Asparagus With Shredded Paneer and Tomato

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
asparagus with paneer cheese

While asparagus shines in all its glory with simple tastes such as butter, olive oil and seasonings such as salt and pepper — and maybe some soft-cooked egg or cheese — there are ways to dress it up without overpowering the unique flavor of this vegetable that is never in season long enough for my taste.

Inspired by the success of my asparagus pesto lasagna with mushrooms, I began to explore other creative recipes with this wonderful vegetable. Leave it to Raghavan Iyer to come up with some of the most interesting fusion Indian-style recipes that I have come across in addition to the treasure trove of traditional Indian recipes that grace the pages of all of his books. This one comes from one of my favorites — 660 Curries. It has occupied a treasured place on my cookbook shelves for a good many years now and long been considered a desert island keeper.

Here, mellow paneer cheese takes on the flavor of a tangy tomato and lemon curry sauce and complements the asparagus with its soft texture. Paneer is also ideal because it doesn't melt when you cook it, further allowing the fresh firm bite and taste of the asparagus to occupy a central role in the dish. I highly recommend using homemade curry powder for the curry — it makes all the difference and it's easy to make up a small batch that will keep in a well-sealed jar for several months.

asparagus with shredded paneer and tomato

Asparagus With Shredded Paneer and TomatoAsparagus With Shredded Paneer and Tomato
Recipe by
Adapted from 660 Curries
Cuisine: Indian
Published on June 20, 2013

Simple, colorful and wonderfully flavorful asparagus and tomato curry with soft mellow paneer cheese and cilantro

Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 25 to 30 minutes

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  • 3 to 4 sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons butter or oil
  • 3 to 4 shallots, finely sliced
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 large bunch of asparagus (1 to 1 1/2 lbs or 450 to 675 g)
  • 2 plum tomatoes, partially seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups paneer cheese, crumbled or shredded
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • small handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Soak the sun-dried tomatoes in hot water for 20 minutes. Drain and chop finely, then set aside.

  • Heat the butter or oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or wok over medium heat. When hot, toss in the shallots and stir until lightly browned — about 2 to 3 minutes.

  • Add the curry powder and stir for 30 seconds. Now add the asparagus, stir once, and add the sun-dried tomatoes, half of the plum tomatoes, a few teaspoons of water and a teaspoon of the lemon juice. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover. and simmer until for 10 to 15 minutes or until the asparagus is just tender.

  • Stir in the paneer and the remaining plum tomatoes and lemon juice along with the salt. and cook uncovered, stirring often, for another 3 to 5 minutes to let the liquid reduce. Stir in half of the cilantro and serve right away, garnished with the remaining cilantro.

Makes 4 to 6 servings
asparagus paneer

Other inspiring asparagus creations from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen you are sure to enjoy:
Asparagus Pesto Lasagna with Mushrooms
Asparagus Mimosa
Warm Baby Potato and Asparagus Salad


Pavani said...

I love 660 Curries -- one of my go-to books for Indian dishes.. This dish sounds delicious. Will try when I get my hands on some fresh asparagus.

Jacqueline Meldrum said...

Oh that does look good Lisa. I haven't had any asparagus this year yet. Graham doesn't like it, so that puts me off a bit, although I love it. I really should make more of an effort.