A rich and creamy spinach-based curry with a delicious vegan paneer alternative. Serves 4!

Ingredients:

Vegan ‘Paneer’:

  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Coconut/cooking oil

Palak/Spinach Sauce:

  • 2 small onions – diced
  • 2 cloves garlic – crushed
  • 2-3cm fresh ginger – grated 
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fenugreek 
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 heaped cups Raglan Food Co coconut yoghurt – Natural Greek-Style 
  • 400g fresh spinach (or a mixture of greens for a typical Saag Paneer)
  • Handful fresh coriander – roughly chopped

To Serve (Optional):

  • 3 cups brown rice 
  • Naan bread –  there’s a great easy recipe here.
  • Fresh coriander
  • Chilli – finely sliced
  • Toasted sesame or cashew nuts

Method:

  1. Add all the paneer ingredients except for ½ cup of water into a bowl. Whisk the ingredients together until smooth and creamy. Little by little, add in the remaining ½ cup of water. 
  2. In a saucepan warm 2 tbsp of coconut or olive oil, then pour the mixture into the pan. Stir on a medium heat for 8-10 minutes to thicken. You’re looking for a thick but pourable consistency. After 10 minutes max, pour into a lined loaf tin. Smooth over the top, then chill in the fridge for approximately 1.5-2 hours until firm to touch – you should be able to cut it into cubes. 
  3. If serving with rice, cook using your favoured method.
  4. Blanch spinach by filling a large pan with boiling water, and a large bowl with cold water and ice. Add the spinach to the boiling water for about 1 minute, then transfer into a colander, then into the ice water to stop the cooking process. Return to the colander and drain well.
  5. Heat the large pan until dry, then add whole spices. Toast and then grind into a powder and place aside. 
  6. In this hot pan melt 2 tbsp coconut oil. Add the onions and garlic, and sauté until soft. Add all other spices, fresh ginger, coriander and the spinach. Stir well. Reduce to a medium heat and simmer for 8-12 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile take the paneer out of the fridge and cut into cubes. Gently place them into hot oil in a heavy based pan and fry on medium to high heat, turning carefully every couple of minutes to seal and brown each side. You may need to do two rounds, placing cooked paneer on a plate. 
  8. Turn the heat off on your spinach sauce. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes then stir through the coconut yoghurt. Leave to cool further and finish cooking your paneer. Now might also be a great time to make naan.
  9. Use either an immersion blender to puree the spinach mixture, or transfer into a blender and blend until rich, creamy and a beautiful green! Heat in the pan again if necessary. 
  10. Serve curry on fresh rice with naan, top with paneer, fresh coriander, sliced chilli, toasted nuts and/or seeds.
  11. Enjoy!

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