This Easy Paneer Curry is full of flavour and ready in under 15 minutes. Cubes of paneer and vegetables in a sweet and spicy tomato based sauce make a quick and easy vegetarian meal, using spices your probably already have in your cupboard.
This paneer curry has so much flavour, but just a little spice. It has a subtle sweetness from the mango chutney, which is our secret ingredient when it comes to curry. Minimal ingredients, nothing hard to source, just simple ingredients that make an incredible curry. If you love a curry, but want to eat more vegetarian meals, then this is for you!
Why should you try it?
- Quick and easy - This paneer curry is ready in under 15 minutes and is really simple to make. Perfect for a busy weeknight.
- Meat free - If you are looking to eat more meat free meals, then this is perfect because the paneer has a nice meaty texture and it's a great ingredient for a meat free curry.
- Great way to use paneer - If you have seen paneer but are not sure what to do with this, this is the best recipe to start with.
- Adaptable - Use this recipe as a base and then adapt with different vegetables to suit what you have.
- Restaurant style curry - We love a trip to the local Indian restaurant, or an Indian takeaway. But to save money we can make this restaurant style curry at home and it's really budget friendly.
- Onion - A red onion adds some extra colour to this paneer curry. However you could use a medium brown onion instead, or use 3 small shallots, which would give a sweeter flavour.
- Bell pepper - We used green and red pepper, but you could use any colour.
- Tomatoes - Use the ripest tomatoes you can find, as they will have much more flavour and they will be softer.
- Garlic - Fresh garlic is best, but you can use ready chopped garlic in a jar if you prefer. Just make sure it is well chopped, crushed or grated, so that it evenly distributes in the curry.
- Ginger - A must in a curry in our opinion. You can use frozen ginger if you wanted to save some time. Top tip - you can use a teaspoon to easily grate the skin off the ginger.
- Cumin - We used cumin power, as that is what we had already. However you could use cumin seeds and fry them in oil for 20 seconds before adding the onions.
- Chilli - Red chilli flakes adds some extra spice to this curry. Feel free to adjust it to make it spicier or milder. You can even leave it out if you didn't want any heat.
- Curry Powder - This is where most of the curry flavour comes from. Try to use the best quality one you can find, as you will be able to taste the difference.
- Coriander (cilantro) - Fresh coriander not only adds flavour, but it adds a lovely freshness to the curry.
- Tomato puree - Also know as tomato paste, this helps to add an extra burst of tomato flavour and it also thickens the curry up.
- Vegetable stock - This loosens curry up a little. Try to use a good quality stock pot.
- Paneer - The star of the curry. We used store bought, but you can make your own if you prefer.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
What is paneer?
Paneer is an Indian cheese that’s made from curdled milk and a fruit or vegetable acid like lemon juice and then the liquid is pressed out and it leaves a dense cheese. It has much the same texture as halloumi, but it isn't as salty. Paneer is a soft cheese, but it doesn't melt. When cooked, the cubes soften but they hold there shape, making them perfect to put in a curry.
You can either go to a specialist Indian supermarket to get paneer, or check out the world food section in the fridge area of your supermarket. Or it might be near the halloumi and feta in the cheese section, like it is in our supermarket. It is becoming a popular ingredient now, so it is being stocked more in supermarkets.
Step by step
One: Heat the olive oil in a large pan over a medium-high heat. Add the onions and a pinch of salt and cook until softened - about 3-4 minutes.
Two: Add the paneer, peppers and tomato wedges. Cook for a further 5-6 minutes until the paneer has started to turn golden. Stir regularly.
Three: Meanwhile dissolve the vegetable stock cube in 200ml (6.5 fl oz) of boiling water and add the tomato puree and a pinch of sugar.
Four: Add the garlic, ginger, curry powder, cumin and chilli flakes to the paneer and vegetables. Stir well.
Five: Add the mango chutney and tomato stock. Mix well and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
Six: Mix in the chopped coriander (cilantro) and stir.
Seven: Finally, add the spinach. Cook until the spinach has wilted.
The great thing about this paneer curry is that it is easy to adapt. Once you have the base of the onion, garlic, ginger and spices and the sauce and paneer, there are lots of different vegetables you can add to change it up. It's a great way to add what you have.
We stirred some spinach in at the end, but kale would also be a nice addition.
If you want to make a lighter version of this, as Paneer is high in calories, then you could swap half the paneer for a selection of mushrooms like shiitake and oyster as they have a nice chunky texture like paneer.
