Thursday, 11 October 2012

Paneer and Butternut Squash Curry

Mmmm curry. Indian food is my favourite of all cuisine. I could literally just live off curry. As I've said before, I don't pretend to know what I'm doing when it comes to curry. Rather, I experiment with flavours and see if they work. I did this from scratch, but as ever if you don't want to, just use curry paste. My friend Yusuf once gave me an invaluable tip when it comes to making curry: don't use tinned tomatoes, this isn't a rich Italian tomato sauce. You want to use fresh tomatoes and cook for a long time to get the sauce thick. It might sound obvious, but it wasn't ever something I'd thought about, and my curries are so much better for it. 

The peas in this dish are optional; I made this dish twice, once with peas, and once without, and I preferred without, but the peas were a nice variation. Of course, if you don't have the time to use butternut squash or can't get hold of it, sweet potato or carrots will do just fine. You can buy paneer cheese in most supermarkets. It is pretty flavourless by itself, so if you can be bothered, marinate it before hand. I didn't and it still turned out fine.

Note: if you want to print the recipe without pictures, just click 'print friendly' and 'remove images'.

Serves 4


For the curry flavour:
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp garlic powder OR 3 cloves garlic OR both
1/2 tsp tumeric powder
1/2 tsp dried coriander
1/2 tsp fenugreek powder
1 cm fresh ginger, grated OR 1/2 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp vegetable stock/bouillon
chilli powder/flakes to your tastes

For the curry itself:
1 onion
500g butternut squash or similar
250g paneer cheese, cubed
6 fresh tomatoes
150g peas (optional)

1. In a pan, fry the onion, garlic, mustard seeds and cumin seeds until the onion is softened. If using fresh ginger, fry this as well.

2. Chop the tomatoes into eights, and add to the pan. Stir frequently on a medium heat until they begin to soften. 


3. Peel and chop the butternut squash into cubes. Add to the pan.

4. In a small dish/mug combine the remaining curry flavouring ingredients. Add to the pan, and stir to coat the vegetables.

5. Slice the paneer, add to the pan, and stir. If using peas, add now. Put a lid on top and cook for a further 30 minutes (for best results longer than this, but I was impatient and hungry) until the squash is soft and the tomatoes have fully disintegrated. Keep an eye on the liquid content, as you might want to top it up from water to loosen the sauce a bit (but not too much).

6. Serve with rice or naan bread of your choice!

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