Authentic Indian Recipes – Paneer Curry, Tarka Dahl + Kebabs

Cooking (and eating, let’s face it) has been one of highlights of each and every day in lockdown. We have been SO experimentative with our meals recently because we have more time than ever to research, prepare and cook, so I wanted to share a few of our favs here on the blog!

At the start of lockdown we decided to start a ‘virtual cook along’ series with our friends and family, the basic premise being that each week someone teaches us one of their signature meals over video call and we cook a long with them. It means we get to spend virtual time with our loved ones and also learn something new!

Mo, one of my boyfriend’s best friends is an INCREDIBLE cook. He used to run a Bangladeshi restaurant and every time we visit his place for dinner it’s always an incredible experience! So we were very keen for him to teach us some of his signature Indian dishes. These three recipes in particular were incredible, perhaps the best meal Geoff and I have EVER cooked at home.

I’ve written up all three recipes here and also filmed the cookalong video with each step, which you can watch on my YouTube channel. It might be a good idea to watch that to see how we juggled all three dishes at the same time, and also to get a feel for what each dish should look like after each step!

Without further ado, here they are!

NOTE – I’d approximate that these three dishes fed the two of us for three full meals, so you will have lots leftover to either have for lunch or freezer!

Paneer Curry (This recipe is for two blocks of paneer)!

Ingredients

1 x block of ginger (finely grated palm sized amount, but we use Taj’s Frozen Ginger blocks from any supermarket)

2 x blocks of frozen garlic (again, we use frozen pre-crushed)

One and a half chopped white onion

Two tomatoes – chopped and quartered

3-4 green chillis depending on heat

Lots of coriander (a big bunch)

2 x cardamon seeds

1 x bay leaf

Cooking oil (anything but olive oil, we use sunflower)

Turmeric powder

Paprika powder

Cumin powder

Chilli powder

Curry powder

2 x blocks paneer

Instructions 

  • Heat oil, about 2 tablespoons
  • Once it’s hot, add the 2 x cardamon seeds, bay leaf, ginger and garlic.  Cook for 5 mins.
  • Add one and a half chopped onion, one of the chopped tomatos, a handful of chopped coriander and 2 chopped green chillis (more if you like more spicy) (pic 1 is our ingredients chopped. Picture 2 is in the pan)
  • Cook for 5 mins
  • Add 1 x teaspoon turmeric and a teaspoon and a half of salt. Should look bright orange. (picture 3)
  • Now you need to cook this until all the onions and tomato have dissolved.  This will take like 20 mins. DO NOT let the ingredients dry out.  Boil a kettle and add bits of water to help keep it moist and wet. The point of this is to build up a paste.  Simmer and bubble away, keeping wet and liquid-y, until it’s all soft. You will need more water than you think. (Picture 4 for example)
  • Chop paneer into cubes.  
  • After 20-25 mins and once onions have dissolved, it’s time to add the final spices
  • Add 1 teaspoon of curry powder, 3 heaped teaspoons paprika, 1/2 teaspoon x chilli powder (more if more spicy)
  • Add more water, don’t let it dry out. 
  • 2-3 mins after adding the spices, it’s time to build it up to a sauce so it can cover the paneer once it goes in, so keep adding more water. You want to build up enough water, bit by bit, so it’s enough to cover the paneer once that goes in.
  • Add paneer (picture 5)
  • Picture 6 (how watery it should be so it covers the cheese) (after adding the final spices and lots more water and the paneer)
  • Put on a low heat and let cook for 15 minutes.
  • After 15 mins, add the final garnish to the top – one tomato, chopped, more green chilli (one) and a lot of coriander! Enjoy!

Picture 1 – the onion, 1 tomato, coriander and chilli for the first step

Picture 2 – frying all of these in oil along with the bay leaf and cardamom seeds.

Picture 3 – after we added the turmeric and salt.

Picture 4 – keeping it moist with water, should look like this. You want to dissolve the tomato and onion to make a base for the sauce.

Picture 5 (after approx 20-30 mins of dissolving the onions, adding spices and more water, add paneer)

Picture 6 (how it should look)

Picture 7 (after paneer has  been simmering on low heat for 10 mins)

Picture 8 – add final garnish and you’re done!


Tarka Dahl

Ingredients

  • Half a white onion chopped
  • One cup of red lentils
  • Teaspoon turmeric
  • Teaspoon salt
  • 2 x cardamon seeds
  • 1 x bay leaf
  • Dried chillis or chilli flakes (3 pinches of flakes)
  • Big handful of fresh chopped coriander

Instructions

  • Wash lentils
  • Add one cup of red lentils to three cups of cold water into a pan on the hob 
  • Add onion, turmeric, salt, cardamon and bay leafs into the pan. (pic 1)
  • Bring to boil and cook lentils until thick but watery.
  • One the lentils are nice and thick, but watery, it’s time to add the Tarka to the Dahl. So you want to really finely slice a clove of garlic (pic 2)
  • Bring a couple of teaspoons oil to the boil in a seperate frying pan.
  • Once the oil is really hot, add chilli flakes and thinly sliced garlic
  • Cook until brown (don’t burn, shouldn’t take too long)
  • Once brown, add to the Dahl. This will fizzle and spit, so stand back, but this adds amazing smoke to the flavour.
  • Stir in
  • Add a big bunch of coriander as garnish
  • It’s done!

Picture 1 – all the ingredients in the pan

Picture 2 – thinly sliced garlic

Picture 3 – Once lentils are cooked but still at a water-y consistency (like this) it’s time to add the tarka

Pic 4, once you’ve browned the garlic and chilli flakes, add it all to the Dahl 

Pic 5 – add coriander and it’s done!

Lamb kebabs

  • Big bunch of coriander, chopped finely
  • Two green chillis (more, depending on how spicy)
  • One white onion grated or finely chopped
  • Lamb mince
  • 1 teaspoon of garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon of jeera (cumin)
  • 2 x paprika powder
  • 1 x chilli powder(depending on how spicy)
  • 1/2 spoon curry powder
  • 1/2 spoon salt
  • Garlic x 2 big cloves, crushed or finely grated
  • Ginger – two big thumb sized piece grated (We use two frozen ginger cubes)
  • Put all ingredients and spices in with mince and mix together. Marinade in fridge until ready to cook.
  • Shape into thin, small burger patties
  • Grill on griddle pan for healthy version (add tiny bit of oil to stop sticking) or shallow fry in veg/sunflower oil
  • Cook 3/4 mins each side until cooked.  Either griddle 

And there you go! As I said, for a better sense of timing and juggling all three of these dishes at the same time, watch my YouTube video here!

I can’t express how delicious all three of these meals are. I really recommend you try. Sorry if the instructions are manic, I’ve never written up a recipe before!

Let me know if you try it!

K x

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4 Comments

  1. Candice Sandler
    May 31, 2020 / 7:56 am

    It looks delicious! Indian is definitely a favourite

  2. July 13, 2020 / 10:13 pm

    This looks so yummy! I love Indian food!

    Tracy
    Find Your Dazzle

  3. August 20, 2020 / 2:32 pm

    Wow! It sounds so hard to make! Thank you for the nice recipe, I’m always curious about how the auth Idian curry tastes, definitely try this recipe!

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