Paneer Tikka Masala Recipe

Paneer Tikka Masala

In the first of my series of cheese recipes, I taught you how to make paneer, a soft Indian cheese. I use paneer in all sorts of different recipes, but today I’m sharing my favourite paneer curry. This isn’t a light and healthy option, as it contains cream, but it’s definitely delicious.

This recipe is from one of my favourite Indian cookbooks, Anjum’s Indian Vegetarian Feast, by Anjum Anand. (I love it so much I’m currently working on cooking it cover to cover!) The recipe has a few more steps than a basic curry, because you need to marinate and bake the paneer, but trust me, it’s worth it!

Ingredients

Tikka Marinade Ingredients

Tikka Marinade Ingredients

For the tikka marinade:

  • 10 g root ginger, peeled weight
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 150 g Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil (I use coconut oil as I don’t like the added chemicals in normal vegetable oil)
Curry Ingredients

Curry Ingredients

For the curry:

  • 400 g paneer, in 3-4cm cubes
  • 500 g vine tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 60 g unsalted butter
  • 1 black cardamom pod
  • 6 green cardamom pods
  • 5 cm cinnamon sticks
  • 4 cloves
  • 20 g root ginger, peeled weight, grated
  • 4 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2-4 small green chillies, whole but pierced with the tip of a knife
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1½ tsp dried fenugreek leaves, crushed with your fingers
  • 1-1½ caster sugar, to taste
  • 60-80 ml single cream, to taste
Marinate the paneer in spicy goodness

Marinate the paneer in spicy goodness

1. Blend all of the marinade ingredients together until smooth (I use a stick blender). Coat your paneer with the marinade and then leave in a bowl in your fridge for at least an hour. (The longer the better!)

2. Blend your tomatoes with a stick blender until smooth.

Add your whole spices to the heated butter

Add your whole spices to the heated butter

3. Heat your oil and half the butter in a large pan (I use a large non-stick wok with a lid) and add the whole spices for 10 seconds.

gently toast your ginger and garlic

gently toast your ginger and garlic

4. Add the ginger and garlic and cook gently until they start to colour.

Heat your smoothly blended tomatoes

Heat your smoothly blended tomatoes

Tomatoes start to release the oil after 20 mins

Tomatoes start to release the oil after 20 mins

5. Add the tomatoes and tomato purée and cook at med-high heat until the tomatoes release the oil. (Aprox. 20 mins)

Darken your curry paste

Darken your curry paste

6. Turn your heat to med-low and cook the paste until it darkens considerably. (aprox. 10 mins)

Sieve your sauce

Sieve your sauce

7. Add 250ml water and bring to a boil. Then pass the sauce through a sieve, with the back of a spoon, and throw the solids away. You will be left with a light, smooth sauce.

Spread your paneer on a foil lined tray

Spread your paneer on a foil lined tray

Bake paneer until a little charred

Bake paneer until a little charred

8. Heat you grill to the highest setting. Lay your paneer out on a foil-lined tray and grill for 8-10 mins, until the edges are a little charred. Turn them over once, mid-way. Remove from the over and set aside.

Heat your butter, spices and sauce

Heat your butter, spices and sauce

9. Heat the remaining butter and add the green chilies, tomato sauce, powdered spices, salt, sugar, and a splash of water. Simmer for 3 mins.

Add your paneer to the sauce

Add your paneer to the sauce

10. Add the paneer and simmer for another 6 mins.

Add your cream and mix gently

Add your cream and mix gently

11. Add the cream and simmer, moving the paneer around gently. (Add a bit of water if necessary to make the sauce the consistency of single cream.)

12. Taste and add more salt, sugar or cream, as needed.

Paneer Tikka Masala

Paneer Tikka Masala

13. Serve over rice or with Indian flat bread (naan, chapatti, roti) and revel in the deliciousness.

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