Paneer Vegetable Curry with Red Lentils and Green Beans is the perfect vegetarian curry recipe to serve family and friends alike! Warming spices like cumin, coriander, turmeric and mustard seed, are combined with tinned tomatoes, yoghurt, onion, garlic and lime juice to create an aromatic, flavoursome sauce that goes perfectly with the paneer cheese and vegetables. Pair it with rice, naan bread and maybe a dollop of mango chutney and you’re good to go!
Elizabeth Chloe is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
- Ingredients and Substitutions
- Frequently Asked Questions
- How to store paneer vegetable curry?
- Can you freeze paneer vegetable curry?
- How to reheat leftover paneer vegetable curry?
- What to serve with paneer vegetable curry?
- Can this paneer vegetable curry be made vegan?
- What is paneer cheese?
- Recipes You May Also Like
- How to Make Paneer Vegetable Curry with Red Lentils and Green Beans
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.
Let’s talk about paneer for a hot minute. Paneer is a type of cheese made from cow or buffalo milk. It has a firm texture and doesn’t melt, which makes it similar to (my absolute favourite cheese) halloumi. Paneer has a mild flavour and therefore takes on all the flavours of whatever it’s cooking in. It’s the perfect vegetarian protein for curries as it absorbs the flavours of those delicious, fragrant spices and that aromatic curry sauce. Mm mmmmmm!
The combination of spices in this recipe gives us lots of lovely aromatic flavours with a subtle warmth underneath. We’re using cumin, coriander, mustard seed, chilli powder, ginger powder, smoked paprika and turmeric to deliver on flavour. The beauty of it is you can adjust the spice levels depending on your pallet. Like it hot? Go crazy with that chilli powder if that’s your thing!
By adding red lentils to this paneer curry recipe we’re making it super filling and satisfying. Both the red lentils and paneer are packed with protein as well as a host of other nutrients, so even though this recipe is vegetarian, you absolutely won’t be missing out.
To finish the curry off we’ve stirred in a few tablespoons of natural yoghurt. It adds creaminess while not being super heavy on calories. But if you’re feeling fancy you could absolutely sub in cream because life is to be lived my loves.
The red lentils and green beans work with the flavours of this curry particularly well if I do say so myself, but vegetables are versatile and you can switch and swap to fit what you’ve got in the fridge!
To finish serve it up alongside all of your favourite accompaniments – rice, naan, chapatis, mango chutney, coriander chutney, even a bit of lime pickle if that’s your thing. I also have it on very good authority it goes well with an ice-cold beer. Do with that what you will and enjoy!
In this curry recipe, the paneer cheese is a fantastic source of protein and calcium. We need protein in our diet for many functions in the body, including growth and wound healing. Protein also makes up our organs and tissues as well as enzymes and red blood cells.
Calcium has many important roles within the body including building and maintaining bones, regulating muscle and nerve function and making sure blood clots normally.
The red lentils in this recipe are another great source of nutrition. Not only are they a great source of fibre, which we need to maintain a healthy digestive system, lentils are also high in a number of nutrients including iron, vitamin B6 and folate.
The tinned tomatoes are a great source of vitamin C and lycopene. Vitamin C has several important functions in the body. It has antioxidant properties which protect cells from free radical damage, helps maintain healthy skin, bones and cartilage and is needed for wound healing.
Lycopene also has antioxidant properties as well as a host of other health benefits. Lycopene is particularly abundant in cooked tomatoes as the cooking process helps break down the tomato cells to release lycopene and make it more bioavailable.
Green beans also contain some vitamin C and are a particularly good source of vitamin K in this recipe. We need vitamin K in our diets as it is essential for normal blood clotting as well as healthy bones.
Using a range of different spices also increases the nutritional content of this recipe as spices have a number of different health benefits. Turmeric, for instance, has anti-inflammatory properties while cumin contains a range of beneficial plant compounds, some of which function as antioxidants.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Paneer Cheese – Paneer is an acid-set cheese (see FAQ) made from cow or buffalo milk. It is soft in texture and mild in flavour meaning it takes on the flavour of whatever it is cooked with, making it the perfect addition to curries like this. Paneer also doesn’t melt, meaning it holds up well in dishes like this.
