Hindus consider cows and all their milky produce—cream, butter, and cheese—sacred. I can’t argue with that. Traditionally, this dish would be made with a few large slabs of golden butter, but for the sake of decency I’ve toned things down a bit. It’s still an extravagant dish, but channel India and enjoy yourself.
Serves 4 as a main course
1 pound hard paneer, cut into ¾-inch cubes
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
1¾-inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
6 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 x 14-ounce cans of crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground red chile
2 tablespoons honey
1½ teaspoons salt
1½ cups peas (fresh or defrosted)
½ cup heavy cream (plus extra to serve)
a handful of toasted flaked almonds
Put a tablespoon of oil into a large lidded frying pan over medium heat and, when hot, add the cubes of paneer. Fry for a couple of minutes until golden on all sides, turning regularly, then remove to a plate.
Put the butter into the same pan over medium heat. When hot, add the onion and fry for around 10 minutes, until translucent and turning golden. Add the ginger and garlic, stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes, then add the crushed tomatoes. Cover with the lid and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, until reduced to a lovely thick sauce.
Add the fenugreek leaves, cinnamon, cloves, ground red chile, honey, and salt to the pan. Stir, then add the fried paneer, cover with a lid, and cook for 5 minutes, or until cooked through. Add the peas and cream and cook for a further 5 minutes.
To serve, scatter with the almonds and drizzle with a little extra cream. This curry is perfect with steamed basmati rice.