Aubergine & Paneer Risotto

2 Dec, 2020

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Preparation Time

20 mins  

Cooking Time

50 mins  

Aubergine (medium)2
Unsalted butter175g
Light olive oilDash
Onion peeled & finely chopped1
Garlic cloves, crushed2
Cumin seeds2tsp
SaffronA few strands
Risotto rice200g
White wine120ml
Hot vegetable stock750ml
Lemon juice2tbsp
Grated lemon zest1
Good grind sea salt & black pepper
Paneer cheese100g

A traditional risotto with an Indian slant

Local chef,  food demonstrator, cookery teacher and MasterChef contestant Sophie Hyam has come up with this superb meeting of two culinary traditions.  The nutty flavour of the risotto works perfectly with the cumin seeds and paneer to create a modern classic.

Sophie is a true champion of local suppliers and you can find more of her recipes on her Facebook blog here.


  1. 1. Take one aubergine and place under a low grill. Keep turning until the aubergine becomes soft, around 30 minutes. The skin may split as it cooks. Allow to cool, then scoop out the flesh and put to one side. 
  2. 2. Meanwhile, cut the second aubergine in to small dice and fry in a good glug of light olive oil until browned. Season with salt and set aside.
  3. 3. In a large pan melt the butter and oil. Add the onions and fry until translucent, then add the garlic and allow to soften. Add the cumin seeds, saffron strands and the risotto rice to the pan. Stir to coat the rice in the butter and oil. 
  4. 4. Add the wine – it should steam and hiss at you. Allow the wine to evaporate until nearly all absorbed by the rice, then start to add your hot vegetable stock. Add a ladle at a time, stirring until the liquid is absorbed, and repeat until all the stock has gone; around 15 to 20 minutes. 
  5. 5. Remove the rice from the heat. Stir in the lemon juice, half the zest, the roasted aubergine flesh, half of the grated paneer, and season well with salt and pepper. 
  6. 6. Dish into bowls and top with the diced aubergine, the rest of the paneer and the remaining lemon zest. 

If you enjoy this recipe you will find another of Sophie’s cracking recipes is her Pan fried Hake and Heritage Tomatoes which can be found on our recipe page.

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