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Paneer Baigan

When aubergine is in season, we like to make this vibrant curry on our Indian cookery courses. This is especially satisfying when made with homemade paneer.

Aubergine and Indian Cheese

Serves: 4-6 as part of a thali 


  • 8/12 baby aubergines or 1 large aubergine
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric 
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • 2 tbsps ghee or sunflower oil   
  • 1 red onion, sliced 
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil or ghee 
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped 
  • 1 thumb sized piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped 
  • 1 large red chilli, sliced 
  • 4 large tomatoes, quartered 
  • 250g paneer
  • 1 tsp Bese Bele Powder 
  • small handful of freshly chopped coriander leaf 
  • juice of 1/2 lemon 


  1. Cut the baby aubergines in half lengthways, or cut the large aubergine into half moon shaped slices and rub the cut sides with turmeric and salt. 
  2. In a large frying pan, fry the aubergine slices in the sunflower oil or ghee until soft and set aside. 
  3. In another frying pan, fry the onion in the sunflower oil until soft. 
  4. Whiz the garlic, ginger and chilli in the mini processor, or chop very fine. 
  5. Add to the onion and stir-fry for a couple of minutes. 
  6. Mix in the fried aubergines, tomatoes and add 150ml water, cover and simmer gently for 15 minutes. 
  7. Then crumble in the paneer, bese bele and stir in the coriander leaf. 
  8. Heat through, check the seasoning and give it a squeeze of lemon before serving.   


  • Ghee is butter that has been heated up and strained to remove the impurities that cause butter to burn and go rancid. In hot countries clarified butter keeps much better than butter and does not need refrigerating. We use a vegan version of ghee made from vegetable oil made by  'Taj Mahal', available from wholefood shops and Indian stores.