This tasty vegetarian dish from Louise Parker is sure to please the crowd...

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So deliciously simple that even my big brother can wow a crowd with this. It is relatively mild, so add more chillies if you fancy it. This is a wonderful vegetarian dish that tastes even better as leftovers, and I quite often serve it with leftover roast chicken. I use fresh spinach if I have it, but always keep frozen spinach and peas in my freezer. Don’t shy away from frozen veg; they’ll rescue you when the cupboards are bare and are arguably more nutritious than fresh. This makes a really cost-effective meal for a crowd.

Serves 4


1 cauliflower

good spray of olive oil

8 garlic cloves, skin on

2 tablespoons groundnut oil

225g (8oz) pack of paneer cheese, cubed

2 red onions, finely sliced

1 teaspoon (1cm/0.5inch piece) peeled and finely grated

fresh root ginger

2 red chillies, chopped

1/4 teaspoon garam masala

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

2 x 400g (14oz) cans chopped or cherry tomatoes

400g (14oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

200g (1. cups) frozen peas

200g (7oz) frozen spinach, defrosted

sea salt and black pepper

leaves from 1 bunch of coriander, chopped


1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6.

2. Chop the head of cauliflower into florets, spray lightly with olive oil and pop on a baking tray along with the garlic cloves.

3. Bake for 20 minutes, until slightly golden. Remove and set aside.

4. Add 1 tablespoon of the groundnut oil to a wok and set over a medium heat.

5. Brown the paneer cubes on all sides for about 5 minutes, then remove from the heat and set aside.

6. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan with the onions and keep stirring until they’re golden.

7. Add the ginger, chillies and ground spices and fry off the spices for 1 minute.

8. Now add in the tomatoes and chickpeas, then squeeze the baked garlic from their skins into the pan and let it simmer over a low heat for 10–15 minutes.

9. Add the paneer, cauliflower, peas and spinach and let the flavours combine and simmer over a very low heat for a further 5 minutes.

10. Taste for seasoning and adjust to taste.

11. Sprinkle with plenty of coriander to serve.

Recipe taken from  The Louise Parker Method : Lean for Life: The Cookbook by Louise Parker. Published by Mitchell Beazley, £20.00  (