If you need a substitute for paneer, halloumi is the next best thing as it has a mild flavour and also doesn’t melt when cooked. The difference is halloumi is brined so is considerably saltier than paneer. You can fix this by soaking the halloumi in water for a few hours before cooking it to remove some of the salt – although you don’t have to if you don’t want to!
Onion – I’ve opted for a brown onion in this recipe for its sweet, mild flavour. Substitute for red onion or a few shallots if that’s what you have. You could also use onion powder if needs be.
Garlic – Fresh garlic adds to the aromatic flavours of this paneer curry. You could also use garlic powder if you needed to, and omit if you’re not a garlic fan.
Chopped Tomatoes – I always have tins of chopped tomatoes in the cupboard as they’re ideal to throw in recipes like curries and stews. You could also use tins of plum tomatoes or passata as we blend the sauce anyway.
Green Beans – Green beans (called snap beans over in the US) add a pop of green to this otherwise yellow/orange curry and as well as their fresh, earthy flavour. I’ve used fresh in this recipe but you could also use frozen. If you want to substitute green beans for another veg, try tenderstem broccoli, asparagus or sugar snap peas.
Red lentils – Red lentils are fantastic for curries thanks to their quick cooking time. They can be thrown straight into the pot to cook in the sauce, where they will absorb all those other flavours and thicken the curry sauce. If you’re using another kind of dry lentil they will take a bit longer to cook and you made need a bit of extra water to ensure the curry doesn’t dry out. You could also use tinned lentils which are pre-cooked and will just need heating through in the sauce.
Natural Yoghurt – The natural yoghurt in this recipe makes the curry sauce creamy while also adding a touch of acidity. It’s important to turn the heat off before adding the yoghurt as heat may cause it to split. You could substitute natural yoghurt for Greek yoghurt if you needed to. You could also substitute the yoghurt for a splash of cream for extra richness. Another option is to use plant-based yoghurt made from soy or coconut – just make sure it is unsweetened to avoid adding a sweet flavour to the curry.
Lime juice – The addition of lime juice at the end cuts through the richness of the final dish and uplifts the whole thing! Substitute with lemon juice if you haven’t got lime.
Spices – The combination of spices in this recipe gives this paneer curry a warm, fragrant flavour with an underlying heat from the chilli powder and mustard seed. Use as many of the spices as you can for the fullest flavour, however, if you don’t have one or two you can omit them if you really need to. You can add as much or as little chilli powder as you like depending on your pallet and smoked paprika can be swapped for hot paprika or regular if that’s what you’ve got. Make the recipe work for you!
Frequently Asked Questions
How to store paneer vegetable curry?
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.
Can you freeze paneer vegetable curry?
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.
How to reheat leftover paneer vegetable 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 it 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.
What to serve with paneer vegetable curry?
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.
Can this paneer vegetable curry be made vegan?
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.
What is paneer cheese?
Paneer is an Indian cheese made from cow or buffalo milk. Paneer is an acid-set cheese, which means acid such as lemon juice is added to heated milk, causing the curds and whey to separate. Muslin cloth and a colander can then be used to drain the curds from the whey and squeeze out any excess liquid. The cheese is then pressed with something heavy for 20-30 minutes to remove the last bits of liquid and to give it shape, then it’s ready to be cooked or eaten as you see fit!
Paneer cheese doesn’t melt when it’s heated meaning perfect for frying or adding to stews and curries as it retains in shape. It’s also quite mild in flavour and takes on the flavours of what it’s cooking with.
Recipes 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
How to Make Paneer Vegetable Curry with Red Lentils and Green Beans
Let me know what you think of this recipe by leaving a rating and a comment!
You can also follow over on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter. Come and say hi and hashtag any recipe snaps with #elizabethchloerecipes.
For a weekly update of new recipes and blog posts, you can subscribe to the
This paneer vegetable curry with lentils and green beans is the best vegetarian dinner to serve family and friends. Aromatic spices are combined with tomatoes and yoghurt to make a fragrant curry sauce that compliments the paneer, lentils and green beans PERFECTLY!
- 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 to 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. Alternatively, you don’t have to blend the sauce at all and can instead keep it chunky.
- Return the pot to the heat and 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. Enjoy!
- 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, Paneer Vegetable Curry, Red Lentil Curry, Green Bean Curry