You could also add some courgette (zucchini) and aubergine (eggplant) at the same time as the pepper to add some extra colour.
What to serve with a Paneer Curry
Curry goes perfectly with rice, which soaks up all that incredible creamy sauce. If you want something quick and easy, then try our Microwave Rice, or why not try our Turmeric Rice for something a little different? You could swap rice for quinoa for a protein boost.
Soft and fluffy bread is always a good option with curry too, so why not try making our Homemade Flatbreads - they are so simple. And then dip them in some of our homemade cucumber raita. If you want lots of flavour, then try our Peshwari Naan.
Store: Leftovers can be kept in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Freeze: Paneer actually freezes really well, so this curry is great for batch cooking. Make sure it is fully cooled and then put in a freezer container and bag and it can keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Defrost: It can be defrosted in the fridge overnight.
Reheat: You can either reheat it in the microwave or in a hot pan. Make sure it is piping hot before serving.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are 486 calories in a generous portion of this paneer curry.nh
This recipe takes just 10 minutes to cook. Quick and easy!
Yes, you can swap the paneer for either tofu or chickpeas.
Yes, as long as you make sure all the ingredients are labelled gluten free and there is no cross contamination, then this curry is gluten free.
This curry is full of spice flavour, but it isn't necessarily spicy hot. This particular recipe uses just some curry powder and red chilli flakes, which can add a good level of heat to the dish depending on which one you use. You can adjust the amount to your own taste.
If the dish is still too spicy once you have cooked it, you can cool it down by adding a teaspoon of palm sugar (or brown sugar) or by stirring through a tablespoon of plain yogurt.
Yes, you can swap the garlic, ginger and curry powder for curry paste instead. That way you can use a different curry paste each time to change the flavour. We like making a Thai version of this with our Thai curry paste.
If you have problems with the consistency of the curry, then we have some tips for you. If it is too thick, then you can thin it out with some more stock. This has probably happened because it was cooked at too high a heat. If the sauce is too thin, then simmer it for a bit longer before serving.
If you have bought a large block of paneer, then it can be kept in an air tight container in the fridge for 2 days.
• Add a little crunch to this curry by serving with some cashew nuts on top.
• You can give this an extra protein boost by adding some quick cook lentils at the same time as the stock.
• An easy way to add a little extra flavour, texture and creaminess is by adding a spoonful of peanut butter (or almond or cashew).
More curry recipes
If you’ve tried this spinach and paneer curry recipe, then let us know how you got on in the comments below.
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- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 red onion - thinly sliced
- 200 g paneer - cut into cubes
- 1 green bell pepper - cut into chunks
- 1 red bell pepper - cut into chunks
- 2 tomatoes - cut into wedges
- 3 garlic cloves - crushed
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 tablespoon curry powder
- 0.5 teaspoon red chilli flakes
- 5 g fresh coriander (cilantro) - finely chopped
- 30 g tomato puree
- 15 g fresh ginger - grated
- 200 ml boiling water
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 2 tablespoon mango chutney
- 60 g spinach
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan over a medium-high heat. Add the onions and a pinch of salt and cook until softened - about 3-4 minutes.1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 red onion
- Add the paneer, peppers and tomato wedges. Cook for a further 5-6 minutes until the paneer has started to turn golden. Stir regularly.200 g paneer, 1 green bell pepper, 1 red bell pepper, 2 tomatoes
- Meanwhile dissolve the vegetable stock cube in 200ml (6.5 fl oz) of boiling water and add the tomato puree and a pinch of sugar.1 vegetable stock cube, 30 g tomato puree
- Add the garlic, ginger, curry powder, cumin and chilli flakes to the paneer and vegetables. Stir well.3 garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon cumin, 2 tablespoon curry powder, 15 g fresh ginger, 0.5 teaspoon red chilli flakes
- Add the mango chutney and tomato stock. Mix well and simmer for 2-3 minutes.2 tablespoon mango chutney
- Mix in the chopped coriander (cilantro) and stir.5 g fresh coriander (cilantro)
- Finally, add the spinach. Cook until the spinach has wilted.60 g spinach
- Add a little crunch to this curry by serving with some cashew nuts on top.
- You can give this an extra protein boost by adding some quick cook lentils at the same time as the stock.
- An easy way to add a little extra flavour, texture and creaminess is by adding a spoonful of peanut butter (or almond or cashew).