Paneer Tikka Masala

Recently I had posted the recipe for Paneer Tikka, the starter. This is an extension of that recipe and the result is Paneer Tikka Masala, a gravy-based side dish for rotis.

I am not a big eater and so avoid soups and starters (or then eat only those) in favour of the main course and dessert (must have; I cannot end a meal without a sweet!). So Paneer Tikka Masala is just perfect for me.

Paneer Tikka Masala for Rotis
Paneer Tikka Masala for Rotis

How to Make Paneer Tikka Masala

Preparation Time: 15 Minutes

Marinating Time: 1 Hour

Cooking Time: 20 Minutes

Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients for the Marinade

  1. Thick Yogurt, Dahi – 1/2 Cup
  2. Besan, Gram Flour – 1 tbsp
  3. Ajwain – 1/4 tsp
  4. Garam Masala – 1/2 tsp
  5. Deghi Mirch Powder, Kashmiri Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
  6. Regular Red Chilli Powder – 1/2 tsp
  7. Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
  8. Ginger Paste – 1 tsp
  9. Garlic Paste – 1 tsp
  10. Lemon Juice – 1 tbsp
  11. Mustard Oil – 1 tbsp
  12. Butter or Ghee – 1 tbsp
  13. Salt to Taste

Ingredients for Paneer Tikka Masala Gravy

  1. Thick Yogurt, Dahi – 1/2 Cup
  2. Tomato Puree – 1/4 cup
  3. Onions – 2 Large
  4. Ginger Paste – 1/2 tsp
  5. Garlic Paste – 1/2 tsp
  6. Garam Masala – 1/2 tsp
  7. Red Chilli Powder – 3/4 tsp
  8. Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
  9. Salt to Taste

Other Ingredients

  1. Paneer – 250 gms
  2. Red Bell Pepper – 1 Small
  3. Yellow Bell Pepper – 1 Small
  4. Capsicum – 1 Small
  5. Onion – 1 Large
  6. Ghee – 4 tsp

Method to Make the Marinade

  1. On tawa, over medium heat, heat 1 tbsp ghee.
  2. Add ajwain and stir-fry till aromatic.
  3. Add the besan.
  4. Saute till the raw smell of the besan disappears and it becomes aromatic.
  5. Remove into a large bowl (enough to fit the marinade, paneer, and the vegetables).
  6. Let the besan cool.
  7. Mix together the cooled besan mix, dahi, ginger paste, garlic paste, both the chilli powders, salt, garam masala, and lemon juice.
  8. Mix well.
  9. In a ladle, heat the mustard oil till the smoking point.
  10. Turn off the heat.
  11. Add turmeric to the mustard oil and mix well.
  12. Add the mustard oil to the marinade.
  13. Mix well.
  14. Set aside.

Preparing the Paneer and Vegetables

  1. Cut the Paneer into 1″ cubes about 1/2″ thick.
  2. Cut the bell peppers in half.
  3. Discard the seeds.
  4. Cut into 1″ squares.
  5. Peel and quarter the onion.
  6. Cut into 1″ pieces.
  7. Separate the different layers of the onion.

Marinating the Paneer and Vegetables

  1. Add all the vegetables and paneer to the marinade.
  2. Set aside for at least 1 hour. (I let the paneer and vegetables marinate overnight in the refrigerator).

Making the Paneer Tikka on a Tava

  1. On a non-stick tava, heat about 1.5 tsp ghee.
  2. Remove the paneer pieces from the marinade. Shake off any excess marinade but do not remove all marinade.
  3. Save the excess marinade.
  4. Place on the tava and cook till both sides of the paneer pieces are brown.
  5. Remove into a plate.
  6. Scrape any masala stuck to the pan.
  7. Add 1.5 tsp of ghee.
  8. Remove the bell pepper and onion pieces from the marinade. Shake off any excess marinade but do not remove all marinade.
  9. Save the excess marinade.
  10. Place on the tava and cook till the side touching the pan starts to blister.
  11. Flip over and cook for a minute.
  12. Remove into a plate.
  13. Save the pan and the remaining ghee.

