Creamy chickpeas and paneer

by Sunita on September 23, 2009

I have always loved this time of the year. Back in Assam too, the weather begins to get slightly cooler at this time of the year and  heralds the beginning of the festive season. Although that was where I was born and spent the first two and a half decades of my life, I always used to look forward to the cooler months. As I said earlier, it  also meant the arrival of the festive season and  I loved the hustle and bustle that surrounds it. We are now far from Assam, but each year, during this time, as the weather changes and brings in the nip in the air; as the leaves change colour and begin to fall from the trees, the heart does long to go back and be a part of the festivities. Can you tell someone’s nostalgic?

Nothing liked a good home cooked meal to get one back into the mood. I had soaked some chickpeas to make a curry, when the cubes of paneer languishing in the fridge stared back at me. The mind was in the mood to indulge, so the two were brought together in a rich, creamy and indulgent cashew nut gravy, ready to be scooped up with some warm rotis.

Here’s how I made it-

What’s needed-

4 C of boiled chickpeas
1C of cubed paneer
1 C cashewnuts soaked in 1/2 C of milk and a pinch of saffron strands for 1/2 an hour and ground to a paste
a paste of -1 onion, chopped;3 cloves of garlic, halved and1 inch piece of ginger, chopped
2 and 1/2 tblsp of oil
1 tsp of sugar
1 bay leaf
2 whole red chillies
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 inch cinnamon stick
3 cardamoms, split at one ebd
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp ( more or less) of crushed red chillies
1 tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp finely chopped coriander
3 c of hot water ( more or less)
salt to taste

How to-

  1. Heat the oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds, whole red chillies, bay leaf cinnamon and cardamoms along with the sugar. When the sees begin to splutter and the sugar begins to caamalise, add the onion-ginger-garlic paste along with the turmeric and cumin powders and crushed red chillies . Cook the mixture, stirrring constantly till most of the poisture has evaporated and the mixture is lumpy.
  2. Add the chickpeas and mix well. Stir everything for 5-7 minutes.
  3. Dilute the cashew paste with the three cups of hot water and add it to the pan along with the paneer. Season with salt and stir constantly till everything is bubbly. Add the chopped coriander and the garam masala powder and stir till the gravy has thickened. * You may or may  not need a little more water.
  4. Remove from heat and serve hot with any Indian flatbread or rice dish.

That’s it. It is very easy to rustle up and makes a wonderfully indulgent dish. We enjoyed ours with some warm rotis and a fresh salad, and yes, we licked our plates clean!

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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rosa September 23, 2009 at 1:34 pm

Such a delicious looking recipe! Really appetizing and delightfully fragrant!




2 Sunita September 23, 2009 at 6:53 pm

Thanks Rosa :-)


3 Parita September 23, 2009 at 2:00 pm

I love cashewnut rich!


4 Sunita September 23, 2009 at 6:58 pm

Thanks Parita.


5 Happy Cook September 23, 2009 at 2:15 pm

For lunch we had chickpea and pulkas.
Next time when I make paneer ( have to make home as we don’t get then here in the shop) i am sure making this chickpea dish.
As one legume hubby and shyama is wild is chickpea.
When shyama was little she used to call them indian balls :-)


6 Sunita September 23, 2009 at 6:53 pm

Do try it Hc . Hope your family enjoys it too :-)


7 Bong Mom September 23, 2009 at 3:15 pm

Durga Puja’r shubhecha Sunita. Is that how you say it too :) I have never tried chickpeas with paneer, looks mighty good


8 Sunita September 23, 2009 at 6:52 pm

Yes, Sandeepa, we say that, and thank you for your wishes. Wishing you and your family the same too.


9 Soma September 23, 2009 at 3:29 pm

garam garam delicious:-) I can see the beautiful white clouds against the blue of the sky & the slight nip in the air back home!! & the dhol of the durga puja, yes.. my best time back home:-)


10 Sunita September 23, 2009 at 6:59 pm

Thanks Soma. Puja greetings to you and your family.


11 susan from food blogga September 23, 2009 at 4:14 pm

This is one of my favorite dishes at a local Indian restaurant here. Your looks better though! I’m bookmarking it to try.


