Spiced Paneer Dry Fry

On those days you just want some easy comfort food but without any post-dinner heaviness, I give you this dish! Paneer is something you’ll always find in my fridge because it’s so versatile, easy to manage and suitably satisfying for a meat-free meal. When I’m not chucking it into a curry or a stir-fry, this is what I’m doing with it.


  • 400g paneer, cubed

  • Handful of fresh curry leaves

  • 1tsp mustard seeds

  • 1tsp cumin seeds

  • 1 banana shallot, peeled and thinly sliced

  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander

  • 1tbsp coconut oil

  • Salt to taste

  • Small cup of cold water

  • 2tsp dried Methi (fenugreek leaves)


  • Heat the coconut oil in a solid pan and add in the curry leaves while it melts

  • Add the mustard seeds and stir gently to infuse into the oil for 1 minute

  • Add the cumin seeds and stir again. Be careful as the seeds will start popping as the oil heats up

  • When the popping starts, add in the sliced shallot and turn the heat right down. Keep the shallots moving and slowly browning over 5-6 minutes

  • Once golden, add the ground coriander and stir. The mixture may clump together, so add a splash of water to keep it supple

  • Add in the paneer and mix into the spiced shallots, coating the paneer on all sides

  • Add salt and turn the heat up, letting the paneer brown on all sides to get a gentle crisp

  • Just before its ready to serve, sprinkle in half the methi and mix in the heat. Then when it’s plated up, sprinkle the rest of the methi on top and possibly a little more salt

Tip: This recipe also works brilliantly when the paneer is sliced and added into a chapati wrap, with some fresh coriander, natural yogurt and sliced red onions

I always, always use the Tarka Dal recipe by Rick Stein because it’s fantastically simple but gives a lot in return and an extra bonus, it keeps really well for the days to follow.