Making the Paneer Tikka Masala

  1. Beat the yogurt till smooth.
  2. Peel and chop the onions into chunk.
  3. Grind the onions into a smooth paste.
  4. In the pan in which you fried the paneer and vegetables, heat 1 tsp ghee.
  5. Add the onion paste and fry till the paste turns light brown.
  6. Add the ginger and garlic pastes.
  7. Stir-fry for a few seconds.
  8. Add the tomato puree and cook till the raw smell of the tomato disappears and the ghee appears at the edges of the cooked paste.
  9. Add the red chilli powder, garam masala, and turmeric.
  10. Mix well.
  11. Turn the heat down to low.
  12. Add the remaining marinade and mix well.
  13. Add the yogurt.
  14. Mix well.
  15. Add a little water to form a thick garvy.
  16. Simmer over low heat for 3 to 5 minutes.
  17. Turn off the heat.
  18. Add the pan-fried paneer and bell peppers.
  19. Mix with a light hand.
  20. Serve the Paneer Tikka Masala with hot rotis or parathas.
Paneer Tikka Masala
Paneer Tikka Masala

Paneer Do Pyaza | Paneer Dopiaza

Paneer Do Pyaza
Paneer Do Pyaza

One of the blogs I follow religiously is Savoury and Sweet Food by Sadia Mohamed. Do visit her blog and you will know why I say that. Not only does Sadia cook the most amazing food, she photographs it beautifully too. The moment I saw her Mutton Do Pyaza pics, I knew I had to adapt it to a vegetarian version.

And adapt I did. It turned out to be a super delicious treat this weekend.

This recipe has essentially two ingredients—paneer and onions—cooked in a variety of spices. The onion plays a starring role in this dish; grated onion is used in the marinade and finely sliced onions are used in the making of the curry base. Hence the name, Paneer Do Pyaza (also spelt as Paneer Dopiaza), which literally means “with two onions”.

I originally intended to make Bhindi do Pyaza but then opted for Paneer Do Pyaza as it did not need additional cooking. Now that I have made this dish once, I intend to experiment with Anda Do Pyaza and Bhindi Do Pyaza.

How to Make Paneer Do Pyaza | Paneer Dopiaza

Serves: 4

Marinating Time: 1 hour

Cooking Time: 1 hour

Ingredients for the Curry

  1. Paneer – 250 gms
  2. Finely Sliced Onions – 4 Packed Cups
  3. Ghee – 3 tbsp
  4. Sugar – 1 tsp
  5. Fresh Grated Ginger – 1/2 tsp
  6. Fresh Minced Garlic – 1/2 tsp
  7. Green Cardamom – 2
  8. Cinnamon – 1? Stick
  9. Cloves – 2
  10. Green Chillies – 2
  11. Black Pepper Powder – 1/4 tsp
  12. Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder/Deghi Mirch – 1 tsp
  13. Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
  14. Fenugreek Seeds – 1/4 tsp
  15. Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
  16. Salt to Taste

Ingredients for the Marinade

  1. Dahi or Yogurt – 4 tbsp
  2. Grated Onion – 2 tbsp
  3. Fresh Grated Ginger – 1/2 tsp
  4. Minced Fresh Garlic – 2/3 tsp
  5. Red Chilli Powder – 1/2 tsp (Use Kashmiri Mirch, if you don’t like spicy food)
  6. Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
  7. Salt – 1/2 tsp

To Marinade the Paneer

  1. Mix all the ingredients listed under Ingredients for Marinade.
  2. Dice the paneer into 1″ cubes.
  3. Add the paneer to the marinade.
  4. Mix well and set aside for 1 hour.

Other Preparations

  1. Pound the cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom. Set aside.
  2. Pound the fenugreek seeds. Set aside.
  3. Slit the green chillies. Set aside.

Method to Make the Paneer Do Pyaza

  1. In a kadhai, heat 1 tbsp ghee.
  2. Add 1 cup finely sliced onions, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp salt.
  3. Stir-fry till the onions are golden brown.
  4. Remove the onions and set aside.
  5. To the same kadhai, add 2 tbsp of ghee.
  6. Add the pounded cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom.
  7. Stir-fry till they emit a sweet aroma.
  8. Add the sugar and mix well till it dissolves.
  9. Add the remaining slit green chillies, sliced onions, and 1/4 tsp salt.
  10. Stir-fry till the onions just start to turn brown.
  11. Add the pounded fenugreek seeds, grated ginger, and minced garlic.
  12. Stir-fry for a couple of minutes till the raw smells of ginger and garlic disappear.
  13. Remove the paneer from the marinade.
  14. Add to the kadhai and mix well.
  15. Stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes.
  16. Add in the turmeric, coriander powder, chilli powder and black pepper powder.
  17. Mix well.
  18. Lower to heat to low.
  19. Add the marinade.
  20. Mix well.
  21. Cook well, while stirring continuously, till the ghee starts to appear at the sides.
  22. Add the crispy fried onions.
  23. Mix well.
  24. Add about 1/3 cup water.
  25. Cook covered for 5 minutes till the gravy turns thick.
  26. Add salt. Be careful with the salt as there is some in the marinade and the fried onions.
  27. Mix well.
  28. Cover and let it rest for at least 30 minutes.
  29. Serve hot with rotis, naans, or parathas.

