Chunky Paneer Masala

Serves: 2 hungry people or 4 regular people

Difficulty: Moderate

Paneer is a hard Indian cheese made from whole milk. It’s not that difficult to make yourself, but it’s even easier to buy it, and it can be found at most supermarkets in the cheese cabinet.

This recipe has hints of southern Indian spices with a little chunkiness from some of my veggie drawer favourites, but mix it up and add what you have.


  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 pack paneer, around 225g, cut into large bitesize pieces
  • ½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 2 teaspoons black mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 15 curry leaves, fresh, don’t bother with dried (optional)
  • 3 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh root ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 red chillies, 1 finely sliced and other left whole but slit nearly all the way down the middle
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • small handful peas, thawed if frozen
  • 1 400 ml can coconut milk
  • small handful fresh coriander
  • 2 teaspoons tamarind paste, to taste
  • salt, to taste


1. Gently heat the oil and fry the paneer until it’s golden brown on all sides.

2. Leave to drain on absorbent paper whilst you start the masala.

3. Leave around 2 tablespoons of oil in the pan and add the fenugreek seeds.

4. After around a minute the seeds will have toasted, add the mustard seeds, turmeric and curry leaves.

5. Once they start to sizzle add the spring onions, garlic, ginger and chillies.

6. Add the garam masala after a few minutes and sprinkle in a little water to stop the spices from burning.

7. Stir in the tomatoes, peas and coconut milk. Rip the stalks off the coriander, roughly chop and stir in.

8. Add the paneer and leave to heat through, being careful it doesn’t boil, for around 5 minutes before stirring in the tamarind paste and a good pinch of salt.

9. Taste and adjust the seasoning using tamarind and salt to balance the flavours.

10. Sprinkle in the rest of the coriander, roughly chopped, and serve with some delicious Pilau Rice.

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