Paneer rogan josh with spiced chickpeas

  • medium
  • 4
  • 60 minutes
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This stunning paneer rogan josh recipe from legendary Michelin-starred chef Atul Kochhar is a sight to behold. Beautifully crisp marinated, homemade paneer is served with a rich rogan josh sauce and some intensely flavourful spiced chickpeas – the perfect vegetarian main course for a next-level Indian feast.

First published in 2017





  • 2l whole milk
  • 2 tbsp of lemon juice, or white wine vinegar

Rogan jus

Paneer marinade

Spice powder

Spiced chickpeas


  • Muslin cloth
  • Spice grinder
  • Blender


To begin, make the paneer (you can do this up to 2 days before serving). Bring the milk to the boil in a heavy-based saucepan, stir in the lemon juice or white wine vinegar and continue to stir gently to help the mixture curdle. Reduce the heat to low and allow the milk solids to coagulate and the whey (the liquid) to separate
  • 2l whole milk
  • 2 tbsp of lemon juice, or white wine vinegar
Remove the pan from the heat and pour the mixture through a sieve lined with a large piece of muslin cloth. Squeeze the cloth to extract all of the liquid from the curds
Tie the curds tightly in the cloth then place the bundle in a clean sink. Sit a heavy weight on top – you can use a saucepan filled with cans – and leave for at least 30 minutes until all the liquid has drained out and the paneer is completely cool. Remove the weight and transfer to the fridge for at least 2 hours
To make the rogan jus, heat the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan. Add the whole spices and as they crackle, add the onions. Slowly cook the onions until caramelised and golden brown – this should take at least 20 minutes
Add the ginger-garlic paste and sauté well for 3–4 minutes. Add the powdered spices, mix well and allow to cook out for a further 3–4 minutes
Add the tomatoes and cook for 5–10 minutes until the oils in the sauce separate and rise to the surface. Skim away and discard the excess oil, then taste and adjust the seasoning of the sauce. Blend to a smooth purée and adjust the consistency with a little water if needed. This can be stored in the fridge for up to a week and freezes well
  • 160g of tomatoes, chopped (or you can use passata)
  • salt, to taste
Make the paneer marinade by whisking all the ingredients together. Cut the paneer into 8 even pieces, rub the marinade all over and set aside until ready to cook
To make the spice powder, toast all the ingredients in a dry frying pan over a medium heat until aromatic, then immediately tip out of the pan to prevent burning. Grind to a fine powder in a spice grinder and set aside
For the spiced chickpeas, drain the soaked chickpeas and transfer to a saucepan with fresh water to cover. Bring to the boil and boil hard for 10 minutes, skimming the surface as necessary. Lower the heat, add salt to taste and simmer for 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain well
Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the chilli, garlic, ginger and cumin seeds and sauté over a medium heat until the seeds crackle. Add the onion and continue to sauté for 8–10 minutes until soft and light brown in colour
Add 150ml water, the chopped tomato, drained chickpeas, ground coriander, mango powder, cumin, turmeric and garam masala with salt to taste. Continue stirring over a low heat, uncovered, for 12–15 minutes until the chickpeas are very soft
Stir in a little extra water, if necessary, to loosen the mixture. Sprinkle over the spice powder to taste
Preheat the oven to 220°C/gas mark 7 and line an oven tray with a non-stick baking mat or baking tray lined with parchment paper
Lay the paneer on the tray and brush each piece with the melted butter. Roast for 10–12 minutes until the edges are lightly browned
Plate a quenelle of spiced chickpeas in each bowl and arrange the paneer on top. Pour the rogan jus into the bowls and garnish with hippo tops
First published in 2017

Combining the flavours of north, east and south India with the finest British produce, Atul Kochhar was the first ever Indian chef to receive a Michelin star in 2001.

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