Nothing quite warms the core like a curry. Using the ricotta-like Indian cheese paneer, this ultra pleasing dish is the best meat-free alternative to butter chicken. It’s even better lathered up with this easy homemade cumin roti bread.

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked 1 hour 5 large ripe tomatoes
  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 60g butter, ghee or oil
  • 400g paneer, cubed
  • ¼ cup grated fresh ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 whole chillis
  • 1 Tbs garam masala
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika (optional)
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 1 clove
  • ½ Tbs ground cumin
  • 1 Tbs ground coriander
  • 1/3 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup fresh coriander
  • Roti bread
  • 1 ½ cups wholemeal flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  1. For the roti bread, mix salt, flour and cumin seeds in a large bowl. Add thewater and mix with your hands until dough comes together. Kneed on a floured surface for 3 minutes. Place dough back into a lightly oiled bowl, cover and refrigerate while you make the curry.
  2. Cut the eggplant in half, sprinkle with salt and roast for 45-60 minutes until itǯs really soft on the inside.
  3. For the curry, blend the tomatoes into a puree or chop as finely as possible. Strain cashews and blend with the tomatoes until smooth. Set aside.
  4. In a large pan, melt butter and add paneer. Sear the paneer on both sides until golden. Remove from pan and set aside.
  5. In the same pan, sauté the onions for 2-3 minutes until soft. Add ginger, garlic, chillis and all of the spices and dry fry for 30 seconds until fragrant.
  6. Pour in tomato and cashew mixture and stir through. Simmer for 15-20 minutes so that the curry becomes rich in colour and flavour. Season with salt.
  7. While the curry simmers, remove the roti from the fridge and preheat a non-stick pan. Divide the dough into 4-6 even portions and roll into a ball. Roll the mixture on a lightly floured surface until 2mm thick. Place bread into the heated pan with a little butter or oil and fry either side for 1-2 minutes or until golden edges or spots appear.
  8. Remove eggplant from the oven and carefully pull back the skin using tongs and holding it with a tea towel. Roughly slice the eggplant and add to the curry.
  9. Chop ¼ cup fresh coriander and stir through the curry. Add paneer and peas and stir through right before serving.
  10. Serve with rice and favourite condiments like raita, pickle and chutney.

Recipe by Jade Walker