It was great to see so many of you join our latest cook-along on Instagram last Friday! We’ve really enjoyed seeing photos of your results and tbh they all looked pretty good! Some of you have also shared your own videos of cooking along and it’s really been useful to have a glimpse into your kitchens to see what’s really going down. I’m trying really hard to make this an un-traumatic experience for all of us but curse those wifi drop outs!

There is a PayPal account for anyone wishing to donate to what we’re doing – at paypal.me/spicemonkey – it’s greatly appreciated but so is just having your company.

Below is the recipe for the paneer dish and next up will be Tandoori for veg & non-veg, details out soon!

 

Spice Monkey Sticky Chilli Paneer 

Paneer is a humble cheese but its firm texture and bland flavour make it an excellent canvas for other flavours. Coating the paneer chunks in chickpea flour really allows the delicious sauce to stick to the paneer.

Serves 4

Ingredients 

250 – 280g paneer  – cut into 2cm cubes

4 tablespoons flour  – for coating (corn or plain flour is a good alternative)

½ tsp salt

6 tablespoons veg oil  – for shallow frying

2 – 4 hot green chillies – sliced lengthways

300g (2 large) tomatoes  – finely chopped.

2 tablespoons cider/ wine vinegar (balsamic also works well)

½ – 1 tsp hot red chilli powder

1 tablespoon garlic + ginger paste  (equal amounts of garlic and ginger whizzed together with a blender, or bashed in a pestle and mortar)

½ teaspoon black pepper powder

1 large red pepper –  cut into 2cm chunks  (the core is edible too!)

Jaggery (raw cane sugar) or use any sugar 

 

Method

Heat the oil in a pan or wok on a medium heat.
Mix the flour and 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a large bowl. Roll the paneer chunks in the flour, making sure they are well coated. Shake to remove any excess and fry in batches. Turn the pieces so they are lightly browned all over.  Remove and set aside.

In the same pan or wok, reheat the oil and add the sliced green chilies. Sauté for 10 seconds and then add the chopped tomatoes. Increase the heat and stir and fry until they start to go pulpy. Reduce the heat and add in ½ a teaspoon of salt and the vinegar. Continue  cooking on medium heat and then add the garlic and ginger paste, chilli powder and black pepper. Taste and adjust for chilli heat, salt, sugar and vinegary tang. Do this incrementally. You don’t want any one flavour to dominate. If it seems too chilli hot, add a pinch of salt. If it’s too tart add a little extra sugar. Too sweet? Add a little vinegar etc.

Reduce the sauce until it starts to turn sticky rather than wet. Add the red pepper chunks and cook for 1 more minute. Finally add the cooked paneer chunks and mix through well, making sure they are all nicely coated in the sauce.

Serve hot in a wrap or pitta bread with a little salad, or on rice. 

I made a simple coconut raita to go with it – desiccated coconut, sour cream/ yoghurt, a little garlic and ginger paste, salt and a pinch of cumin powder.