Mixed vegetable and paneer sabzi
To make this curry even nicer, run the smooth, blended sauce through a sieve, pressing all the solids through, before adding the butter. This produces a silky smooth sauce that goes so well with the vegetables and paneer. That is optional though! This one is good just as it is. I really like the green and white appearance of the dish.
PREP TIME: 10 MINS COOKING TIME: 20 MINS
- 4 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 2 onions, finely sliced and cut into 2.5cm pieces
- 2 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
- 3 large diced tomatoes, or 400g tinned
- 10 raw cashews, blended or pounded into a paste with a little water
- 5 handfuls (about 250g) fresh chopped spinach
- 50g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 100g paneer, cut into small cubes
- 1 potato, (about 70g) diced into 1.25cm pieces
- 2 green chillies, finely chopped
- 100g cauliflower, cut into small florets
- 100g green beans, cut into 2.5cm pieces
- 50g peas • 1 tbsp chilli powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 3 tbsp finely chopped coriander, to serve
- 1⁄2 tsp garam masala, to serve
SERVES 4 OR MORE AS PART OF A MULTI-COURSE MEAL.
1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large saucepan or wok over medium– high heat. When visibly hot, sauté the onions for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly, until soft and lightly browned. Stir in the garlic and ginger paste and fry for a further 30 seconds. Now pour in the tomatoes and cashew paste and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Next add the chopped spinach and 250ml (1 cup) water and simmer for 1 minute, then blend it all to a smooth sauce. If you have a handheld blender, it will make this job much easier; otherwise, transfer it to a food processor. Return the sauce to the pan and stir in the butter and let it melt into the sauce. Set aside.
2. Add the remaining oil to a frying pan and fry the cubed paneer on all sides until crispy and lightly browned. Transfer the paneer to a plate, leaving as much oil in the pan as possible.
3. Now add the potato and chillies and fry until lightly browned. Stir in the cauliflower and green beans and continue cooking until all the vegetables are about 80% cooked through but still quite al dente – about 3 minutes should do. Add the peas and the ground spices and give it all a good stir. Pour all this into the smooth sauce you prepared earlier and heat it all up.
4. Continue to cook the vegetables until they are cooked to your liking but be sure not to overcook them! I like mine to have a bit of bite to them. You might need to add a drop more water. Stir in the cubed paneer and season with salt to taste.
5. Serve garnished with coriander and garam masala.
MAKE IT VEGAN Don’t add the paneer or butter. It will still taste superb! You can also get a nice buttery flavour using vegetable ghee. This is one of the few curries I’ve tried with tofu and, although I’m not a big tofu fan, I wasn’t disappointed.