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Lime palak paneer

A semi-improvised and non-traditional spinach+paneer curry that came out particularly well - the lime flavour zings the top of it nicely. Makes 2 big portions; takes about 20 minutes.

  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 onion (finely diced)
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 3 cloves garlic (sliced)
  • 390g pack/can chopped tomatoes
  • 227g pack of paneer
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp + 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 a lime
  • 50g to 100g Spinach leaves (washed)
  • Bunch of alfalfa (optional - or coriander leaves if you're being more traditional)

In a good-sized wok, heat up some oil and add the cumin seeds. Swirl them around and then add the onion and coriander. Let this fry for 2 or 3 minutes (while you chop the garlic maybe) then add the garlic and mix it all around. Let this fry for 2 or 3 minutes more until the onion is nice and soft and then add the chopped tomatoes. Give this a stir then let it simmer gently for 5 minutes or so while you do the next bit.

Heat about 2mm of oil in a frying pan. Chop the paneer into bite-sized cubes. Put the flour and 2 tbsp garam on a plate, then toss the paneer around in it to coat. Then fry the paneer in the hot pan, giving it maybe 2 or 3 minutes before turning it all over and giving it 2 or 3 minutes more. It should fry to a nutty sort of brown colour.

While the paneer is frying, add the juice and zest of the 1/2 lime to the tomato mixture. Tip the paneer onto a plate with a piece of kitchen roll on (to drain some of the oil off). Pile the spinach into the wok - you'll need to add a large volume, cos it shrinks as it cooks - and stir it in, then add the paneer and stir that in too. Let it cook together for a minute or so.

Serve it all with the 1 tsp garam sprinkled over at the last minute, with some alfalfa on top, and warm chapatis.

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