Paneer & Chickpea Curry – $1.20

If you’ve never had paneer, a fresh, mild Indian cheese, you should definitely check it out. It’s solid enough not to melt quickly, but soft enough to give some great texture to a dish like this. Feel free to leave this out and add veggies or meat instead. Oh, by the way, the fresh cilantro and lime on top is really REALLY needed for this dish… so get yourself some!

Go ahead and chop up a medium sized onion and a carrot in whatever shape you’d like. Now’s a good time to get your rice cooking too!

Also mince a few cloves of fresh garlic and chop up a nice handful of paneer.

In a heated, greased pot, add your onion, carrots and a nice dash of kosher or sea salt.

Now add a can of chickpeas. By the way, chickpeas are one of those things I totally have on hand in the canned form. I’m all about soaking these and cooking from scratch, but it does take a whole lot of planning.

So I went to an Indian market and got a spice packet. I can’t tell you what’s in it or what the name of it was, because I asked the lovely Indian woman behind the counter to suggest something for me and it wasn’t in English. The picture on the front was a chickpea curry. If you have no idea what to get, or don’t care about the different kinds of curry, just get any packet that looks like Indian curry or masala seasoning. Either that, or make your own spices- use stuff like curry powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, cinnamon, cardamom, coriander, nutmeg, etc.

Add your spices to the chickpeas and veggies. Stir gently.

You’ve got two options (at least) right now. Add a can or two of broth (whatever flavor you want), or a few cans of coconut milk. Either way would be awesome, but I had broth. If you have neither and REALLY don’t want to go to the store to get it, you can use water (and a bouillon cube if you’ve got it).

Also add your handful o’ paneer.

Cook on medium heat just for a few minutes, stirring gently. Be careful not to break the paneer up too much. Also add a big ol’ handful of spinach. Why? Well, why not?

Plate your rice with a hefty spoonful of the curry on top. Garnish with fresh cilantro and a wedge of lime. These two things really bring a lot of flavor to the dish without adding salt. Enjoy!

1/2 Block paneer – $2.00
1 Medium onion – $.45
1 Carrot – $.11
Handful o’ spinach – $.05
Can of chickpeas – $.69
Spice packet – $1.99
5 servings – $1.05
1 Serving rice – $.10
1/8 Lime – $.05
1 Serving – $1.20

About Ande Truman

Ande has made mistakes in the kitchen since she could reach the countertop. From a restaurant head cook, to cooking meals for friends, to her own solo plate, experimenting & learning drives her. She's also a freelance graphic & web designer, photo/videographer, guitar player and wanderlust-er. In her spare time, she works a full-time 8 to 5 cubicle job. She's the creator of Broke & Healthy.

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Categories: Best Of, Carrots, Chickpeas, Cilantro, Indian, Lime, Main Dishes, Onion, Paneer, Recipes, Recipes by Ingredient, Rice, Spinach, Top Carousel, Vegetarian

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6 Comments

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  1. Well Pirate, I'm glad you liked it! Spinach is one of those things I almost always have on hand to randomly put in my dishes. Doesn't have a whole lot of flavor and it's super good for ya.

  2. Well Pirate, I'm glad you liked it! Spinach is one of those things I almost always have on hand to randomly put in my dishes. Doesn't have a whole lot of flavor and it's super good for ya.

  3. Wow–I made this tonight and it was great! I couldn't find a pre-mixed spice, so I threw in about 2 tsp of a blend I made from low quality grocery store spices I had on hand (1/2 tsp each ground cardamom, cumin, coriander, black pepper, cinnamon; 1/8 to 1/4 tsp each ground cloves, nutmeg, tumeric, cayenne) and 2 tsp of curry powder. It turned out great! The spinach was a brilliant idea… added texture and a bit of green to the whole meal and mmmmm. Just delicious! Thanks for the recipe–I would never have thought of making this if it weren't for your awesome blog 🙂

  4. Thanks guys! Yeah Sarah, I know you can find this stuff in Chapel Hill/Durham but I don't know about Efland 🙂 You could probably use Queso Fresco which should be at any grocery store.. in case you can't find queso blanco–unless that's the same thing?

  5. Yes, that does look great…. if I could find paneer in this area, I'd be thrilled, but I may just make it anyway with extra veggies or another substitute (wikipedia says queso blanco). 🙂 I have chick peas waiting to be used!

  6. It looks so great! U must have got chole masala if the packet has chicpeas on it 🙂