Paneer aur mirch ka salan – paneer with chilli peppers in melon seed sauce

  • Main
  • easy
  • 2
  • 45 minutes, plus 2 hours soaking time and 1 hour pickling and marinating time

PT45M

PT3H

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Ingredients

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Melon seed sauce

Marinated paneer

Pickled chillies

1

Begin by pickling the chillies. Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat, then add the whole spices. Once they begin to crackle, carefully pour in the white vinegar and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add the turmeric, red chilli powder and a pinch of salt, stir to combine, then remove from the heat and leave to cool

2

Once cool, add the chillies to the pickling liquid and stir to coat. Set aside for at least 1 hour

  • 3 chillies, ideally a mixture of red, orange and green, roughly chopped
3

Meanwhile, marinate the paneer. Cut the paneer into 6 equal pieces and cut a slit into each piece for stuffing. Mix together the mixed pickle, mango chutney and grated paneer with a pinch of salt and use this mixture to stuff each piece of paneer

4

For the marinade, mix together the Greek yoghurt, chilli powder, salt and ginger-garlic paste and rub this mixture all over the stuffed paneer. Leave to marinate for at least 1 hour in the fridge

5
Meanwhile, make the sauce. Add a dash of oil to a heavy-based saucepan and, once hot, add the onion. Cook over a medium heat until golden (about 6–8 minutes) then add the ginger-garlic paste and fry for 2 more minutes
6

Add the ground spices and diced tomato and cook for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, drain the soaked melon seeds and blitz into a smooth paste. Add the paste to the sauce and cook for a further 5 minutes, then transfer to a blender and blitz until smooth, adding enough water to create a sauce the consistency of single cream

7

To finish the sauce, place it back over the heat and stir in the tamarind paste and jaggery. Place a separate small pan over a high heat with a splash of oil and the mustard seeds and curry leaves. Once sizzling, transfer these to the sauce too. Keep warm

8

Preheat an oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Cook the marinated paneer for 8 minutes, turning them over halfway through cooking

9

To serve, divide the sauce between 2 shallow bowls. Place 3 pieces of paneer into each dish, then top with the pickled chillies, drizzling a little of the liquor into the sauce. Garnish with basil leaves (if using)

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