Mowgli Paneer


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Mowgli Street Food

Mowgli Street Food

By Nisha Katona

Published 2018

  • About

My mother used to make paneer by splitting milk with lemon juice and hanging the separated mass from the kitchen tap in a big muslin sack. That udder of pendulant promise meant that night was paneer curry night. I wanted to share the joy with my Mowgli clients and this sweet, chunky curry is one of the best gifts I can give.


  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 green chilli, pierced
  • 2 white onions, finely diced
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 cm/2 inch piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ¼ tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp ground fenugreek
  • 3 tsp tomato purée/paste
  • 200 g/7 oz canned chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 100 g/ oz/ cup frozen peas
  • 200 g/7 oz spinach, washed and drained
  • 250 g/9 oz Paneer
  • ½ bunch of fresh coriander/cilantro
  • 2 green chillies, deseeded and thinly sliced


  1. Put the vegetable oil in a large non-stick frying pan set over a medium-high heat. When hot, add the cumin seeds and fry until they turn dark brown and release their aroma. Add the green chilli and diced white onions and fry for 3 minutes, then add the garlic and ginger and fry until the onions are translucent.
  2. Add the ground turmeric, chilli powder, garam masala, ground coriander, ground fenugreek and tomato purée and stir until everything is fully combined.
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes, 200 ml/7 fl oz/scant 1 cup water, salt and sugar, bring up the the boil, then reduce the heat to low and continue to cook gently for 15–20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until you have a thick and creamy sauce.
  4. Add the frozen peas and spinach and cook for 2 minutes until the spinach has wilted, then add the paneer and stir well. Continue to cook for 3–5 minutes until the paneer is soft and giving, but no longer as it will become dense and tough.
  5. Finish with the fresh coriander and green chilli just before serving.