Heat the oil in a large nonstick wok or frying pan, add the shallots and stir-fry for 2–3 minutes. Add the ground spices and stir-fry for 1 minute.
Add the tomatoes, garlic, chillies, tomato purée, sugar and measured water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15–20 minutes.
Stir in the cream, paneer and peas and simmer gently for 5 minutes or until the paneer is heated through and the peas are cooked.
Season well, remove from the heat and stir in the chopped fresh coriander just before serving. Serve immediately with crisp pappadoms.