From deep-fried treats to curry: four ways with paneer – recipes

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While growing up in India, my mum, who sadly passed away in 2019, would always cook dishes that she thought were wholesome and would be enjoyed by the family or her friends. She made her own paneer but, years later, was very happy that she was able to buy it. On a very wet day, she would make us paneer pakoras, or shahi paneer on special occasions.

Paneer, as we know it, is easily available in supermarkets these days. If you’re making it at home, use full-fat milk: bring a litre to a boil, lower the temperature, add the juice of one small lemon and stir until the milk curdles. Remove from the heat, leave to cool for 10 minutes, then strain through a muslin cloth and squeeze out all the whey.

Palak paneer (pictured above)

Prep 10 minCook 25 minServes 3-4 as a side

350g spinach, washed 1 heaped tsp cornmeal flour4 tsp ghee1 tsp cumin seeds7 tsp (15g) peeled and finely chopped ginger3½ tsp (10g) peeled and finely chopped garlic120g white onion, peeled and finely chopped3 green bird’s eye chillies, finely sliced, seeds and all1 tsp salt1 tsp ground turmeric1 tsp heaped garam masala1 tsp ground cumin200g paneer, diced into chunks

Put the spinach and 150ml hot water in a pan and cook for three to four minutes, until wilted. Add the flour and blitz to a puree with a hand blender.

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