After making the tandoori masala yesterday, I wanted to make paneer tikka masala so I could actually use the mixture. The last time REB and I went out for Indian food, he ordered this dish and it was incredibly delicious and not too spicy. I decided to try making it based on what I remembered tasting and also looking at a few recipes online. I went a little overboard on the spices and it was a lot more spicy than it probably should be, hence the name I gave the dish ;)
I must say, I kind of prefer it this way. I think REB does too since he had a bit of it tonight! Be warned: this is incredibly spicy and if that isn’t your cup of tea, take it down a notch! I think I’ll probably change a few things when I make this again, but I’m pretty pleased with the overall outcome. Serve it up with some naan or rice and enjoy!
Spicy Paneer Tikka Masala
•12 oz. paneer, cut into 1-inch cubes
•3 Roma tomatoes, pureed
•1/2 cup red onion, chopped
•4 cloves garlic – 3 finely minced, 1 to grate over the dish
•2 tablespoons grated ginger
•3 tablespoons plain, nonfat yogurt (they didn’t have regular yogurt, so I grabbed some Greek. It worked fine)
•1 teaspoon coriander powder
•1 green chili, finely minced
•1/2 a 14.5-oz. can of crushed tomatoes
•3 tablespoons heavy cream
•1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
•1 tablespoon tandoori masala
•1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
•1/2 teaspoon chili powder
•2 tablespoons olive oil
•1/2 teaspoons chopped cilantro
•Salt to taste
•Cilantro for garnish
The first step to making this is to marinate the paneer. I know that sounds funny, but it helps keep it moist and spicy!
Combine the yogurt, coriander and 1 tablespoon of grated ginger in a bowl with the paneer. Stir and cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Heat a large, deep skillet with some oil and wait until it is hot. Add the paneer cubes one at a time and pan-fry them until golden brown on all sides. Be careful not to overcrowd the skillet. Once you’ve cooked all the paneer, transfer to a plate and set aside.
In the same skillet add the onion and cook for 5 minutes until translucent. Add the turmeric and stir. Then add the 3 chopped garlic cloves and green chili and stir to cook through. Add the pureed tomato and cook for 10 minutes until cooked and slightly thickened. Add the other tablespoon of ginger, grate the other clove of garlic, add the chili powder, garam masala and tandoori masala. Continue cooking over medium-high heat for another 5 minutes. Next add the 1/2 can of crushed tomatoes. You may need to add more garam masala because the crushed tomatoes tend to be a little bland. You could just add the salt at this point (more or less depending how it tastes). Add in the cream, stir it all together, cover and let it simmer for 10-12 minutes. The gravy should start to thicken nicely.
Add the paneer back in, careful not to break it apart, and let the whole thing cook for another 5 minutes or just until the paneer is warmed up again. Add in the chopped cilantro and stir. Transfer to a bowl and garnish with whole cilantro. Enjoy with rice or naan!
Makes 6 servings