Paneer Tikka Masala: A Flavorful Vegetarian Delight

Introduction:

Paneer Tikka Masala is a classic Indian dish that’s beloved for its rich and creamy tomato-based gravy infused with aromatic spices. This vegetarian rendition of the popular chicken tikka masala is made with succulent paneer (Indian cottage cheese) marinated in spices, grilled to perfection, and then simmered in a luscious masala sauce. In this step-by-step recipe, we’ll guide you through the process of creating this indulgent and flavorful dish that’s sure to become a favorite in your kitchen.

Ingredients: For Paneer Tikka:

  • 250g paneer, cut into cubes
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp yogurt
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • Skewers

For Masala Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, pureed
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri red chili powder (or paprika for a milder heat)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Fresh coriander leaves for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Marinate the Paneer: In a mixing bowl, combine yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, turmeric powder, garam masala, and salt. Add paneer cubes, diced bell pepper, and onion. Gently toss to coat evenly. Allow it to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Skewer and Grill the Paneer: Thread the marinated paneer, bell pepper, and onion onto skewers alternately. Preheat a grill or grill pan over medium heat. Brush lightly with oil and grill the skewers for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until paneer is golden brown and vegetables are charred.
  3. Prepare the Masala Sauce: Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add cumin seeds and let them splutter. Add finely chopped onion and sauté until golden brown. Add ginger-garlic paste and cook until fragrant. Add tomato puree, tomato paste, coriander powder, Kashmiri red chili powder, turmeric powder, garam masala, and salt. Cook until the oil separates from the masala.
  4. Simmer with Paneer: Once the masala sauce is cooked, add the grilled paneer tikka to the pan. Stir gently to coat the paneer with the sauce. Allow it to simmer for 5-7 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.
  5. Finish with Cream: Pour in the heavy cream and stir well to incorporate. Let the paneer tikka masala simmer for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until the sauce reaches your desired consistency.
  6. Garnish and Serve: Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot with naan, rice, or your favorite Indian bread.
  7. Enjoy: Dive into the irresistible flavors of Paneer Tikka Masala, savoring the creamy sauce and tender paneer with every bite. This vegetarian delight is perfect for special occasions or as a comforting meal any day of the week.

Conclusion: Paneer Tikka Masala is a celebration of flavors and textures, combining the smoky goodness of grilled paneer with the creamy richness of the masala sauce. With this easy-to-follow recipe, you can recreate this restaurant-style dish in the comfort of your kitchen. Whether you’re a vegetarian or simply craving a meatless meal, Paneer Tikka Masala is sure to satisfy your craving for Indian comfort food. Give it a try and indulge in the deliciousness of this classic dish!

Leave a comment