Paneer is a soft curd cheese, easily made at home but it can be bought ready-made from Indian food stores. It is utterly gorgeous combined with the sweet and sour flavours in this dish.
½ cup chopped peeled shallots
1 fresh hot green chilli, finely chopped
1 tsp finely grated peeled ginger
3 Tbsp golden raisins (or plump sultanas)
1 cup firm but ripe cherry tomatoes, halved
½ Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp chopped coriander (cilantro)
⅛ tsp garam masala
200g (about 7 ounces) paneer cheese
1 Put shallots and chilli in a small frying pan (skillet) with 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and cook gently for about 5 minutes, or until tender. Add ginger, raisins and tomatoes and fry for 3–5 minutes, until tomatoes are just starting to collapse (don’t let them turn into a purée). Add ½ a teaspoon of salt, lemon juice and coriander, then turn off heat. Sprinkle with garam masala.
2 Cut paneer into cubes and pat dry on paper towels. Heat ¼ cup oil in a smallish frying pan over medium heat and when it is hot, add paneer. It will spit, so be prepared for that. Brown quickly on both sides, flipping it with two forks, and cook for no more than 2–3 minutes or it will start to collapse, then transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.
3 Put paneer on a plate