Harissa-Braised Paneer and Chickpeas

Appel Farms’ creamy paneer is browned and braised with chickpeas and smothered in a rich harissa sauce, delivering a boldly flavored vegetarian dish. It’s utterly delicious!

In Hindi, the word “paneer” simply means “cheese.” This simplicity is reflected in the careful construction of Appel Farms’ product, which uses just two high-quality ingredients: distilled white vinegar and fresh milk from their cows – all of which live less than 100 yards away from the cheese processing plant.

Appel Farms’ paneer is currently their best seller. It is most popular in Silicon Valley and greater Seattle, where regional cultural diversity creates demand for this versatile and delicious product.

Ruth Appel of Appel Farms says that her customers and distributers praise the cheese as being “one of the highest quality paneers in the market today.” Additionally, she loves to give her customers tips on how to cook with paneer, which can add texture and protein to a flavorful Indian dish. “Just don’t put it on a cracker!” reminds Ruth.

Harissa-Braised Paneer and Chickpeas

4 servings


  • 3 tablespoons preferred vegetable oil, divided
  • 12 oz. Apple Farms Paneer, cut into ¾” cubes
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1″ piece ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 tablespoons harissa paste
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 15-oz. can chickpeas, drained
  • Cooked couscous, for serving
  • Chopped fresh parsley


  1. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add paneer and cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides. Transfer to a plate.
  2. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to skillet, still over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and ginger and sauté until softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in harissa, salt, cumin, turmeric, coriander, cinnamon, and pepper and cook until harissa starts to brown on bottom of pan. Add tomatoes and ½ cup water, scraping any brown bits off the pan bottom.
  3. Transfer tomato mixture to a blender and puree until completely smooth. Return to same skillet and bring to a gentle simmer.
  4. Add browned paneer and chickpeas to tomato mixture and simmer gently for 10 minutes to bring flavors together.
  5. Serve over couscous and sprinkle with parsley.

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