Sweet Potato & Lentil Stew with Crispy Paneer

If you haven’t tried paneer, you’re missing out. This firm, Indian-style cottage cheese is panko-breaded, seasoned and oven-baked as a mouth-watering topping for this hearty vegetarian stew. Serve it up any day of the week or add it to your Thanksgiving table.

Prep Time

15 min

Cook Time

35 min

Total Time

50 min


  • deep saucepan
  • baking sheet
  • parchment paper
  • large bowl


  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) butter
  • 1 onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) minced fresh ginger or 1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) ground ginger
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) mild curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) each salt and pepper
  • 2 sweet potatoes (about 1 1/4 lb/625 g), peeled and diced
  • 1 cup (250 mL) dried, split red lentils, rinsed
  • 2 cups (500 mL) vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) 2% milk
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped fresh cilantro or green onions

Crispy paneer topping

  • 1 pkg (350 g) paneer, cubed
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) panko breadcrumbs



  1. In a large, deep saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Sauté onion for 3 minutes or until starting to soften. Stir in garlic, ginger, curry, salt and pepper and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in sweet potatoes and lentils to coat. Pour in broth and milk; bring to a simmer. Partially cover and gently simmer, stirring frequently for about 20 minutes or until lentils and sweet potatoes are tender and soft.
  2. Crispy Paneer Topping: Preheat oven to 425°F (225°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Meanwhile, in a bowl, toss paneer with butter, cilantro and pepper to coat. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and toss well to coat evenly. Spread onto prepared baking sheet in single layer. Bake for about 10 minutes, turning halfway until golden.
  4. Spoon stew into bowls and top with Crispy Paneer Topping to serve.