PANEER TIKKA MASALA! Im not going to lie and say this recipe is quick, or easy. I will however, promise you that this labor of love is worth it! This recipe has got butter, cream and all the good stuff and it freezes incredibly well too so if you have leftovers (which you most definitely will because I swear I only know how to cook for like 6 people at a time) definitely throw it in the freezer! This meal tastes delicious with some Naan (Stone Fire Naan are my faves- score a great deal at Costco!) and with rice!
PRO TIP: Make this like 4-6 hours before serving because letting all these flavors really blend together makes for much better flavor!
Here are some things to not mess up in this recipe:
- Don’t RUSH! When I say to saute onions for 20 minutes, I really do mean 20 minutes. Leaving your onions too raw will make a significant difference in taste- so just sit on a stool if you have to, but take your TIME with all the steps in this recipe. Ive made the directions a little lengthy so I can properly explain each step!
- GARLIC! Let this be the first step because there is a crazy amount of garlic in this recipe- so get to peeling or take a shortcut and get pre peeled garlic and then throw it in a mini chopper to get it nice and minced.
- BUTTER & CREAM- just do it. If you can use some KerryGold butter I’ll be really, really proud.
Paneer Tikka Masala
Yield 4-6 Servings
14 oz package paneer, diced in small cubes
1/3 cup yogurt
2 tbsp Swad tandoori masala powder
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp cumin powder
1 tsp chaat masala
2 tsp coriander powder
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp minced or grated ginger
2 tbsp oil
1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced into medium size squares
1/2 cup green bell pepper, diced into medium size squares
1/2 cup red onion, diced into medium size squares
2 bay leaves
2 star anise
1 black cardamom
1 small piece cinnamon bark
3-4 black peppercorns
2 tsp cumin seeds
2.5 cups onions, finely diced
3 tbsp garlic, minced
1 tbsp ginger, minced
1 tbsp green chilis, finely diced
2 tbsp Swad Tandoori Masala
1 tsp turmeric powder
1.5 tbsp garam masala
1 tbsp cumin powder
1 tbsp cayenne powder (or to desired spice level)
2 tsp coriander powder
2 cups tomato sauce
8 tbsp butter
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup kasoori methi
- In a medium size bowl, whisk together the yogurt, spices, garlic, ginger and oil for the paneer marinade until a smooth paste is formed. Add the paneer and diced onions, red peppers and green peppers to the mix and gently toss together with a spatula. Let this mixture sit overnight or upto 3 hours.
- Turn on over to low broil & spread the paneer out onto a large rimmed baking sheet. Place on the middle rack of the oven and let cook for about 6-8 minutes (checking often) until the paneer starts to brown. This process could take upto 15 minutes depending on your oven (keep stirring and rotating the pan to ensure even cooking)
- Once the paneer has started to get golden brown at the edge, remove from oven and set aside.
- Heat a large heavy bottom pot on medium high heat. Add 3-4 tbsp of oil (enough to coat the bottom of the pan evenly). Once the oil is hot add the cumin seeds, bay leaves, cardamom, star anise, cinnamon bark, and peppercorns. Keep stirring until the spices or fragrant and bay leaves begin to slightly brown.
- Add the diced onion, reduce the heat slightly, and cook the onions until translucent, stirring often. This process of browning and sweating the onions can take up to 15-20 minutes.
- Once the onions are golden brown at the edges, add the garlic, ginger and green chilis. Cook until garlic is fragrant but not browning, stirring often (5-6 minutes)
- Add remainder of the dry spices and continue to cook. The mixture will start to look dry and clumpy, add 2 tbsp of butter at a time and scrape the bottom of the pan and stir rigorously after each addition of butter. You can also add small splashes of water to help deglaze the pan. Continue to do this process until you've used 6 tbsp of butter and mixture is no longer dry and clumpy.
- Add tomato sauce, stirring well and cover the pot with a lid. Let cook on low heat at a very gentle simmer for at least 20 minutes. Cooking the tomato sauce longer will help reduce the "tangy" taste of tomatoes. Taste the sauce after 20 minutes and add 1 tsp of sugar at a time (tasting after adding each tsp) to help balance the sauce.
- Add the heavy cream, remaining 2 tbsp of butter, cilantro, baked paneer, kasoori methi into the gravy and stir well. Taste for salt. Serve hot! Tip: This dish tastes better the longer it sits and the flavors have a chance to blend. I suggest making it the day before (can easily reheat on stovetop) or 4-6 hours prior to serving.
This looks and sounds delicious! What alterations to the method would you suggest if we wanted to use chicken instead of paneer? I assume the same marinade but would you cook it differently?
Hi! Yes, use the same marinade, bake the chicken at 400 degrees for about 25-30 minutes (turning the pan once) and flipping the chicken breasts as well. then just cut it up and add it to the gravy just at the same time I indicated to add the paneer!
Is there a particular brand of paneer you recommend? I find there is so much difference between brands. Thanks and I love all of your recipes!!! Butter chicken meatballs and spaghetti is a family fave!
I have made this recipe twice (first time didnt come out well but I blame the tandoori masala). I made it using the Swad one the 2nd time and the recipe was delicious! The only changes I made were to not add butter/heavy cream and to use fresh tomatoes which I blended into a sauce. It turned out delicious!
Hii, I was wondering if adding sugar to it is necessary and does it make the dish sweet?
Quarantine season is a prefect time to make this!
I really appreciated the step by step
Process, and loved how this recipe turned out! It was very authentic.
Can you use tomatoes instead of tomato sauce?