Paneer Tikka Masala

Tikka Masala is a very popular Indian dish and we're not the only country claiming it's origin. Pakistan believes that they invented it and Britain proclaims that it is their National dish. While they fight it out, let's learn how to make it.

While the ingredients are very similar to Paneer Makhani, there are some distinct differences. To me Tikka Masala is a more intense and robust sauce. Everywhere I've enjoyed this dish, it is served tossed with green peppers(capsicum) and onions.

400 gms paneer cut in cubes
Tandoori ready made spice blend and salt.
1 green pepper, deseeded and cut in cubes
1 small onion quartered

For the gravy
1 medium red onion halved and sliced
5 cloves
1 inch stick cinnamon
2 green cardamoms seeds removed.
3 green chilies
8 garlic cloves roughly minced
1 inch piece fresh ginger roughly minced
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp turmeric (haldi)
2 tsps garam masala powder
1 tsp cumin powder (jeera)
2 tsps tomato purée
2-3 Roma tomatoes boiled, skin removed and chopped
1/4 cup chopped coriander
2 tbsps heavy cream

Marinating the paneer in the dry Tandoori spice and add some salt. Skewer the paneer and add to the BBQ for a few minutes (you can fry as an option). While the BBQ is on and hot also skewer the green peppers and onions and BBQ them for a few minutes till slightly smoky and charred. Leave aside to cool.

In a saute pan add some oil and when hot add the onions, green chillies, ginger and garlic. Saute till the onions are golden brown. Add sugar and continue to cook. Then add all the spice powders, followed by the tomato puree. Pre boil your tomatoes so they have had a chance to cool and once chopped, add them to the pan. Cover and let the gravy cook for a few minutes. Add salt to taste. Reserving a few tablespoons in the pan, add the mixture to a blender and blend. Return to the pan and turn the heat on. I reserve a bit of the gravy because I like the silky softness of the gravy to have some texture, this is a personal preference.

When the gravy starts to bubble, it’s time to add the paneer and mix. Cover and cook for about 5 – 7 mins till the chicken is well done. If the gravy is to thick, add a little water. Add the green pepper and onion cubes and mix. Finish with the cream and chopped coriander.

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