A fusion of worlds, not just a traditional recipe. Tomatoes are sweet and intense when roasted and the basil is a natural pairing. The paneer soaks up these sweet and scented ingredients when simmered together. —Deena Kakaya
paneer cut into 2cm cubes
deep red tomatoes
cloves of garlic
small stick of cinnamon
basil, very finely chopped (I used a food processor)
Cut the tomatoes and in half and drizzle them with oil. Sit them on some baking paper with the cut side upwards and roast them in the oven at 150degrees until they look lightly brown and intense. Whilst the tomatoes are roasting, mid-way add 4 cloves of garlic in their shell and let them roast too.
Heat a non-stick pan and add 1 tbsp. oil to shallow fry the paneer until it is lightly golden. Remove onto some kitchen paper and drain off the excess oil.
Once the tomatoes and garlic are roasted, lightly blitz them together so that you have a chunky sauce.
Heat 2 tbsp. in the non-stick pan add the cumin seeds, turmeric, chillies, cardamom pods, cloves and cinnamon and allow the seeds to sizzle before stirring in the onions and salt. Sauté for a couple of minutes.
Pour in the tomato and garlic sauce and bring the mixture to a simmer before sprinkling in the paprika and garam masala and then the paneer with water.
Simmer for 7-8 minutes before mixing in the basil and then simmer for a further two minutes.