Paneer and Chicken Curry with tomato / spinach / rice
Paneer is a firm Indian cheese that is often used as a vegetarian protein and adds flavor to simple vegetable-packed curries like this one.
Smarts: A version of this curry was featured way back in 2013. We've updated the recipe so that it includes chicken along with paneer. We also reduced the prep time by using canned tomatoes instead of fresh.
- Rice, uncooked white or brown - 3/4 cup
- Onions, medium and red - 1/2, diced
- Garlic - 4 cloves, chopped
- Ginger - 2 tsp, grated
- Jalapenos - 1, diced
- Chicken breasts, boneless and skinless - 1 lb, cubed
- Cheese, paneer - 8 oz, cubed (sub firm tofu)
- Oil, cooking - 2 Tbsp
- Tomatoes, diced (28 oz / 794 g) - 1 can
- Curry powder, mild - 1 Tbsp
- Spinach, baby - 2 cups
- Peas, frozen or canned - 1 cup
- Cilantro leaves - 1/4 cup, chopped
- Lemon juice - 1 tsp
- Rice - For white rice, rinse until clear. Fill a saucepan or Dutch oven (or rice cooker) with rice, water (use 2:1 ratio for water to rice), and some salt. Cover with lid and bring to a boil. Once water boils, stir, lower heat to a low-medium, and cover. Check white rice after ~20 min; brown at ~45 min. Rice is done when it's absorbed all the water. If it's not done, leave the cover on until all water has been absorbed. Take cover off to release steam and fluff with a wooden spoon after 5 minutes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Onions / Garlic / Ginger / Jalapenos - Prep as directed and combine. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Chicken - Cube chicken. Tenderize with a fork and season with some salt and pepper. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
- Paneer - Cube.
- Heat a skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat. Add oil and then onions, garlic, ginger, and jalapeno to heated oil with a pinch of salt. Saute until softened, ~3 minutes.
- Add chicken and saute in aromatics until cooked on the outside, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add in tomatoes (including liquid) and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes until sauce reduces slightly.
- Stir in curry powder and spinach leaves. Saute until spinach is wilted, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add paneer (or tofu) and peas, and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes until everything is warmed through and chicken is fully cooked.
- While curry simmers, chop cilantro.
- Reheat rice if made ahead.
- Stir lemon juice into curry and season to taste with some salt and pepper or more curry powder. Garnish with cilantro, and enjoy over rice!
This meal has 29 reviews
I added a bit of vegetable broth and some red/green peppers with the onion. Otherwise, amazing flavour!
subbed chicken for the shrimp. Would at least use 2.5 tbsps of curry powder next time!
I could not find Paneer cheese in my grocery store, so I used firm tofu. I think I would skip the tofu next time and make with just chicken. It was still delicious, but the kids refused to eat the tofu.
I made my paneer from scratch, which turned this meal into quite an ordeal, but it was worth it, and the meal came together very quickly and easily once that was done. Also did a restaurant-style aromatic basmati rice (with cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon stick, and star anise) instead of the plain stuff. Yummy! Only thing that would have amplified this would be some naan to go with it. Next time, I'll stop at Trader Joe's for some.
I made it without paneer - couldn't find it this time, and the last time I cooked with it the flavor was almost indistinguishable, so I skipped it. My jalapeno was pretty spicy, so it overwhelmed the rest of the dish a bit. I ate this one solo tonight but I'm guessing my husband will love it for the spice! I might need to add a bit of yogurt for the baby's dinner though!
We loved the flavors and the paneer. Kids were only so-so impressed.