Karahi Paneer with Peppers (Capsicums)

Paneer is a home-made white cheese similar to ricotta and mozzarella in taste but firm enough to be cut into cubes. It’s really easy to make, can be made in advance and is really satisfying to do, see the recipe in the basic section. You can also buy readymade blocks in many well-stocked supermarkets and Indian stores but it will not be as good as the homemade version. This dish is full of flavour and texture and is a fantastic vegetarian main course. Serve with Naan or paranthas.

Serves 4-6

6 tbs. vegetable oil
1½ tsp. cumin seeds
1 small-medium onion, cut into l” cubes
3-4 green chillies, pierced with the tip of a knife
2 garlic cloves, peeled and made into a paste
12g ginger, peeled weight made into a paste (around 2 scant) or finely chopped
3 small tomatoes, blended until smooth or chopped
1/3 tsp. turmeric powder
¼-1/2 tsp. red chilli powder
3 tsp. coriander powder
¾ tsp. cumin powder
1 tsp. garam masala
½ each small green and red pepper, cut into 1” cubes
300g paneer, made from 2-2½ litres milk (see recipe), cut onto 1” cubes
Salt to taste
2-3 tbs. single cream

Heat the oil in a large non-stick saucepan. Add the cumin seeds and cook until they have darkened and are aromatic. Add the ginger and garlic paste and gently sauté for 1 minute or until the garlic smells cooked. Add the onions and green chillies; saute for 1 minute.

Add the pureed tomatoes, all the spices and season; cook over a high heat, stirring often until the mixture is cooked and releases some oil back into the pan, around 10-15 minutes. Taste, the flavours should be harmonious.

Stir in the paneer, peppers and a good splash of water from the kettle. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until the capsicum is crisp tender and the sauce is thick and clinging to the vegetables. Add the cream, taste and adjust seasoning and serve.