Roughly chop the shallots, garlic, ginger, tomatoes, bell pepper and chilli, place in a blender and puree until the mixture is relatively smooth.
In a large saucepan heat up 3 tablespoons of oil, add the bay leaf, curry powder, cumin, coriander powder and turmeric, stir, then add the tomato mixture, tomato puree, salt and stir. Cover and bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the chickpeas and continue simmering for 15 more minutes.
In a large frying pan heat up the remaining oil, add the paneer and fry over a medium heat for a few minutes stirring often, until the pieces are lightly browned. Add to the curry along with the cilantro. Stir through and serve.
If you are using a small blender puree the sauce ingredients in batches.
You may not need to use the chili pepper if your curry powder is quite spicy.
To save time fry the paneer cheese while the curry is bubbling away.
Herbs: I used cilantro for garnish but other alternatives include thai basil or tarragon (about 2 tablespoons of fresh herbs added into the sauce as it's cooking).
Freeze individual portions without the paneer (best to add it into the curry straight from the pan) for up to 3 months.