Serves 6-8 (or serve four and freeze the rest in single portions for instant homemade goodness when you simply can’t be bothered to cook)
1 tbsp oil (I use groundnut or sunflower oil)
2 red onions finely chopped
1 (227g) pack paneer cheese cut into cubes
4 courgettes (zucchini) finely sliced
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Half an inch of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 green chilli finely chopped (seeds removed)
4 tomatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
1 heaped tbsp tomato purée
1 small bunch fresh coriander (cilantro)
1 tin cannellini beans
1 tin chickpeas
1 tin coconut milk
200ml vegetable stock (or chicken if not catering for vegetarians)
2 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 heaped tsp ground turmeric
2 heaped tsp ground coriander
1 cinnamon stick
3 cardamom pods, split
Heat the oil in a large saucepan on a medium heat and gently soften the onion, chilli, ginger and garlic.
Turn the heat up and add the cumin seeds and mustard seeds, stir until the mustard seeds start to pop. Add the turmeric, ground coriander and tomato purée and stir.
After 1 minute, pour in the stock, coconut milk, tomatoes, cinnamon and cardamom pods. Bring to the boil and then lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes until liquid is reduced by half and coats the back of a spoon.
Add the chickpeas, cannellini beans, paneer and courgettes and simmer for 5-10 minutes. The courgettes should have a little bite, contrasting with the soft, yielding paneer.
Stir in chopped coriander and serve with rice and chutney—for a great sweet and sour contrast, lime pickle is best.