Paneer Tikka Masala

paneer, Indian food, Tikka Masala, tomato, rice, vegetarian
Remember way back in the day when we made our own paneer?  Well, one of my favorite paneer dishes is paneer tikka masala.  It’s rich and creamy, not too spicy but had a boatload of flavor. 
paneer, Indian food, vegetarian
We start by pan frying the paneer to give it a little flavor boost and to firm it up a bit.
cumin, spices, crushing spices, makeshift mortar and pestle, Indian food
This dish has a bunch of spices that need to be ground up.  As you can see, we didn’t have a mortar and pestle, but that didn’t stop us!
Spice, paprika, prep bowl, Indian food,
This is definitely one of those recipes where you need to have mise en place.  These little prep bowls come in handy, but really any bowl will do.  Sadly, this means washing a lot of dishes.  Trust me, the organization is worth a little extra sink time.

Paneer Tikka Masala 

  • 1 block paneer
  • 3 serrano peppers, diced-remove seeds if concerned about spice
  • 1 quart of diced tomatoes, including the juice
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • salt to taste
Cut up paneer into cubes of whatever size you find desirable.  In a large pot or Dutch oven, over medium heat, melt butter.  Once butter is melted, toss in the cubed paneer and pan fry until golden brown.  Remove from Dutch oven.

Place the cumin seeds into a small frying pan over medium heat and try toast them until fragrant.  Be careful, they will want to burn.  Remove from heat.  Crush up toasted cumin seeds and garam masala.

Toss the serrano peppers into the Dutch oven.  Allow to fry for a few minutes, then add in the tomatoes and juice.  Bring to a simmer.  Add in spices.  Allow to simmer for about 20 minutes.  Add in cream and allow to simmer for another 10 minutes.  Stir in paneer and allow to heat all the way through.  Remove from heat.  Stir in cilantro.  Serve over rice with fresh naan.