Spiced Chickpeas and Paneer

This is a very quick dish to prepare and can be both a vegetarian main course with rice, or as an interesting side-dish to, say, pan roasted breast of chicken or perhaps a rack of lamb. If Paneer, which may be had from any Asian emporium, is not available, Halloumi, a semi-soft cheese of Cypriot origin, is a good substitute. Also, I have used silverbeet in this case, but if that is not available spinach or diced capsicum works just as well.



¼ cup olive oil.

2 cloves garlic, peeled, sliced.

½ tsp fennel seeds.

200g paneer, cut into 12-3mm cubes.

1 medium brown onion, peeled, chopped.

½ cup chopped fennel bulb.

2 tsp ground cumin.

1 400g can chickpeas, drained.

1 400g can cherry tomatoes in juice.

1 tblsp tomato paste.

1 tblsp Thai chilli sauce [or to taste].

1tblsp jaggery or raw sugar.

Salt to taste.

2 handfuls baby silverbeet leaves and/or 1 capsicum, diced.

¼ cup yoghurt.

Chopped coriander for garnish.



Dice the paneer and place in a bowl with the fennel. Set aside. Prepare the onion and fennel bulb and set aside. Prepare the Cumin and garlic and set aside. Place the chick peas, tomatoes, tomato paste, chilli sauce, sugar and salt in a bowl and set aside.



Heat the oil in a pan over a hot flame and fry the fennel seeds and paneer until the cheese turns golden. Add the onion and fennel bulb, lower the heat somewhat, and stir fry until soft. Add the cumin, stir through and cook for another minute then add the chick peas, tomatoes, tomato paste, chilli sauce, sugar, silverbeet and salt.

Stir through gently to combine, but not so hard as to break up the little tomatoes. Allow to simmer for 2-3 minutes, then stir the yoghurt through. Simmer for another 1-2 minutes then serve garnished with the chopped coriander.


Serve with: Basmati rice on the side.


Serves: 2.



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