Mix the marinade ingredients and marinate the cubed paneer for about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, place the tomatoes, garlic and ginger paste, cardamom pods, cloves, bay leaf and chilli powder in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour this through a sieve, pressing the sauce through into an awaiting saucepan. Discard any solids that don’t make it through the sieve. Bring the sauce to a low simmer and continue cooking while you prepare the paneer.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium–high heat. When visibly hot, add the paneer cubes, leaving as much of the marinade in the bowl as possible. Fry the paneer on one side and then flip over to sear the opposite side. The paneer can now be used in the curry, but if time permits, go ahead and fry every side of the paneer cubes until lightly browned and crisp. Set aside.
Returning to your simmering sauce, add the chillies (if using) and stir in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking until it is emulsified into the sauce. Stir in the cream and add salt to taste. Taste the sauce. If you prefer a sweeter sauce, add about 11⁄2 tablespoons sugar, or to taste.
To serve, whisk the reserved marinade into the sauce, 1 tablespoon at a time. Add the paneer and dust the top with the garam masala and crushed dried fenugreek leaves and sprinkle with chopped coriander.
Extracted from The Curry Guy Veggie by Dan Toombs, Quadrille, £15
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