Paneer Tikka Masala

In honor of Diwali tomorrow I decided to share my ‘Paneer Tikka Masala’ recipe with you guys.  It’s full of veggies that are marinated in fragrant spices and then seared golden brown before being served in a spicy gravy.  It is absolute perfection!

Traditionally, ‘Tikka Masala’ is made with heavy cream which gives the dish body and makes each bite decedent, however, I make mine without the extra calories and I promise you that you can’t tell the difference!

To start, I take a cup of plain yogurt (I used 2%) and add some tandoori masala, salt, cayenne pepper, ground cumin, garam masla, tumric, minced garlic and ginger and lemon juice to make a marinate.

  
I then add in my veggies cut into 1″ chunks and paneer (non-melting Indian cheese curd) and mix everything together.  Place your bowl in the refrigerator and allow it to marinate for at least 20-30 minutes or overnight.

  
 While you are allowing the veggies to do their thing, you can get started on the spicy gravy!!  Coat the bottom of a large skillet with oil and add your diced onion and cook for a few moments over medium-high heat.

 As that onions begin to cook down, I puree 2-3 medium tomatoes using a blender or you could always substitute with a cup of canned puree.

  
Once the onions are ready, I add my spices, ginger, garlic, bay leaf and a cinnamon stick.  Mix everything together until it becomes fragrant before adding some tomato paste and the puree you made.  Incorporate it all, turn down the heat to medium-low and allow it to reduce.

  
  
By now your veggies and paneer are ready to sear off.  Traditionally you would skewer everything and grill them over an open flame but I like to use my stove top instead.  Again, using a large non-stick skillet I heat up a little bit of oil and arrange my paneer in a single layer (I use a pair of tongs to pick out all of the paneer).  If you want to save yourself the hassle, when you first make the marinate, divide it into 2 bowls so that you have one for your veggies and another for your paneer – but since the real-estate was limited in my refrigerator, I stuck everything in one bowl – no biggy.

 Once the paneer is golden bown, flip it over to caramelize the other side before setting them aside.  Then, using the same skillet, add all of your veggies and leftover marinate and cook until most of the moisture has evaporated.

  
 By now, your spicy gravy that you had on low has reduced and it is ready for you to add your paneer, veggies and 1 cup of vegetable stock.  Bring everything to a boil until the oil begins to separate from the gravy.

  
 Finally remove the bay leaf and cinnamon stick, and top it off with lots of chopped coriander.



And there you have it – your picture perfect paneer tikka masala!  You can serve this on top of some Basmati Rice, or along-side some Garlic Naan.

paneer tikka masalaIt’s spicy, savory and filled with loads of fresh veggies.  I’ve also made this exact dish using diced chicken breast instead of paneer and it is equally delicious!

I hope that you enjoyed my take on Paneer Tikka Masala and try it out.  I promise you that it is a crowd pleaser and your family will be begging you to make it again!

Until next time!

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Paneer Tikka Masala

Paneer Tikka Masala

Ingredients

  • Marinate:
  • 1 cup of plain yogurt
  • 1 tsp. Tandoori Masala
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garam masala
  • 1/4 tsp. tumric8
  • 1 tsp. crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp. crushed ginger
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • Veggies cut in 1″ cubes (1 onion, 1 bell pepper, 6-8 mushrooms)
  • 1 400g package of Paneer
  • Gravy:
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. tumric
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2-3 medium tomatoes pureed (1 cup)
  • 1/2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed ginger
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • Fresh coriander for garnish

Instructions

  1. Combine yogurt and spices in a bowl for your marinate.
  2. Add veggies and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.
  3. Heat up oil and sautee diced onion.
  4. Add spices, bay leaf and cinnamon stick and stir until fragrant.
  5. Add tomato paste and puree, reduce heat and cook for 10 mins.
  6. In a separate skillet, sear off your paneer and then veggies.
  7. Add veggies and paneer to your reduced gravy mixture with 1 cup of stock.
  8. Bring to a boil until gravy has thickened a bit.
  9. Top off with fresh coriander.
  10. Serve with Basmati Rice or Naan
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