Paneer and lentil curry….

A little piece of heaven...Le Meridien, Chiang Rai...

A little piece of heaven…Le Meridien, Chiang Rai…

It’s storming here in Chiang Rai…and it doesn’t bother me at all….you see, I am at the Le Meridien Hotel and enjoying five-star service in the lap of luxury! The hotel room is large enough to host my entire family, the rim flow pool is too tempting to resist, and the service leaves nothing to be desired…I spent last night wondering how people here are so efficient without shouting at each other…my pet hate is South African restaurants where the staff talk loudly to each other, shout from across the room and then have lengthy conversations next to your table! What has happened to South African service and standards???

While I am away, I feel a little guilty for deserting my job as recipe provider especially during the fasting month…A quick curry in ten minutes is appealing on any day, but during the fasting month it’s a must! I double up on my paneer recipe and save half for an emergency curry day. You can check out the paneer recipe here….https://yudhikayumyum.com/2014/09/06/no-goats-no-glory-the-mela-debut/ and take a look at the video: https://yudhikayumyum.com/sabc-2s-mela-videos/mela-episode-1-paneer-and-double-bean-curry/

You don’t have to use goat’s milk for the paneer, cow’s milk will do perfectly…try using Clover Full cream milk – it does work best! By the way, I have to just add that I don’t work for Clover, but some brands are just worth a mention to turn a recipe into a flop proof one! I also used tinned tomatoes and lentils to cut down on the prep time…tinned tomatoes are a must especially when the tomato supply is a bit ‘iffy’…by this I mean always use super ripe tomatoes that have been left out at room temperature, not ones from the refrigerator! Refrigerator tomatoes lack flavour, don’t break down easily and sometimes just remain chunky. Tinned brown lentils, chickpeas and beans are my favourite ‘cheats’ for ten minute curries….do give it a try!

Paneer and lentil curry by Yudhika Sujanani

Paneer and lentil curry by Yudhika Sujanani

Paneer and Lentil Curry


400g paneer
50ml sunflower oil
1 small cinnamon stick
5ml cumin seeds
1 onion, finely chopped
7ml coarse salt
10ml crushed ginger and garlic
10ml red chilli powder
4 tomatoes, skinned and chopped
5ml ground cumin
5ml ground coriander
Pinch of turmeric
500ml cooked brown lentils
Or 2 x 400g tins lentils, drained
400g baby spinach, finely chopped
Fresh coriander, to garnish

Here’s how:

Heat the sunflower oil on medium in an 30cm AMC pan.
Add the cinnamon stick and cumin seeds, then saute until the seeds begin to splutter.
Stir the chopped onion into the oil, add the coarse salt.
Saute until the onion turns light golden brown.
Add the ginger and garlic – stir for a few second, then add red chilli powder.
Next add the tomatoes, and stir in the cumin, coriander and turmeric.
Once the tomatoes have softened, add the brown lentils and simmer 5 minutes on a low heat.
Scatter the spinach over the lentils and leave to wilt – this should take a minute or two.
Slice the paneer and place the pieces into the lentil and spinach sauce.
Garnish with fresh coriander.


Purtassi recipes…Mushroom and Chickpea Curry

Curry in 10 minutes...mushroom and chickpea by Yudhika Sujanani

Curry in 10 minutes…mushroom and chickpea by Yudhika Sujanani

Just a quick recipe that will have you in and out the kitchen in a flash – it’s perfect as a side dish but also for the Hindu fasting month of Purtassi!

If you are short on time, used tinned chickpeas and tomatoes to cut down on the prep….you could have this dish down in ten minutes….also waterless cookware like AMC prevent your delicious spicy curries from turning into stews…

Mushroom and chickpea curry


45ml sunflower oil
5ml mustard seeds
5ml cumin seeds
1 onion, finely chopped
Salt to season
2 garlic cloves, crushed
15ml desiccated coconut
15ml red chilli powder
2 large tomatoes, skinned and chopped

5ml ground cumin
5ml ground coriander
5ml garam masala
2ml turmeric
200g button mushrooms, quartered
1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained
100ml boiling water
30 – 45ml coconut milk, optional

Heat the sunflower oil on medium in an AMC pot.
Add the mustard seeds and saute until they begin to pop.
Add the cumin seeds and saute until they begin to sizzle.
Stir the onion and salt in.
Saute until the onion is light golden brown.
Add the garlic and then stir in the desiccated coconut DSC_0758until light golden.
Sprinkle the red chilli powder over the fried onion and stir for 3 – 5 seconds.
Add the chopped tomatoes and lower the heat.
Add the cumin, coriander, garam masala and turmeric.
Simmer for a minute, then add the mushrooms.
Gently stir the mushrooms until they are coated in the spices.
Simmer until the mushrooms are almost cooked through.
Add the chickpeas and boiling water.
Simmer until the sauce thickens.
Add coconut milk and stir, then garnish with curry leaves and chopped coriander.

Yudhika’s tips:
Lentils can be used instead of chickpeas.
Use coconut milk to replace the cream in this recipe.
Desiccated coconut burns very easily so take care when adding it the the oil.