Thursday, April 6, 2017

paneer tikka masala

As promised in my last post about elementary cheese-making, here is one of my favorite uses for paneer!

Chicken tikka masala is the "national dish" of Britain, funny enough, because it was an Anglicization of Indian food during Imperial times.  It's a favorite of mine at buffets.  Once I realized how easy it was to make at home, I decided to stop paying for it.  Making it with paneer is even easier!

Paneer Tikka Masala
12-16 oz paneer
3 T butter
1 T olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
2 serrano peppers, minced (seeds removed if less heat desired)
2 T tomato paste
8 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced (about 3 cups - or 2 15-oz cans diced tomatoes)
1 t garam masala
2 t paprika
2 C water
1 1/2 t salt
1/2 c cream

Melt about 1 T of the butter in a large skillet (I always use cast iron).  Fry the paneer on all sides until nicely golden brown.  Remove from the pan and set aside.

Melt the remaining butter and the olive oil together in the same pan.  Add the garlic, ginger, and peppers.  Fry and stir until it is lightly brown - about 3-5 minutes.

Add tomato paste and fry until it darkens in color - about 2 minutes.  Add garam masala and paprika and fry together for another minute or so.

Stir in the tomatoes, water, and salt.  Bring to a boil, then lower heat and let it simmer 20 minutes (now is a good time to start basmati rice).

Let the curry cool slightly, then blend it in two batches in the blender, until completely smooth.  Return it to the skillet, add the cream and stir it in.  Add the fried paneer cubes back into the curry and let it all cook together for about ten minutes.

Serve over basmati rice with cucumber raita, mango chutney, and/or green chutney!  Also, this is delicious served with a mango lassi to drink.  Serves 4.

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