Ruangan Chaman | Paneer in Tomato Curry

This Himalayan recipe for a simple paneer in tomato curry is a revelation. Slicing the paneer into thin strips rather than cubes (as is more typical in the Indian cooking I’m familiar with) means more surface area to be fried. It really changes the textural mouthfeel of the paneer!

The recipe is from Romy Gill’s ‘On The Himalayan Trail’ cookbook.

Ruangan Chaman - Paneer in Tomato Curry

Read our full review of On The Himalayan Trail by Romy Gill.

Ruangan Chaman (Paneer in Tomato Gravy)

Kashmiri ruangan chaman is a delicate, tangy and exquisite dish. Chaman means paneer in Kashmiri. When I came back home and started testing recipes, this became my husband’s favourite dish. Some cooks I met preferred to blanch and peel the tomatoes before puréeing them, but you don’t have to do this. Serve with rice or flatbreads.
Servings 4
Author Romy Gill


  • 300 g (10½ oz) tomatoes, cut into chunks
  • 4 teaspoons ghee (or 2 tablespoons mustard oil)
  • 400 g (14 oz) paneer, sliced into strips
  • 8 cm (3 in) cinnamon stick
  • 1-2 teaspoons kashmiri chilli paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon crushed green cardamom seeds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 400 ml (13 fl oz / generous 1½ cups) hot water
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint or dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi)
  • ½ teaspoon black cumin seeds
  • 70 ml (2½ fl oz / 5 tablespoons) cockscomb flower extract (optional)
  • steamed rice or flatbreads to serve


  • Place the tomatoes in a food processor and blend to a purée. Set aside.
  • Heat the ghee or oil in a frying pan (skillet) over a medium heat. Add the paneer and fry until light brown on all sides. Remove and set aside.
  • Add the cinnamon stick to the pan, along with the tomato purée, and cook for 3–4 minutes. Add the Kashmiri chilli paste, turmeric, ginger, crushed cardamom seeds and salt, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the hot water and increase the heat to bring to the boil, then reduce the heat back to medium, cover and cook for 5–6 minutes until the gravy is thick.
  • Remove the lid and stir through the fried paneer, dried mint or methi, black cumin seeds and cockscomb extract (if using). Cook for a further 5 minutes.
  • Leave to rest for at least 30 minutes before serving with rice or flatbreads.

We loved this recipe, and it was simple and quick to make. Ideal for a quick midweek meal.

Ruangan Chaman - Paneer in Tomato Curry


Made the recipe? Let us know how you got on in the comments.

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Kavey Eats received a review copy of this book from publishers Hardie Grant. This recipe is published with permission. Book photography by Matt Russell and Poras Chaudhary.

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