12 to 14 ounces paneer (1 package), cubed (or make your own)
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon mild cayenne pepper or Kashmiri chilli powder (to taste)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1-inch piece ginger, finely grated
4 tablespoons canola or other neutral cooking oil, divided
1-inch piece cinnamon or cassia bark
3 whole cloves
3 whole green cardamom pods
1 small onion, finely diced
1/2 cup vegetable stock, plus extra if needed
1/2 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons cashew nuts, soaked in boiling water (or 2 tablespoons cashew or almond butter, whisked with a little milk)
1/4 cup handful raisins, to serve
1/4 cup cashew nuts, to serve
Fresh cilantro, chopped, to garnish
Salt to taste, to taste
Pinch sugar, to taste
Place the cubed paneer in a large bowl, and add the turmeric, garam masala, chili powder, crushed garlic and ginger. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of the oil over top, then use a flat spatula to gently mix the spices and the paneer. Let stand a few minutes to marinate.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the paneer cubes and fry for a few minutes, flipping the cubes over, until they start getting golden all over. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Add the cinnamon or cassia, cloves and cardamom pods to the same pan. Fry for about 30 seconds, until the spices are fragrant. Reduce the heat to medium low and add the onion. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until the onion softens and begins to turn golden around the edges.
Add the hot stock. Season with a little salt and a little sugar. Let it simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the half-and-half and heavy cream to the pan, and stir to combine. Do not let the cream boil.
Blend together the soaked cashews and their soaking water in a powerful blender until creamy. Stir the cashew paste (or cashew or almond butter) into the sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning. If the sauce is too thick, stir in a little more vegetable stock until the consistency is creamy. Add the fried paneer into the sauce, and stir gently to coat. Let it simmer on a low heat for a couple of minutes so the flavors to blend with each other.
Stir in the raisins, cashew nuts and fresh cilantro, and serve immediately with rice, naan or roti.