Butternut squash with makhani sauce, fresh paneer and hazelnut crumb


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To serve

Begin by making the paneer. Pour the milk into a large saucepan and gently bring to the boil. As it reaches boiling point, use a wooden spoon to stir the mixture to prevent sticking, then add the lemon juice and salt. Continue to stir until the milk separates into curds and whey
Strain the curds in muslin cloth, collecting the whey if you wish (it can be used to make whey butter or for fermenting, if you’re so inclined). Make sure you leave the cloth hanging for at least a few hours to ensure all the whey is drained away. The solids you’re left with are paneer cheese – transfer to a container and refrigerate until needed
While the paneer hangs, make the sauce. Add the rapeseed oil to a large saucepan over a medium heat and allow to heat up. Add the cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves and cardamom and cook for a few minutes, allowing their flavours to infuse into the oil. Add the ginger-garlic paste and cook for another few minutes, then add the chilli powder and tomatoes. Give everything a good stir, then cover the saucepan and leave to gently simmer until the tomatoes have completely broken down
While the sauce bubbles away, preheat an oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Place the hazelnuts and sesame seeds on a baking sheet, then roast for around 15-20 minutes, or until the nuts turn a light golden brown. Once golden, add the nuts and seeds to a food processor along with the chilli powder and chaat masala, then pulse a few times to create a coarse crumb. Set aside until needed. Turn the oven down to 170°C/gas mark 3½
Puff up the wild rice by bringing the rapeseed oil to 220°C in a deep pan carefully. Place the wild rice in a fine metal sieve and gently lower this into the hot oil – they should puff up immediately. Drain on kitchen paper and set aside
  • 300ml of rapeseed oil, for deep-frying
  • 50g of wild rice
To cook the butternut squash, coat each slice in the powdered spices, season with salt and drizzle with oil. Cook in the oven for around 25 minutes, or until the slices are cooked through
By the time you put the squash in the oven, the tomatoes should have completely broken down in the sauce, so use a stick blender (or transfer the contents of the pan to a jug blender) and blitz until completely smooth. Add the cream, fenugreek powder and butter, blitz again to combine, then season to taste with the salt and sugar
  • 200ml of double cream
  • 150g of unsalted butter
  • salt, to taste
  • caster sugar, to taste
  • 1 tbsp of ground fenugreek
To serve, pour the hot makhani sauce into the base of each bowl, then arrange slices of the squash on top. Garnish with the crumbled paneer, puffed rice and hazelnut crumb, then finish with coriander
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