May 1, 2008

Paneer Tikka Masala

I would like to share with you the joy of completing 50 posts on my blog ! I am very happy that I was able to do that many in 2 1/2 months. Blogging has definitely renewed my passion for cooking and baking. Cant wait to see what the rest of the year will bring! With that happy note, I am posting the recipe for Paneer Tikka Masala.

Indian cuisine is characterised by a delicate play of a variety of spices, and combining them to produce unique flavors. The differences in the local cuisine in India is also well-defined regionally. Indian food is gaining prominence world-wide and Westerners have developed a palate for Indian dishes. The famous Indian dishes include the most sought-after tandoor dishes like tandoori chicken, tikka masalas and breads like naan. The different tikka masalas offer the flavor of tandoori spices in a rich thick gravy which goes perfectly well with Indian breads. I came across this recipe on Neha's Tasty recipes. Thanks to Neha for letting me post this on my blog. I had made some paneer at home and what could be better than making paneer tikka masala with my home-made paneer!? Isn't this a reason to love lip-smacking Indian food!? The recipe posted here is the adapted version of the recipe. Neha's recipe mentions pureeing the onions before cooking. But that never seems to work well for me, so I pureed the onions after cooking it. We all enjoyed the result and I would definitely make this again. The paneer can be replaced with chicken grilled with tandoori spices to make chicken tikka masala. The final verdict: loooooooved it!!

Recipe:

Paneer - 200 gms

Marinade:

Red chilly powder - 1/2 tsp
Ginger-garlic paste - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1/4 tsp
Cumin powder - 1/4 tsp
Chaat masala powder - 1/2 tsp
Plain yoghurt - 1 tbsp
Salt - to taste
Red food color - a pinch (optional)

For the masala gravy:

Ginger-garlic paste - 1 tsp
Yellow onions - 2 medium, finely chopped
Roma tomatoes - 3 medium
Cashewnuts - 8 whole nuts
Butter - 2 tsp
Oil - 2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Kashmiri Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Garam masala powder - 3/4 tsp
Kasoori methi - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste
Chopped coriander leaves - for garnish

Method:

Cut the paneer into large cubes.

Combine all the ingredients for the marinade and coat the paneer evenly.

Marinate for 45 minutes in the refrigerator.

Meanwhile, blach the tomatoes by putting them in boiling water until their skins rupture.

Take them out and remove the skin.

Puree the tomatoes in a food processor.

Heat oil in a pan and add the paneer cubes.

Shallow fry until the cubes are somewhat crisp all around. Keep aside.

In the same pan, heat butter and add the cumin seeds.

Once the cumin turns golden brown, add the finely chopped onions and cashewnut paste.

Saute until the onion is somewhat brown and then add the ginger-garlic paste.

Stir the mixture until it becomes fragrant.

Now add the dry spice powders except kasoori methi and cook until fragrant.

Pour the tomato puree into the pan and stir well until the gravy thickens.

Remove from heat and allow to cool.

When cool, puree the onion-tomato masala in the food processor until smooth.

Transfer the puree back to the pan, and bring back to a simmer.

Add the kasoori methi and stir in.

Prick the paneer cubes in the center with a fork.

Toss them into the gravy and cook until slightly tender.

Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Serve hot.

Tips:
  1. I added a pinch of red food color both to the marinade and the gravy.
  2. I added a tbsp of half-n-half to the gravy at the final step. Adding heavy cream would make it even tastier.
  3. I would probably use more cashewnuts next time, for a richer flavor.
  4. Click here for know-how on home-made paneer.

16 comments:

Neha said...

looking nice, n thanx for the link..., and also congrats on ur 50th post..., i'm also waiting for it to come..

Sherin said...

Congrats on ur 50th post... Wondeful recipe as usual... my usual tikka masala recipe contains cooked and blanched onions in it.This looks much better... I should try this...

Happy posting!!

JZ @ Tasty treats said...

Thanks Neha, visit more often!

Hey Sherin, thanks a lot for ur wishes! Adding unsauteed onions have never worked for me! So I decided to err on the safe side! Enjoy..

ANJALI J. said...

Yes JZ, i did that painting (my profile pic) Thanks for visiting my blog JZ.. UR paneer tikka masala looks so gorgeous.. nice color..BTW congrats on ur 50th post.

sonia said...

I made this yday to go with ur missi roti(which none noticed the addition of Besan). I must say it tasted professional like teh ones u get at north Indian restaurants. Actually my hubby ate it well and then a friend called us over dinner. So I packed the rest of roti and tikka masala becoz the freinds kids are great fans of Paneer. What can I say- it was over in no time. I could only eat it while tasting it during preparation. Even though I used frozen paneer, and din't have the final igredient(methi),it still came out really well. Will def make it again so I can eat some myself to my satisfaction (maybe with homemamde paneer)

JZ @ Tasty treats said...

Thanks a lot Sonia, for the valuable feedback. I appreciate it. Glad to know it came out really well :-)

sonia said...

Hey today I had some leftover chicken thighs from grilling. Used in this recipe instead of Paneer and made chicken tikka masala..looks and tastes good:-)

sonia said...

Hey today I had some leftover chicken thighs from grilling. Used in this recipe instead of Paneer and made chicken tikka masala..looks and tastes good:-)

JZ @ Tasty treats said...

good job experimenting, sonia!!

pushpa said...

hei JZ , tried ur recipe man..i must say it came out well..thanx ya for ur delicious recipe:-)

Anonymous said...

it turned out great...
ur really amazing cook---akula

Anonymous said...

Hi,
Just made this recipe...how do I make it more creamier?? I thought it was too much tomatoe flavor and too much onion? Maybe it was my onions?

Anonymous said...

Hi,
Your recipe seems to be pretty easy...i will be trying it today for dinner.
Thanks for recipe.

fufu said...

wanna try it out for my boyfriend as he is a great fan of mughlai food...hope it works well as i plan to surprise him!!!

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fairytalenitez said...

This seems like a really great recipe that I hope to try out soon! I have a bunch of recipes and have been trying to find the right gravy for paneer tikka masala, so hopefully this will be "the one" I'm looking forward to exploring your blog! Thanks for writing!