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When I was in Uganda, my lovely friend Ruth told me all about Paneer, so when I found a recipe in Zest magazine (Jan 2013 issue) for a paneer curry, I set to work making my own!

Paneer is an Indian cheese which is made from whole milk and yoghurt, and despite being very bland on it’s own, it works well to absorb the flavours of whatever spices you use.

It’s a difficult one to describe – the texture is how I expected tofu would be – kind of like a rubbery cheese (like Edam perhaps?) but without tasting like cheese at all!

I adapted this recipe slightly from the Zest one, and made up the marinade for the chicken as I went along, but it was amazing!


(By the way – quick note – was very pleased to see ‘gluten free’ mentioned several time in the mag, yay!)

Coriander is possibly my favourite herb of all time – I love the fresh flavour and I could just eat it with everything – so I used a lot in this meal!

Oh, and a quick tip, if you’re not too good at handling REALLY spicy food, make sure you use mild curry powder instead of hot like I did the first time….oops!

This is the kind of meal that is perfect for those winter evenings – firey, tasty and extremely more-ish.

Plus, as it’s Christmas party season, we all know curry may just be one of the best hangover cures EVER.

For ease, I’ll break it down into two parts. Recipes designed to serve four people (or two very hungry people!)

Coriander chicken

Really simple, really tasty!

Let the chicken marinade overnight, if you can!
Let the chicken marinade overnight, if you can!

Four chicken breasts (raw)

Good handful of fresh coriander

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 teaspoon chilli flakes

Juice 1/2 lemon

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp tomato puree

2 cloves of garlic

  1. Preheat the oven to Gas 6/ 180’C
  2. Place all of the ingredients for the marinade into a blender and blitz until they form a paste. Note – if your blender is useless like mine, put into a jug and blitz with a hand blender – I found this a lot more effective!
  3. Score the chicken breasts and cover with the marinade. Rub in to really get the flavours in there!
  4. If you’re preparing in advance, leave these overnight in the fridge. At best leave for an hour if you can to really give the marinade a chance to develop.
  5. Place into an overproof dish, cover with foil and bake for approx 30 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.

Paneer curry

Something a bit different!

Mmmm, sizzling!
Mmmm, sizzling!

1 tbsp coconut oil

8 shallots, finely chopped

3 tsp curry powder

1 fresh, red chilli, deseeded and chopped

Tin plum tomatoes

2 cloves garlic

2 tbsp tomato puree

500g paneer, cubed

1 tsp brown sugar

150ml water

200g frozen peas

Good handful coriander leaves, chopped

  1. Separate approximately half of the tinned tomatoes out. Put half aside and blend the other half with the juices. (I did this in the same blender as I made my chicken marinade to give it a bit of extra flavour!)
  2. Heat the coconut oil in a large, non-stick pan and cook on a medium heat for 2-3 minutes, being careful not to burn them
  3. Sprinkle in the curry powder and fry for a few more minutes
  4. Add the tomatoes (unblended), chilli, tomato puree, water, sugar and crush in the garlic cloves.
  5. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for around 15 – 20 minutes
  6. Stir in the blended tomatoes, paneer and peas. Simmer gently for around 5 minutes until the paneer is heated through – you’ll notice how the texture changes from when it’s cold!
  7. Season to taste with salt and pepper, stir in the coriander and serve!

I am trying to avoid things like rice at the moment, so I just ate my chicken and paneer curry on it’s own. However, you could try cooking up some rice or serve with a gluten free naan bread.

I picked up my Panner from Sainsbury’s and it was pretty cheap – so if you’re vegetarian this would make a great alternative to meat and at a fraction of the price!

It’s my (early) new year’s resolution to try and bring more recipes to you and cook more – so I hope you enjoy this and let me know what you think!

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About Sarah Howells

Hi, I'm Sarah! Diagnosed with coeliac disease 20 years ago, I'm on a mission to create the best gluten free recipes since sliced bread. No fruit salads or dry brownies here.

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