economical to use dried).
I took my inspiration from this recipe but tweaked it slightly to make it more affordable