MasterChef weekday recipe: John Torode's Curry in a Hurry!

Want to cook up something hot and delicious tonight? Try this Curry in a Hurry recipe adapted by John Torode. He captures the authentic flavours of the Saag Paneer recipe by MasterChef contestant Jackie Kearney. Once you’ve prepared your ingredients it cooks in 35 minutes. Get the poppadoms on standby!

‘The wonderful, fragrant spices enhance the sweetness of the pumpkin,’ says John Torode. 'You could use any winter squash or even sweet potatoes.’

John Torode's Curry in a Hurry recipe

Serves 4

225g (8oz) peeled, deseeded pumpkin, cubed

25g (scant 1oz) butter

1 tbsp olive oil

400g (14oz) paneer, cubed

400g (14oz) baby spinach

2 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tsp grated fresh ginger 1 green chilli, deseeded and

1 tsp garam masala

1 tsp each of chilli powder and ground coriander

2 tsp ground cumin

4 tomatoes, chopped

2 tbsp chopped coriander salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 tbsp coconut cream

finely chopped


1 Preheat the oven to 200oC (400oF /Gas 6). Place the pumpkin in a roasting tin, dot over the butter and roast in the oven turning occasionally for about 20 minutes, or until just tender.

2 Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a sauté pan, add the diced paneer and sauté for 4–5 minutes, stirring and turning or until golden brown on the outside. Transfer the paneer to a plate, then add half the spinach to the pan, cover with a lid and cook for 2 minutes until wilted. Transfer the spinach to a colander and leave to drain. Repeat with the remaining spinach, and add this to the colander to drain.

3 Heat the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil in the pan, add the onion, garlic, ginger, and chilli and sauté, stirring, for 2–3 minutes or until softened. Add the garam masala, chilli, cumin, and coriander, and sauté for a further 3 minutes stirring constantly.

4 Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for 8–10 minutes until pulpy.
5 Meanwhile squeeze all the liquid from the spinach and roughly chop. Add to the pan with the spices, chopped coriander, paneer, and roasted pumpkin. Heat until piping hot, then season to taste, stir in

3 tbsp water and the coconut cream, heat through again, then serve.

This recipe is taken from MasterChef Everyday - you can buy the book on promotion at ACHICA until Friday 9 March 2012.

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Emily Peck, Editor

View all posts by Emily Peck, Editor