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Melt 1 tsp butter and 1 tbsp oil in a non-stick pan over a low-medium heat until sizzling (watch closely so the butter doesn’t burn). Add the tomatoes, tomato purée, garlic, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick and bay. Cover with a lid and cook for 10 mins over a medium heat, stirring occasionally. After 10 mins, remove from the heat, leave to cool, then remove the bay, cinnamon stick and cardamom pods.
Once cooled, tip the mixture and the cashew nuts into a blender and blitz to a smooth paste. Set aside.
Return the pan to a medium heat, add the remaining butter and oil and cook the ginger for a minute. Reduce the heat to low, add the chilli powder and stir for 2 mins. Tip in the tomato and cashew paste and cook for 5 mins more.
Add the sliced chilli, if using, 1½ tsp sugar and the paneer. Mix well and cook for a few minutes more. Add the fenugreek leaves and garam masala. Mix well. Stir in up to 100ml water to loosen, then remove from the heat, swirl in the cream, if using, and serve.