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!
I made this subbing tofu for the paneer (couldn't find it anywhere near me). I usually and very pleased with the curry dishes. Making it per the directions, the flavor to me was ok. I had to dump a ton of salt just to get the flavors to come through. It was just very one note in flavor.0 Helpful
Subbed tofu for paneer and left out the tomatoes due to an aversion. Used 2 tbsp of tomato paste and stock instead. Turned out great! I would cook the chicken first and remove the pan and then add it back in last so that it does not get over cooked. Otherwise, a tasty nutritious meal.0 Helpful
Used brown rice instead of cauliflower rice, but it the shrimp was delicious0 Helpful
We substituted bread cheese for paneer and this was delicious!0 Helpful
Subbed tofu for paneer for convenience. Added extra curry powder. Tasty meal! Would like a curry powder recipe to adapt for flavor next time. Easy to make and we’ll try it again sometime with the paneer.0 Helpful