How to Make Paneer Tikka Masala at Home?’ So Paneer Tikka masala…sounds so fancily no? Not that it is a snobbish fancy-this dish you can find at a roadside dhaba (shanty ) and even in the seven-star restaurants! It sounds fancy because it seems something that you cannot make at your home. What if I tell you, it is laughably easy to make…and oh my so delicious to the boot !!
One simple Punjabi recipe coming on boss 🙂
Disclaimer: I promise to cheat as much as possible 😛 It might not be the “traditional way ” of making it , but hey its equally yummy and ridiculously easy-I don’t hear anyone complaining 😛
Ingredients for Paneer Tikka Masala :
- 200gm Fresh Paneer / Cottage Cheese diced as per your preference
- 1 large Bell Pepper / Capsicum Cut into large pieces ( I have used the Yellow one as it is sweeter-you can use any that you like )
- 2 Large onions cut into florets
- 2 Tomatoes cut into large pieces
- 1 Cup hung Curd / Strained Yogurt – I prefer the one that has gone a bit sour. Feel free to use the juice of half a lemon to increase tartness of fresh yogurt
- 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste (optional )
- 1-2 dried red chilies whole
- a few slivers of julienne ginger
- 1 Tablespoon Tandoori Spice Mix ( or make your own mix with coriander, red chili powder, dry mango powder, cumin powder, pepper, and salt )
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1/2 teaspoon Kashmiri Red Chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Gram Flour / Besan
- Salt to taste
Method of Preparing the Paneer Tikka Masala :
In a large bowl take beaten curd, half teaspoon ginger garlic paste, tandoori spice mix, half the salt that you plan to add to the dish. Mix it well. To this add half the onions, 1/4 tomatoes, entire capsicum, and cottage cheese. Mix well.
Once mixed pour it on aluminum foil and seal the edges. Refrigerate for 1 hour. During this time the paneer will be decently marinated.
After an hour, take the marinated paneer out of the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. Then in the electric tandoor , cook it covered for 5 minutes. If you don’t have an electric tandoor, you can use the “grill” feature of your microwave. The foil is completely safe ,while you are using only the grill feature.Grill the paneer ,while it is still sealed for 5 minutes.This will steam it properly and the veggies will render their juices. I am asking you to grill it covered so that the cottage cheese does not dry out during this process.Let this paneer rest for 2-3 minutes.
Meanwhile in a skillet , add oil . Once oil gets heated up add the remaining onions and the julienne ginger. Let the onions fry a bit. Meanwhile in a bowl take the cumin seeds,black pepper corns , coriander seeds and dry red chillies. Microwave on high for 3-4 minutes. Allow this to lightly cool and then crush in a mortar and pestle. I am adding this instead of the garam masala, so that the spice is mellowed down and more fresh. Feel free to replace this by garam masala powder, still I recommend doing this. Add this to the hot oil, so that the spices render their own oils. Fry the onions.
At this point add the remaining tomatoes, that have been pureed. Meanwhile, open the foil of the paneer and let it grill uncovered for 4 minutes in the tandoor and 6-7 minutes on the grill. It will absorb back most of its juices and will start getting that charred look. Add about half a teaspoon of gram flour to the tomato onion masala. This will keep the gravy intact and will not let the yogurt split once we add it. Add half a teaspoon red chili powder and the remaining salt to taste.
Once the oils have started to render, add the ready paneer tikka to it. Mix well, allow to come to a light boil. Turn off the heat. Put the ready paneer tikka masala in a pie dish and grill it in the tandoor for another 3-4 minutes. This will give it that added smoky taste and add more oomph!
That’s it, it’s done 🙂 This dish is best enjoyed with piping hot chapatis or flatbread. Having masala buttermilk with this will greatly enhance the experience 😉 I have not added too many spices, cashew paste or cream. You may add those for richness, but I prefer to keep this dish relatively light. Those ways you can enjoy it on a regular basis without having to worry about getting a coronary 😛