Paneer Curry with Lentils and Green Beans is a great vegetarian recipe that everyone will love! Warming, Indian spices are combined with tinned tomatoes, yoghurt, onion, garlic and lime juice to create a flavoursome sauce that goes perfectly with the paneer and veggies. Pair it with rice, naan bread and maybe a dollop of mango chutney and you’re good to go!
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I’ll be honest with you, this recipe did not start out as a carefully planned and researched meal. It was more of an ‘I move house next week and I have enough food around to feed a small army so I should probably use some of it up’ kind of thing. But let me tell you, it was a REVELATION. Vegetarian curries aren’t really my thing, I prefer tender, fall-off-the-bone lamb or chicken when it comes to Indian food. Or, at least, I did… This has converted me! All the vegetarian curries please and thank ya.
Paneer is a type of cheese often found in India and some South Asian countries. It has a firm texture and doesn’t melt, similar to halloumi. It has a pretty mild flavour, and so it takes on a lot of the flavours of whatever it’s cooking in. That makes it perfect in curries with robust spices and flavourings, just like this one 💁♀️
Both paneer and the red lentils are packed with protein, so you definitely won’t be missing out in this vegetarian dish. With the addition of tomato, green beans, lime juice, yoghurt and spices we’re also packing in lots of vitamins and minerals, and of course, lots of fibre. It’s a great balanced recipe that also tastes amazing. Happy days! 💃
HOW TO MAKE Paneer Curry with Lentils and Green Beans
- Heat a pan to a medium heat. Pan-fry the cubes of paneer, turning regularly, until they are golden brown. You may need to do this in batches. Once cooked transfer to a plate and set aside until required.
- In a casserole pot on a medium heat, toast the whole spices for 1-2 minutes until they begin to take on a little colour. Stir regularly and keep a close eye to make sure they don’t burn. Once toasted, transfer to a pestle and mortar or a spice grinder and grind to a powder. Alternatively, you can leave the spices whole. Set aside until required.
- Heat a tablespoon of oil in the casserole pot. Add the onion and fry for 5 minutes until softened. Add in the garlic and cook for one minute, then add in all of the spices.
- Turn off the heat then add in the tinned tomatoes and water to the pot. Stir to combine everything then use a hand blender to blitz the sauce to a smooth consistency. You could also transfer the sauce to a counter-top blender and blend it that way. Alternatively, you don’t have to blend the sauce at all and leave it a more chunky consistency.
- Transfer the cooked paneer, red lentils and green beans to the sauce. Turn the heat back on to a medium. Bring the curry to a simmer and leave for 10-15 minutes until the lentils and beans are cooked through.
- Take the pot off the heat and wait until it has stopped simmering. Stir in the lime juice and then the yoghurt, one tablespoon at a time. Taste and add salt and pepper as required. Serve over rice and garnish with chopped coriander.
Paneer Curry with Lentils and Green Beans F.A.Q
After cooking, allow the curry to cool to room temperature for no more than two hours. Transfer into Tupperware containers, store in the fridge and use within 3-4 days.
Follow the storage instructions as above, then, once in Tupperware, pop into the freezer for up to 3 months.
To defrost the curry transfer the Tupperware containers from the freezer to the fridge and leave to thaw for 24 hours. Alternatively, use the defrost setting on your microwave to thaw the curry.
Transfer the curry to a saucepan with a few tablespoons of water. Bring the food up to a boil and then down to a simmer. Simmer for 7-10 minutes, stirring regularly, until the curry is piping hot all the way through.
Alternatively, you can reheat the curry in the microwave. Transfer the paneer curry to a microwave-safe container and pop into the microwave. Reheat on high for 3-4 minutes, stirring halfway, until the food is piping hot all the way through. Cooking time will vary depending on the strength of your microwave.
Paneer curry goes great with boiled rice and naan bread or chapatis. Mango chutney is another great accompaniment as the sweetness balances the spicey, zingy flavours of the curry. You could serve with a cool side like mint yoghurt or raita.
To make this recipe vegan swap the paneer cheese for extra-firm tofu. It has a similar texture and will soak up all the flavours of the curry sauce. Make sure to taste for seasoning as tofu tends to be bland.
You will also need to swap out the natural yoghurt for a dairy-free version. Go for unsweetened soy or coconut yoghurt.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE…
- Vietnamese Basil and Coriander Pesto Noodles
- Cambodian Amok: A Cambodian Prawn Curry Recipe
- Moroccan Vegetable Tagine Recipe
- Simple Tadka Dal with Butternut Squash
- Paneer Tikka with Pea and Mint Relish from Olive Magazine
Paneer Curry with Lentils and Green Beans
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Paneer curry with lentils and green beans is a simple vegetarian dinner recipe that is full of flavour!
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 400 grams paneer cheese, cut into bitesize cubes
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 400 millilitres water
- 200 grams green beans, cut in half
- 150 grams red lentils
- 4 tablespoons natural yogurt
- Juice of half a lime
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons cumin seed or cumin powder
- 2 teaspoons coriander seed or coriander powder
- 1.5 teaspoon mustard seed
- 2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ginger powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- Cooked rice
- Naan bread or chapatis
- Chopped coriander to garnish
- Heat a non-stick pan on a medium heat with a tablespoon of oil. Fry the cubes of paneer, turning regularly, until they are golden brown on all sides. This may need to be done in batches. Once cooked, transfer to a plate until later on.
- Put a casserole pot or large saucepan on a medium heat. Add the whole spices (cumin seed, coriander seed, mustard seed) and toast for 1-2 minutes. Stir regularly and keep a close eye to make sure they don’t burn. Once they have taken on a little bit of colour and smell fragrant remove them from the pan into a bowl. You can either use a pestle and mortar or spice grinder to grind the spices down to a finer powder or you can leave them whole. If you are using cumin and coriander powder, do not bother toasting it, add it later with the other spices.
- Put the casserole pot back over a medium heat with a tablespoon of oil. Fry the diced onion for 5 minutes until it begins to soften. Add in the garlic and fry for 1-2 minutes then add all of the spices to the pan for 1 more minute.
- Turn off the heat then add the chopped tomatoes and water the the pan. Use a hand blender to blitz the sauce until it is a smooth consistency. You could also use a counter-top blender to blitz the sauce. If you would prefer, you can leave out blending the sauce and instead have a chunkier consistency.
- Return the pot to a medium heat and then add the cooked paneer, green beans and red lentils. Stir to combine everything then leave the curry to simmer for 10-15 minutes until the beans and lentils are cooked through and the sauce has thickened.
- Turn off the heat and add in the lime juice. Once the curry has stopped bubbling, stir the yoghurt in one tablespoon at a time. Have a taste and add salt and pepper as desired.
- Serve the paneer curry with rice and naan breads and garnish with chopped coriander if desired.
- You could use halloumi in this instead of paneer. Halloumi is saltier that paneer so be sure to adjust seasoning accordingly.
Keywords: Paneer Curry, Vegetarian Curry, Paneer Recipe, Indian Spices
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