Moroccan spiced paneer, potato, asparagus and olive stew

17 Apr


Moroccan spiced paneer, potato, asparagus and olive stew

Moroccan spiced paneer, potato, asparagus and olive stew by Deena Kakaya


I’m feeling more alive these days.  I’ve already made my first trip of the year to Brighton, butterfly world and the zoo. We are now frequently taking walks in the park. Today I shook the branch of a tree heavy with pink blossom and to my toddler’s delight; confetti adorned his face and sweater. As I watched his face beam, I took in the sounds of chirping birds, chattering over ducks and felt the glint of sunshine in my eyes. I love spring time.

I’m also eating differently too, as I mentioned in my recent posts. Soups have given way to salads and mugs of green tea with cherries soaked into the mug have been replaced by slim and tall glasses of blueberry lemonade. Snacks of cheesy crackers are no longer the go-to, but strawberries with melted dark chocolates are welcomed in.

Still, I have said it before and I shall again…nothing can cajole me in the way a curry does. It feels natural. It doesn’t have to be an Indian curry though.  This week on twitter I caught some of the conversation about a fusion Udon noodle pot that is available in supermarkets. It was something with an ‘Indian twist’ in the recipe. Some people were clearly unimpressed at how these two cuisines could combine, or maybe it was the way that they were combined that was the cause of dismay. Anyway, I don’t see (well-executed) fusion recipes as a modern atrocity. Very simply, I think that if it ‘works’ (tastes good), then all is good.

On that note, I share with you a recipe for Moroccan spiced paneer, potato, asparagus and olive stew that feel fresh with mint and easy spices, light and juicy, zesty with lemon and the stew has bite and depth.  I haven’t used a ready-made Moroccan spice blend because there is no point; this one is so easy to make with store-cupboard ingredients. I normally buy large bags of spices from an Indian grocer but the folk from Schwartz pointed me towards their handy spices that are available from supermarkets; handy when I can’t get to the Indian grocer which I have to travel to! They are also conveniently packed so I took them away with me when I was demonstrating in Brighton for Vegfest. I found the spices of great colour and they smell just as they should do-lingering and fresh. This recipe uses ground cumin, coriander, turmeric and cinnamon which you can get from the Schwartz range.

I have also used savera paneer in this recipe because it is the closest thing out there to homemade paneer.

Moroccan spiced paneer, potato, asparagus and olive stew


2 medium sized potatoes

150g asparagus tips

225g paneer, cubed

3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

2 medium red onions, finely sliced

3 tbsp. olive oil

Thumb sized piece of ginger, minced

A handful of mint leaves

The juice of one lemon

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. ground coriander

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

½ tsp. ground turmeric

600ml vegetable stock

Salt to taste (the vegetable stock would be salty, so only use salt once you’ve tasted the stew)

1 cup of chopped tomatoes (tinned)

125g pitted queen olives


  1. Heat the oil in a pan and add onions, sauté until they soften before adding the paneer garlic and ginger and cook until the paneer starts to catch a golden colour.
  2. Stir in the ground turmeric, cinnamon, cumin and coriander and sauté for 30 seconds before adding the potatoes and mixing well.
  3. Pour in the vegetable stock and the tomatoes and bring the stew to a simmer before squeezing in the lemon juice and the mint leaves.
  4. Cook for 7-10 minutes before adding the asparagus and the olives and then cook for a further 5 minutes.
  5. Serve hot with cous cous or fresh bread.


This is a featured post but any views expressed are my own. For more recipes from me and other contributors, you can check out great british chefs

24 Responses to “Moroccan spiced paneer, potato, asparagus and olive stew”

  1. Deb April 17, 2014 at 8:56 pm #

    A lush and flavorful stew to welcome the first whispers of spring! The olives add so much vibrant flavor!

    • Deena Kakaya April 17, 2014 at 9:50 pm #

      Deb, how are you? It’s always good to hear from you. Yes, so true..olives add such an unusual dimension of flavour in a recipe like this x

  2. Karen Burns Booth April 18, 2014 at 8:33 am #

    LEAPING over here from Instagram, which always alerts me to your latest DIVINE and DELICIOUS cooking Deena! I LOVE this and your photos are so light and airy and very spring like!

    • Deena Kakaya April 18, 2014 at 10:14 am #

      Thank you lovely Karen! So glad that this dish feels as spring-like to you as it does to me x

  3. Katie @ Whole Nourishment April 18, 2014 at 9:40 am #

    You had me at Moroccan! Love this idea, and I totally agree that well-executed fusion is something to be celebrated, not feared.

    • Deena Kakaya April 18, 2014 at 10:13 am #

      Thank you Katie, I love it when people are welcoming of my way of cooking, even if it appears a little crazy at first glance 😉 xx

  4. Elaine @ foodbod April 18, 2014 at 2:10 pm #

    Moroccan spice mixes are just so warm and lovely ☺️

  5. matchamochimoo April 18, 2014 at 3:28 pm #

    If I exchange the paneer to tofu, what do you think it will be nice?

  6. kellie@foodtoglow April 18, 2014 at 8:01 pm #

    I always welcome a bit of fusion into cooking. It is a bit of a dirty word for some (weirdos) but I think it is just about making the most of all food opportunities, and not being hamstrung my tradition. Lightnen up people of Twitter! And I agree – green olives. Good call.

    • Deena Kakaya April 18, 2014 at 8:05 pm #

      Kellie, given how much I love your food I’m so pleased that you agree on the fusion thing. I wrote a proposal the other day for a foodie commission and as I was reading the twitter chat about sticking to one cuisine and the ridiculous idea of mashing up a perfectly lovely udon recipe, I though…’oh goodness, wonder what they’ll make of the recipes I’m about to put out there’. Guess we will soon see! Xx

  7. Lisa April 20, 2014 at 4:09 pm #

    I adore fusion dishes and admire your flair with flavors. You know paneer always gets my attention.

    • Deena Kakaya April 20, 2014 at 4:11 pm #

      Thank you so much Lisa, I enjoy your fusion recipes very much too! Xx

  8. Joanne April 21, 2014 at 11:32 am #

    I refuse to give up the heat and spice of curry no matter the weather. What a lovely stew this is!

    • Deena Kakaya April 22, 2014 at 9:43 am #

      Joanne, I had an inkling you’d think that way xx

  9. coconutcraze April 22, 2014 at 2:40 am #

    As the world is becoming a close knit community, fusion cuisine is the way to go to please every palate. I can just imagine the taste of this stew. On a cheery note, Spring has decided to come our way too and buds are swelling on dry, brown twigs. Happy days ahead!

    • Deena Kakaya April 22, 2014 at 9:43 am #

      Totally agree with you, happy happy spring to you cx

  10. Rhonda Sittig April 22, 2014 at 9:44 pm #

    This looks so flavorful — love anything with olives!! fun post!

  11. Aneela Mirchandani April 23, 2014 at 7:42 pm #

    Fusion is great if it works! Looks like this does. What did you have it with — bread, rice, etc?

    • Deena Kakaya April 23, 2014 at 8:28 pm #

      Aneela I totally agree! I had it with bread as the juices from the stew were my favourite element x

  12. Tina @ The Spicy Pear May 8, 2014 at 12:50 pm #

    Oh wow! I am definitely going to try making this recipe. My husband and I try to be vegetarian at least twice a week and sometimes I get stuck for ideas but I do enjoy a good tagine, especially ones with paneer and green olives.

    • Deena Kakaya May 8, 2014 at 1:09 pm #

      Tina, this is such a fresh and lively dish…I hope that you and your husband enjoy it as much as we did x

Let me know what you think about this recipe

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