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!
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.
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.
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!