Pumpkin and Paneer Curry

This is really only a variation on the theme of Saagwala, which is described elsewhere here, but sufficiently different to deserve its own specifications. If you have not come across it before, Paneer is a mild cheese not unlike Italian ricotta and is available in most Asian supermarkets. If not, middle eastern Halloumi is a very close approximation. If none of the above are available, tofu is an acceptable substitute.


¼ medium sized pumpkin, peeled, seeds and core removed, and diced.

2 tsp curry powder [see below under Sauces, Dressings and Dips].

200g paneer cheese, cut into 1cm dice.

Salt to taste.

3-4 silver beet leaves, chopped, stalks removed.

3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped.

1 2cm x 2cm knob ginger, peeled and chopped.

1 tblsp tomato paste.

1 cup cream.

½ cup cooking oil.

1 tsp mustard seed.

1 medium onion, peeled and diced.

Another 2 tsp curry powder.

Juice of ½ a lemon.

¼ cup chopped coriander greens.


Prepare the pumpkin and place in a pot with two cups of water. Bring to the boil and remove from the heat. Allow to cool, drain and place in a bowl. Cover and set aside. Dice the cheese and place in a small bowl. Toss in the curry powder and salt, ensuring that the pieces are as fully and as evenly covered as possible. Cover and set aside. Mix the silverbeet, garlic, ginger, tomato paste and cream in a bowl and zap to a paste with a kitchen wand. Cover and set aside.


Heat the oil in a sauté pan or wok and stir fry the cheese cubes for 2-3 minutes, tossing quickly until turning golden. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the pumpkin to the pan and quickly stir fry for 2-3 minutes, then remove and set aside. Add the mustard seed to the pan and fry until popping then add the onion and stir fry until soft. Add the second 2 teaspoons of curry powder and cook for another minute or so; if it starts to catch on the bottom of the pan, add a little water to deglaze.

Add the silverbeet mixture and bring to the boil, stirring. Reduce the heat and cook for another 5 minutes or until the mixture starts to thicken, then add the cheese and the pumpkin. Stir through until reheated and turn into a bowl. Garnish with the chopped coriander and serve immediately with rice and raita on the side.

Serves: 2.

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