A promise is a promise. So here’s a look at what I decided to put in my Indian lunchbox. Star of the show is this paneer curry: big chunks of paneer and juicy green peas in a thick, spicy sauce with tomatoes and ground raw cashews. It was a bit of an experiment, but the result was everything I could have hoped for. The cashew butter is a revelation. It doesn’t come cheap, but it’s incredibly smooth and sweet, almost like white chocolate, and it instantly makes sauces thick and creamy. It also saves you the hassle of soaking and grinding cashew nuts yourself.
I made about 1.5 to 2 times the amount I would normally make for two people in order to have enough for both dinner and my boyfriend’s lunch the next day (he loved it! ). I served this curry with homemade chapatis (using this recipe) and a refreshing cucumber raita, but it would also be great with some fragrant basmati rice. Although I’m generally successful in the kitchen when it comes to cooking, bread-making is a skill I haven’t quite mastered yet. These chapatis where quite tasty, but in no way behaved like the recipe told me they would and came out looking rather less like circles and rather more like cumulus clouds. Ah well, with a good curry like this, who cares.
Ingredients for 3-4 people
1 can of chopped tomatoes in juice 400g, blended until smooth
2 tbsp of white cashew butter (just pure raw cashews blended to a creamy paste, they sell it in health stores)
1 chunk of fresh ginger, finely grated
2 large garlic cloves, pressed
200 g frozen peas
1 tsp garam masala
2 dried bird’s eye chillies, crumbled
200 g paneer, cut into cubes
1/2 tbsp butter
1/2 tbsp oil
- Fry the garlic and ginger in 1/2 tbsp butter and 1/2 tbsp oil until golden brown
- Add the blended tomatoes
- Add the crumbled chillies.
- In a separate bowl, mix the cashew paste with a bit of water so it becomes a little thinner.
- Add the cashew paste to the pan along with some salt. Adjust the consistency of the sauce by adding more water.
- Add frozen peas and paneer and allow to simmer for a few minutes until the peas are just done and the paneer has become soft.
- Add the garam masala and stir through
- Top off with fresh coriander and serve with raita and chapatis.