This *just* the most delicious thing ever – this tastes like takeaway curry! And you know I consider that to be the highest praise I can give. Do not be freaked out by the call for mayonnaise and mango chutney – these are key.
I make this with chickpea, spinach and paneer, but you can add chicken or lamb if you want. Maybe not fish. A really useful dish, this one, as it’s easy to make for a lot of people and not expensive.
Preheat the oven to 180C
The biggest bag of spinach you can find, steamed, pressed against a sieve and roughly chopped. I usually leave mine to drain for a good 20 minutes but you can just batter it with a wooden spoon if you’re against the clock.
1 400g can chickpeas, rinsed
2 small onions or 1 massive one
1 block of paneer
1 tbsp mayonnaise (!!!)
3 tbsp plain yoghurt
1 heaped tsp hot mango chutney
1 tbsp garam marsala
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp nigella seeds
1 Chop the onion into crescents or rings and fry very slowly with some salt and light oil in a pan with a lid on for ages. Maybe 40 minutes? Until they are totally collapsed
2 Scatter over the garam marsala, turmeric, cayenne pepper and nigella seeds. Turn everything together for a while.
3 Now add the chickpeas and fry all this together for about ten minutes or however long you’ve got. It’s quite important to do this as otherwise chickpeas stubbornly retain the flavour of tin.
4 Add a large dollop of mayonnaise and three large dollops of yoghurt. Then a heaped teaspoon of mango chutney. Stir all this together and get really excited about how delicious your dinner is about to be. Maybe have a beer.
5 Add the spinach and stir together. It’s important that you have boiled, pressed and roughly chopped your spinach as otherwise it will leak water all over your curry.
6 Put all this into an ovenproof dish, cube the paneer and press it lightly into the top of the curry. Put in the oven for about 20 minutes or until it’s cooked through and the paneer is just starting to brown.
Thanks Esther – will try at the weekend. Sounds delicious
Sounds like frozen chopped spinach would work well here. Leave in a sieve in the morning to defrost, then throw in the curry when you come to make it. I love the convenience of frozen spinach.
Yes I must investigate frozen spinach. I wonder if Giles will be able to tell
I made it tonight, it was really good! Thank you for the recommendation!
Will definitely be making it again. On the spinach front, I cooked as per directions – I mean I drained and pressed the h**l out of them, because i was terrified of watery curry (the horror!), and then realised what I ended up with looked exactly like defrosted frozen spinach. So maybe, just may be next time I’ll try with frozen spinach…
Oh yes frozen spinach is a total game changer. Never buy fresh any more and waste a lot less.
This sounds amazing! Thank you. It reminds me of a Hugh Fernley-Wittingstall thing from his Veg Every Day book (which is a terrific cookbook if you want to eat less meat) which is chickpea and spinach and you can make a ton of it and then have it in your lunchbox at work every day.
Sarah Robson says
Looks lovely. Thank you for sharing. Will cook & report back. Mayonnaise?? Love a quirky ingredient – like anchovies in a beef stew.
Mmm yes please. So into paneer at the moment. Will definitely be making this.
Emily K says
This is timely as my brother and sister in law are coming this weekend and she’s just turned veggie. Thanks!
dammit, was all set to make this tonight then realised I only have lentils and cannellini beans in the store cupboard. I’m guessing cannellini beans will NOT cut the mustard?
lentils would work!
Made it tonight, absolutely delicious, thank you for the recipe
Being a dimwit, by hot mango chutney you mean spicy, right? Also, can I steam the spinach and then press and chop?
As I said, dimwit. I buggered up new potatoes last night.
no that’s a fair point. yes I mean spicy chutney rather than sweet. yes absolutely, steam away.
and potatoes are harder than their reputation. like boiling eggs – actually easy to get wrong
Made it tonight and it worked a treat. Used chopped frozen spinach and my husband thought it was delicious. Thanks!
I regularly eat mayonnaise straight out the jar. It goes in my salad dressings, on pizza, prawns, chicken, steak. OF COURSE I am going to make this. Curry with mayo? Oh my. A whole new world of creamy white delicious possibilities.
Oh my GOD GOD GOD it was awesome!!! Even my husband thought it was genius and he’d pulled his stinky face when I mentioned the list of ingredients. I added some shredded chicken thigh with the spinach and chickpeas- I don’t think it would be as nice without them. Top notch store cupboard cooking. I owe you one Esther x
welcome! isn’t it delicious
Made this the day I received the email as was generously received by all for dinner that evening. Thank you. I steamed the spinach in the spinach bag as for the first time ever I actually had a look at the back of a bag of spinach and steaming it like that is apparently A THING?! Wtf knew this already?
WHAT THE ACTUAL? this is potentially life changing
Hey Esther, I am a real mayo hater.. Can this be substituted for anything else?
just leave it out – it’s the hot mango chutney that is key here
Just made it. It’s AMAZING. Thanks for sharing
Bought all the ingredients yesterday.
We are trying to eat less meat and this is my first foray into cooking with paneer. I’ve told my husband, who is not a great fan of Indian food, that paneer is like Halloumi so fingers crossed.
To speed things up mid week, could you do up to step 4 the day before?
Any chance of some more ideas for veggie dinners and suggestions on how to eat more fish? Thank you!
Hi Jayne – pretty much all the recipes on here are vegetarian or fish-based.. if you hit the “food” tab at the top of the home page you will get access to all of my best ones.
If you have already done that and want MORE then yes I am always on the lookout for good vegetarian stuff – but I am incredibly picky about recipes – it has to be really easy and really tasty for me to feature it on here, and those don’t come along that often x
Emily K says
I just wanted to report back that this is delicious and we have made it four times since you posted the recipe, the only problem we have is sourcing paneer out in the sticks here – every little shop stocks feta though so I guess they’re all eating Greek salads. Anyway, my husband is totally won over and he was initially very sneering about the lack of meat. So thank you Esther!
Okay i NEVER comment on recipes but wow this is amazing. Pop in it a foil tray and could have absolutely been ordered in. Thank you for this I think it will become a staple.
ISN’T IT GOOD?!
Sarah D says
This looks delicious so I’m diving in utterly unprepared after a long week working and single-parenting with husband away. Lack of time (and possibly actual thought) means my attempt is featuring heavily on substitutions: Lentils, not chick peas; Tzatziki, not yoghurt; and (the most ridiculous) Halloumi not Paneer. God knows what is going to happen when I open this oven door. Have had a good gin & tonic to take the edge off in case its utter crap. Wish me luck. I’m going in…
Sounds like it’ll be fine!
Where’s the original recipe from? Sounds like such an odd thing with the mayo! Mine’s in the oven as I type!
it is MY original recipe!!!! the mayo thing is completely weird but I borrowed it from a coronation chicken recipe I’ve done for years as it’s such a delicious sauce and it works
Well congratulations then, it was delish. Used canned green lentils as had run out of chickpeas (for maybe the first time ever) and they worked really well.
Just to say I have made this approx a zillion times now. We don’t eat paneer for reasons I don’t understand. So I don’t bother with that bit. Also just put frozen spinach in straight from the freezer. It works fine – not watery at all. One of my favourite things. Thank you Esther!