I wanted this weekly project initially to have the focus on a bake and/or a make. I have decided to broaden this a bit. The idea was originally to be inspired by something and so this week I was inspired by dinner!!
We have, like many others tried the recipe boxes that are everywhere all of a sudden. Gousto was the first one we tried and although we didn’t stick with them, I did adopt a few of their recipes into our regular menu.
The first time I made this, I of course followed the recipe to a T. Since then I have tweaked a bit (but only the tiniest bit, promise) Instead of paneer, I have started using halloumi. It’s just that bit nommier 🙂
Ingredients: (serves 2 but you can bulk it out for 3 with maybe a bit more rice, side dishes, poppadoms and mango chutney or simply double for 4)
- 1 tbsp garam masala
- 1 red onion
- 1 tomato
- 1 red chilli (I have substituted dried chilli here if you don’t have fresh to hand, use around 1/2 tsp or more depending on how hot you would like it)
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 6 cardomom pods
- 250g paneer cheese (as mentioned I substitute halloumi as I prefer it and have also reduced the amount by half before to reduce calories without impacting the flavour significantly, your call!)
- 150g baby leaf spinach
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 20g fried onions
- 130g basmati rice
- Crush the cardamom pods with side of a knife or a spoon.
- Place the basmati rice and the cardamom pods, a pinch of salt and 300 ml cold water in a saucepan. Bring to the boil. Once boiling turn it down low, pop a lid on and gently cook for 10-15 minutes. Do keep an eye on this as you want to turn the heat off once it’s absorbed all the water and is cooked. Leave the lid on and leave your rice to one side in the hot pan until you are ready to serve. It stays piping hot for a good while (10 + minutes easily).
- Meanwhile, peel and dice your onion, chop your chilli finely, chop up your tomato and pop a kettle on to boil.
- Chop your paneer (or whatever cheese you desire, if you use a vegan cheese here, this dish is perfect for vegans and veggies alike. Violife have one, not tried it myself but worth a shot for this yummy curry) Heat a non stick frying pan and heat up a drizzle of veg oil. Once hot, add your cheese and fry on both sides till golden brown. Once browned , transfer it to a plate, season if desired and set aside for later.
- Get your pan back on the heat, add a little more oil if you need and then fry your onions till soft. Then add your chopped tomato, garam masala and 3/4 of your chilli (you can tweak this to suit, the dish is really flavourful and can cope with being less heated 🙂 ) Cook for around a minute to release the fragrant spices.
- Meanwhile, pop your spinach in a colander, stick it in the sink and pour over your boiled water. It will wilt. Rinse with cold water till cool and then squeeze out the water. Grab your wet squished spinach, chop it up roughly.
- Re boil a kettle
- To your curry, now add the tomato paste and spinach and cook for a minute or so.
- To 250ml of boiled water, dissolve your stock cube and then add this to your curry. Cook for around three minutes till it thickens up a bit.
- Then add your cheese and just warm it through for another minute or so.
- Serve with your rice and garnish with the fried onions. You can add more chillis too if you want to really spice things up.
I know this looks like a lot of steps. I must admit the first time I made this it felt like a bit of a faff but once I realised that the rice can be pretty much be left once it is cooked, I was then free to concentrate on the curry which in real time takes only about 10 minutes or so to cook, if you have everything chopped and ready to go. For someone who used to avoid curries because of the overuse of heat and coriander, this recipe has become a bit of a favourite.
P.S Its not a pretty curry but then which curries are!!