12 Sunita September 23, 2009 at 6:59 pm

Thanks susan. Do give it a try. We loved it :-)


13 Hélène September 23, 2009 at 6:06 pm

Looks so good. Love the pictures and that little bowl is so cute.


14 Sunita September 23, 2009 at 7:00 pm

Thanks Helene :-)


15 snooky doodle September 23, 2009 at 6:55 pm

oh looks delicious! I love chickpeas!


16 musical September 23, 2009 at 7:40 pm

“Licked the plates clean”

Can not imagine it going any other way, Suni! Super-delish and just the thing that reminded me of home and all the tastes and comforts associated with home :)


17 celine September 23, 2009 at 11:41 pm

makes me miss london even more! When I finally settle back into a kitchen i’m going to make myself some


18 Rupa September 24, 2009 at 12:05 am

Hey Sunita ….

Yummy recipe… I am surely going to try this out next time. You simply keep on inventing these delicious dishes .. so creative !

I am feeling very nostalgic too ! Durga pujo and all … will be missing everything out in Sydney.
ah well… atleast I can cook up some good food too !



19 kellypea September 24, 2009 at 12:49 am

Oh goodness this sounds good. I’ve only had the pleasure of eating paneer ONCE! I traveled to a grocery store not close to my house to get it. It surprises me in a city as large as ours that there aren’t more sources. I have to look harder! I’d love to make this dish ; )


20 poornima September 24, 2009 at 1:23 am

OOOH.Yummy dish.I am making this for dinner today.Thanks Sunita.


21 Sharmila September 24, 2009 at 2:12 am

Awesome! Love the idea of chickpeas in that gravy … perfect food for festive memories. Durga pujar shubheccha Sunita! :-)


22 Divya Vikram September 24, 2009 at 4:28 am

Looks creamy and comforting with a warm bite of roti and especially on a winter day.


23 Sonu September 24, 2009 at 5:57 am

Wish you and your family Durga Puja greetings. We also have same festive season these days — it’s Navratri.

This chickpeas and paneer combo looks so beautiful. Will try it some time. Recipe is very unique Sunita. Thanks for sharing. :)


24 Nirmala September 24, 2009 at 5:59 am

mmm yummy combo. Yeah the casjewnut gives a rich creaminess when ground to paste. I used to add a handful when making kurmas for kids to give a creamy touch and to reduce the heat of chilli powder I add. The curry with the rotis looks like a great treat for this time of the season and yeah you’ve startes the festivals ;)


25 Meeta September 24, 2009 at 6:59 am

love chickpeas and paneer. this is one of my favorite recipes sunita. this weekend i am planning to make chickpeas too but without the maneer and a little different to this recipe.


26 Naina September 24, 2009 at 7:11 am

Mouth watering :)


27 PARI September 24, 2009 at 9:00 am

Hi. Yours look really very creamy. I have made a similar kind you can check out my blog.


28 CurryLeaf September 24, 2009 at 1:36 pm

Wow,the recipe looks fantastic .Never tried chickpeas and paneer together.That too with sugar caramelizing ..interesting and must try recipe.


29 Lakshmi September 24, 2009 at 3:40 pm

chickpeas, paneer, cashews… the combination!


30 manipadma September 24, 2009 at 4:54 pm

This I can safely try at home without converting into a major disaster. Nice.


31 priya September 25, 2009 at 6:16 pm

hi sunita
i just made this and it is tasting amazingly wonderful…..i have a question though…….i would love to make this for my parents but both of them have cholestrol problems, high blood pressure and all … what can i substitute for the cashew paste……pls pls tell me……..some days back i tried a recipe for dal makhani and substituted yogurt for cream and it was such a disaster……
waiting for some reply from you


32 Kevin September 26, 2009 at 6:07 pm

That chickpea curry looks so creamy and good!


33 Maya Magdalena September 21, 2010 at 2:06 am

Oh, yum! This looks absolutely delicious :) :)


34 Mary May 17, 2012 at 6:55 pm

I have been ordering this in restaurants and thinking what a heavenly dish. I always wanted to make it, and today I followed your recipe and it came out perfect. Thank you for posting this amazing recipe and for making it clear and simple to follow.


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