Paneer tikka masala

Paneer tikka masala

By
From
Anjum's Indian Vegetarian Feast
Serves
4-6
Photographer
Emma Lee

The vegetarian version of the much-loved chicken dish, this is absolutely delicious, with a wonderful creamy tomato sauce and a few key spices that work beautifully with the paneer. It is definitely for special occasions, as it has a few steps and is unapologetically creamy. Before you serve it up, please take a minute to balance your sauce for sweetness and tartness, which will vary with the tomatoes. Adjust and taste until you are happy with the balance. Serve with naan or paratha.

For the tikka marinade

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
10g root ginger, (peeled weight)
2 fat garlic cloves, peeled
2 tablespoons lemon juice
150g greek yogurt
1 rounded teaspoon chilli powder
1 rounded teaspoon ground cumin
1 rounded teaspoon garam masala
1 rounded teaspoon paprika
salt, to taste
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

For the rest

Quantity Ingredient
400g Paneer, in 3–4 cm cubes
500g vine tomatoes, quartered
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
60g unsalted butter
1 black cardamom pod
6 green cardamom pods
5cm cinnamon stick
4 cloves
20g root ginger, grated, (peeled weight)
4 garlic cloves, grated
1 tablespoon tomato puree
2-4 small green chillies, whole but pierced with the tip of a knife
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon paprika, or enough to get a good colour
1 1/2 rounded teaspoons dried fenugreek leaves, crushed with your fingers
salt, to taste
1 1/4-1 1/2 teaspoons caster sugar, or to taste
60-80ml single cream, or to taste

Method

  1. Blend together the ingredients for the tikka marinade until smooth, scrape into a bowl, add the paneer and stir to coat.
  2. With a stick blender, blend the tomatoes until smooth. Heat the oil and half the butter in a large non-stick saucepan. Add the whole spices and cook for 10 seconds before adding the ginger and garlic; cook gently until starting to colour. Add the tomatoes and tomato purée and cook down until the resulting paste releases oil, around 20 minutes. Now, over a medium-low flame, ‘brown’ this paste, stirring often, until it darkens considerably, around eight to 10 minutes. Add 250 ml of water, bring to the boil, then pass through a sieve, pressing down on the solids with the back of a spoon until all you have left are fibre and spices; throw these away.
  3. Heat the grill on its highest setting. Place the paneer on a foil-lined tray and grill for eight to 10 minutes, turning once, or until the edges are lightly charred. Remove from the oven.
  4. Heat the remaining butter and add the green chillies. Add the tomato sauce, powdered spices, salt, sugar and a good splash of water and simmer for two or three minutes. Add the paneer and simmer for another five to six minutes. Add the cream and simmer, shaking the pan gently, until the sauce is lovely and creamy, around two or three minutes. You may need to add a little more water to get the consistency of single cream. Taste and adjust the balance by adding more salt, sugar or cream as necessary (cream will lessen any overt acidity from under-ripe tomatoes). Serve and wait for the applause.
Tags:
Indian
vegetarian
Anjum
Anand
Asian
simple
healthy
easy
quick
fast
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