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Elegant paneer terrine in a creamy tomato sauce


  • 400 grams paneer
  • 1 zucchini , sliced lengthways into 1/2 centimeter thick strips
  • 1/2 small aubergine, sliced into 1/2 centimeter round
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 60 grams butter
  • 500 grams ripe vine tomatoes, cut into quarters and seeded
  • 6 fat cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely grated or chopped
  • 25 grams ginger, peeled and coarsely grated or chopped
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons tomato puree (more if the tomatoes aren’t very flavourful)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1-1/2 rounded teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves plus 1/2 teaspoon for the paneer marinade, crushed to a powder with your fingers
  • Salt to taste
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2-4 small green chillies, whole and pierced with the tip of a knife
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or to taste (depends on sweetness of tomatoes)
  • 3-4 tablespoons single cream (to taste, see above)

Tikka marinade:

  • 15 grams ginger, peeled
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 200 grams thick natural yoghurt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder, garam masala, paprika (for colour) and chaat masala (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons mustard oil or vegetable oil


  1. Halve the paneer blocks as evenly as possible so you have four even thin slices from which to make a terrine. Blend the marinade ingredients together until smooth (you can also grate the ginger and garlic until fine and then stir it all together) including the extra fenugreek leaves. Season to taste, add the paneer and leave to marinate as you make the sauce.
  2. Heat the oil and half the butter in a large non-stick saucepan. Add the ginger and garlic; cook gently until starting to colour. Add the tomatoes and puree and cook down until the resulting paste releases oil, around 20 minutes. Now, over a low-medium flame, “brown” this paste stirring often, until it darkens considerably, around eight to ten minutes. Set aside.
  3. Whilst this is cooking, grill the vegetables in the oven until both are charred in places, around eight to ten minutes; set aside. Then lightly oil the baking tray and add the paneer, grill until charred on the top, turn over and cook for another two minutes.
  4. In a clean pan, heat the remaining butter, add the green chillies; cook for 20 seconds. Add the sauce, powdered spices, salt, sugar, baby tomatoes and a good splash of water and simmer for four to five minutes. The sauce needs to be the consistency of double cream. Add the cream, take off the heat. Taste and adjust seasoning, some paprika for colour or more sugar and cream if the tomatoes are very tart.
  5. Quickly, layer the paneer with the vegetables, including both vegetables in each layer and starting and finishing with the paneer. Cut into four large or six medium slices and serve in a pool of the sauce. Serve as it is or with rice or naan.

For a delicious paneer recipe, click here.