Jerk spiced paneer, soya chunks and button mushrooms

30 Apr

Jerk spiced paneer, soya chunks and button mushrooms

Jerk spiced paneer, soya chunks and button mushrooms


I know that it isn’t hot yet, but we have been eating outdoors a fair bit lately, and I’m not just talking sandwiches, obviously.

Yesterday we sat and ate vegetable dosa in what my 2 year old calls, ‘the tree house’. It is in fact the playhouse that sits above his slide and adjacent to the swings. I had my phone with me and as it pinged away, he raised his voice, ‘No, talk to me mumma, put it away!’ so I did.

I asked him what he wanted to talk about. ‘Hold my hand mumma, let me think about it’. So we looked up at the sky and we talked about how Venus was hiding behind the birds and that there is a man in the aeroplane that is going to Australia to get a kangaroo, but we weren’t sure whether he needed a rocket.

I felt enchanted, very blessed and actually I reflected on how much I am un-doing in my life. Most of my life I have concerned myself with the ‘doing’ part and sometimes it feels as though it is going against the grain. I was eating messily outdoors, somewhere where I shouldn’t really be eating. But it gave my boy joy. I am not the mother I thought I would be and I am not the mothers around me. Am I un-learning? Work-wise I am leaning towards what my instincts told me maybe 15 years ago. Sometimes un-doing is as, if not more forward-driving than doing.

Jerk spiced paneer, soya chunks and button mushrooms

So, in the spirit of eating outdoors and warmth of some kind…its jerk time. I am sharing this recipe with you because it is one of my better jerk mixes and I am excited by it. I am a fan of the sweet heat and deep aromas and colour of jerk. The key ingredient is the all spice berries and although I have seen versions using honey and syrup, probably to give it stickiness, I wouldn’t because brown sugar helps to bring out the depth in this one.

I know that jerk chicken is often barbequed or roasted but I don’t think it works so well with soya or vegetarian jerk chicken. I have cooked it in the pan and it tastes mighty fine this way.

Jerk spiced paneer, soya chunks and button mushrooms


150g paneer chunks

150g soya chunks

200g button mushrooms

2 tbsp. cooking oil

One medium onion, thickly sliced

For the jerk seasoning

2 tbsp. fresh thyme

The juice of one lime

2 tbsp. soft brown sugar

1 tbsp. ground all spice

½ tsp. ground cinnamon

½ tsp. ground nutmeg

½ tsp. ground black pepper

3-4 scotch bonnets, finely chopped

2 tbsp. agave nectar

Salt to taste

3 spring onions, chopped

2 tbsp. soy sauce


  1. To make the jerk seasoning paste blitz all of the ingredients together in the food processor, getting it as close to puree as possible.
  2. Shallow fry the paneer and soya chunks in a non-stick pan and allow it to crisp up before letting it cool down
  3. Take a bowl and pour the seasoning over the paneer and soya chunks and let them chill in the fridge for a couple of hours.
  4. When you are ready to cook the paneer and soya chunks, remove them from the fridge and then heat the remaining oil and sauté the onion and mushrooms for 2-3 minutes before adding the paneer and soya chunks.
  5. Cook for 7-8 minutes before serving hot and steaming. I served this dish with orzo pasta but you could use rice instead.


18 Responses to “Jerk spiced paneer, soya chunks and button mushrooms”

  1. greenmackenzie April 30, 2014 at 11:22 pm #

    Mmmm, sounds delicious, and I love the sound of undoing. It’s so good for us to be properly immersed in what’s happening in our lives each moment…and of course children are wonderful teachers of this wisdom 🙂

    • Deena Kakaya May 8, 2014 at 6:08 pm #

      so true, I have learned so much from my former self. Thank you xx

  2. Elaine @ foodbod May 1, 2014 at 5:48 am #

    I love your story, picturing you and your lovely boy in your tree house 🙂 and I completely understand about ‘undoing’, feels good doesn’t it? X

    • Deena Kakaya May 1, 2014 at 7:48 am #

      Thank you lovely Elaine. Yes it does feel good, I feel like I’m being honest to myself. I hope it all works out x

  3. Elaine @ foodbod May 1, 2014 at 5:49 am #

    Oh, and, love the recipe!!! Thank you xx

  4. Katie @ Whole Nourishment May 1, 2014 at 9:02 am #

    Yes, undoing is refreshing and liberating, isn’t it?! We should have an “undoing” day of the week. 😉 This dish looks so flavorful. I don’t ever use jerk seasoning but I don’t see why not, the spices are right up our alley aren’t they?!

    • Deena Kakaya May 1, 2014 at 12:14 pm #

      Undoing day, now there’s an idea! Yes, I use jerk infrequently too…but it’s so, ‘pow’ x

  5. Joanne May 1, 2014 at 12:01 pm #

    Sometimes you do just have to stop and smell the roses and be in the moment. So glad you’re doing just that!

  6. Sophie33 May 6, 2014 at 7:33 am #

    The latest days, it is getting hotter & hotter in my walled garden so I will be making this today! It looks freaking delicious too! x

    • Deena Kakaya May 6, 2014 at 7:35 am #

      I’m so flattered by youse generous words Sophie, please jet me know how it goes xx

  7. Sophie33 May 7, 2014 at 7:11 am #

    I made it & it was superb, so good, so tasty! 😉 x

    • Deena Kakaya May 7, 2014 at 7:49 am #

      Really glad that you enjoyed it Sophie! Thanks for letting me know…always good to receive confirmation that a recipe works x

  8. Tina @ The Spicy Pear May 8, 2014 at 12:54 pm #

    I am always amazed at your creativity Deena and this dish sounds delicious! I love jerk seasoning and will definitely try it on paneer with the button mushrooms.

    • Deena Kakaya May 8, 2014 at 1:10 pm #

      Oh Tina, I’m so flattered. Huge thank you to you xx

  9. Ashlee Elizabeth March 8, 2015 at 3:19 am #

    I made this tonight with the orzo pasta, with a nice side of rum iced tea and it was deeeelish! Muah! Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe xo

    • Deena Kakaya March 9, 2015 at 2:47 pm #

      I’m so glad that you enjoyed it, thanks for letting me know Ashlee!

Let me know what you think about this recipe

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