By Joanne Bruno | August 6, 2012

Every so often I wake up in the midst of a coriander, ginger, turmeric-infused dream, with only one thought on my mind and one flavor profile on my lips — curry. On such days nothing will suffice but a perfectly spiced pot of Indian flavors and whatever vegetables I happen to have on hand.

This time around, it was peas and cauliflower with some paneer added in for good measure, but you can truly use whatever vegetables and protein you want. The tomato-chili sauce is spicy in the literal sense more so than in terms of heat, but it is heady with flavor and will surely stand up to whatever you throw at it.

Photos: Joanne Bruno

Paneer with Peas & Chili Sauce Recipe

Servings: 4
Calories: 218 per serving
Cook Time: 35


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 9 oz paneer, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 green cardamom pods, bruised
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp garlic paste
  • 2 tsp ginger paste
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 5 1/2 oz canned chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups frozen peas
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp almond milk
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, chopped


Serves 4, adapted from The Curry Bible

1. Heat oil in a medium nonstick saucepan over medium heat. Add the paneer and cook, stirring frequently, for 3-4 minutes, or until evenly browned. Remove and drain on paper towels.

2. Reduce the heat to low and add the cardamom pods and bay leaves to the pan. Let sizzle for 20-25 seconds. Add the onion. Increase heat to medium and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onion is softened. Add the garlic paste and ginger paste and cook, stirring frequently, for 3-4 minutes or until the onion is pale gold.

3. Add the coriander, turmeric, chili powder and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring frequently for 4-5 minutes. Add 2 tbsp warm water and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes. Add the remaining warm water, salt and cauliflower. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for 7-8 minutes.

4. Add the paneer and peas and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the garam masala, cream and cilantro. Remove from heat. Serve immediately with rice or naan.

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