Serves: 2-4 as a main course or side dish - Time:
To all intents and purposes this is sag paneer but I use swiss chard because I love it and have rather a lot growing in the garden. The gloriously coloured rainbow chard could also be used here too. However, if you prefer spinach or find it easier to get your hands on you can interchange them. You will need to ignore the instructions to cook the stalks and simply add the spinach when I say to add the chard leaves. I eat this dish on its own, with some naan but it could be served as a vegetable accompaniment to a meaty curry.
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 175g swiss chard, stalks separated from the leaves
- 25g root ginger, peeled and very finely chopped
- 3 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon nigella seeds
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- ½ teaspoon mild chilli powder
- Half a 400g tin peeled tomatoes
- 3 vine tomatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
- For the paneer
- Oil for shallow frying
- 190g paneer, cut into 1cm squares
- Heat the oil in a wide frying pan and add the onion and a pinch of salt. Cook over a low to moderate heat for 10 minutes until the onion has softened but not coloured. Chop the chard stalks and add to the onion along with the ginger. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring, then add the garlic, cumin seeds, nigella seeds, turmeric, garam masala and chilli powder. Cook for 3-4 minutes and stir in the tinned tomatoes, chopped fresh tomatoes and 200ml water or vegetable stock. Bring the mixture to the boil then turn the heat down and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Roughly chop the chard leaves and add to the frying pan. Stir well and simmer for 8-10 minutes. Taste and season with salt and ground black pepper.
- At the same time as you add the chard leaves, start to heat enough oil in a small but deep frying pan to cover the base with about 3-4mm. Add the cubed paneer and fry over a lively heat for 5-6 minutes, turning the cubes after 2-3 minutes until evenly golden brown. Remove and drain on kitchen paper. Stir the paneer into the swiss chard mixture and stir. Serve immediately.