My general approach with curry is that it’s best left to the professionals. I don’t mean that you need to eat out or order in, but it does mean that I’ll tend to buy a spice mix or curry kit instead of trying to make my own. There are some really excellent products out there now and I have no shame in using them. They come with the spices, the sauces and none of the hard work. Perfect for when you’re in a bit of a rush.

That being said that’s my general approach to curries at home. From time to time I like to be a little more creative… As here with this Paneer, Spinach & Cauliflower curry. Admittedly I’ve still cut a few corners by using a shop-bought curry paste rather than making my own. Though I’ve tried doing that in the past and have never quite succeeded, so for me this is very much the sensible option.

Here that paste forms the base of a light vegetable curry with the added texture and flavour of paneer. If you’ve not encountered it before, paneer is one of those non-melting cheeses that retains its structure even when heated. It’s a common ingredient in Indian cooking, as a good source of protein in a vegetarian diet. Paneer may not be strongly flavoured but does add a rich creaminess to the curry.

Alongside the paneer I’ve used a fairly classic combination of spinach and cauliflower. The cauliflower retains its crunch and rather punchy flavour, even among the spicy tomato sauce. The spinach adds greenery and some earthiness. I also like to add a few soya beans to vegetable curries for even more colour. You could use peas if you preferred…

Either way you’re still getting a substantial amount of your five a day in every serving here. The fact it tastes nice is a bonus. As is the cheese. I did mention there was cheese, right?


Cauliflower, Spinach & Paneer Curry

This flavoursome curry contains much of your five-a-day in one bowl. For me the paneer brings a lovely contrast in flavour and texture – but you could use potato instead if you wanted to make this vegan.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Rice, Vegetarian
Servings: 2
Calories: 870kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp Vegetable or Sunflower Oil
  • 200 g Paneer cubed
  • 1 medium Onion thickly sliced
  • 150 g Cauliflower broken into bite-size florets
  • 2 cloves Garlic crushed
  • 1 tbsp Curry Paste see note
  • 400 g Tinned Chopped Tomatoes
  • 100 g Fresh Spinach washed and shredded
  • 50 g Frozen Soya Beans or Peas
  • 150 g Basmati Rice cooked per pack instructions

Instructions

  • Heat 1 tbsp of vegetable oil in a large pan over a medium-high heat. Add the paneer cubes and fry for a couple of minutes on each side until golden and crisp. Remove from the pan and place on kitchen towel to remove any excess oil.
  • Add the remaining oil to the pan, reduce the heat to medium and add the onions. Sauté for 10 minutes or so until starting to soften and turn translucent.
  • Meanwhile, bring a pan of water to the boil and add the cauliflower florets. Bring back to a simmer and cook for around 3 minutes until starting to become tender. Don’t overcook the cauliflower – you want it to retain some crunch. Drain then put to one side.
  • Add the garlic to the onion mixture and stir until fragrant, then add the curry paste and cook for a further minute or two.
  • Pour in the tinned chopped tomatoes, followed by the spinach. Bring to a simmer and cook for 4-5 minutes until the sauce has thickened. The spinach will add moisture, so it’s important to allow the sauce to reduce at this stage and not become too watery.
  • Add the blanched cauliflower, soya beans and paneer to the pan. Stir until well coated, then allow to heat through before serving.
  • Serve with cooked basmati rice.

Notes

When it comes to the choice of curry paste it’s up to you. It all depends on how spicy you want the curry to be. I tend to err on the side of caution when cooking at home – using a shop-bought ‘tikka masala’ paste as the basis for most curries. The 1 tbsp used in this recipe gives a warmly spiced curry, which is perfect for us. However, if you like things hotter then either buy a stronger paste, make your own or add a few fresh chillies alongside the garlic at that point in the recipe.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Estimated Values Per Serving
Energy 3,636 kJ
869 kcal
Fat 39 g
   of which Saturates 19 g
Carbohydrates 86 g
    of which Sugars 14 g
Fibre 8 g
Protein 46 g
Sodium 805 mg

Note: Nutritional Information is shown per serving of the recipe shown above. Any side dishes or garnishes shown in photos are not included unless they are specifically listed as part of the recipe.

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