Tips

  • This is one curry where more onion means more flavour. Do not reduce the quantity.
  • You can use Mustard Oil instead of Ghee. If you do, heat it till it starts to smoke and is transparent before cooking in it.
  • Use Deghi Mirch or Kashmiri Mirchi Powder to get the red colour but not the heat of a regular chilli powder. I used a mix of both.
Paneer Do Pyaza - Paneer Do Pyaza - Cottage Cheese in a Gravy That Uses Loads of Onions
Paneer Do Pyaza – Paneer Dopaiza – Cottage Cheese in a Gravy That Uses Loads of Onions

 

Paneer Kali Mirch (Cottage Cheese in a Yogurt and Pepper Gravy)

Paneer Kali Mirch | Cottage Cheese in a Peppery Yoghurt Gravy
Paneer Kali Mirch | Cottage Cheese in a Peppery Yoghurt Gravy

Paneer is something I always have on hand because you can always make a quick curry or Paneer Biryani at the end of a log working day. This past week, as we were enjoying a long weekend, we were looking for something different yet not too taxing.

Browsing through the millions of cookbooks I have, I came across this interesting recipe for Paneer Kali Mirch which seemed to have subtle flavours and so we tried it. We quite enjoyed it because the gravy was very flavourful without being laden with spices and very light on the palette. Yet the pepper we used just gave it enough of a bite to make the curry interesting.

So, here it is, Paneer Kali Mirch adapted from Sanjeev Kapoor’s recipe.

How to Make Paneer Kali Mirch | Cottage Cheese in a Peppery Yogurt Gravy

Serves: 4

Time: 45 Minutes

Ingredients

  1. Paneer – 200 gms
  2. Yogurt or Dahi – 3/4 Cup
  3. Cashews – 6 to 8
  4. Pepper Powder – 3/4 tsp
  5. Ginger – 1″ piece
  6. Green Chillies – 2
  7. Onion – 2 Medium
  8. Red Chilli Powder – 1/2 tsp
  9. Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
  10. Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
  11. Garam Masala Powder – 1/2 tsp
  12. Green Cardamom – 3
  13. Cloves – 4
  14. Cinnamon – 1″
  15. Bay Leaf – 1
  16. Finely Chopped Fresh Coriander – 1 tbsp
  17. Oil – 2 tbsp
  18. Salt to Taste

Method

  1. To Make the Onion Paste:
    1. Peel and slice the onion into thin strips.
    2. In a wok or kadhai, heat 1 tbsp oil.
    3. Add the thinly sliced onion and 1/2 tsp salt.
    4. Stir-fry till the onion is light brown.
    5. Set aside to cool.
    6. Grind the fried onions into a smooth paste.
  2. To Make the Cashew Paste:
    1. Grind the cashews with 2 tbsp water to a smooth paste.
  3. To Make the Ginger-Chilli Paste:
    1. Grind the ginger and chilli to a fine paste.
  4. To Make Paneer Kali Mirch:
    1. Cut the paneer into 1/2″ cubes.
    2. In a wok or kadhai, heat 1 tbsp oil.
    3. Add the cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, and bay leaf.
    4. Stir-fry for 1 minute.
    5. Add the onion paste.
    6. Stir-fry till the paste turns light brown.
    7. Add the ginger-green chilli paste.
    8. Stir-fry for 1 minute.
    9. Add the cashew paste, red chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala, and turmeric.
    10. Mix well and stir-fry for a couple of minutes.
    11. Turn the heat to low and let the mix cool a bit.
    12. Beat the yoghurt to a smooth consistency.
    13. Add the beaten yoghurt to the onion paste and mix well.
    14. Add about 3/4 cup water and mix well.
    15. Turn the heat to medium-high and let the gravy simmer.
    16. Add the pepper powder and salt.
    17. Add the paneer pieces and mix well.
    18. Mix well.
    19. Turn off the heat.
    20. Serve Paneer Kali Mirch warm with rotis.

Tips

  • Adding salt while frying the onion helps the onion brown faster.
  • Never add yoghurt to a hot vessel; it will curdle.
  • Never add water to the yoghurt before you add it to the masala; it will curdle.

Paneer Kofta (Cottage Cheese Balls in Yogurt Gravy)

Paneer Kofta in a Yogurt Based Gravy - Cottage Cheese Balls in a Yogurt Gravy
Paneer Kofta in a Yogurt Based Gravy

When I saw the pics on Anjana’s recipe for Paneer Kofta Korma {Indian Cottage Cheese Balls In A Delicate Yogurt Sauce}, I knew I had to try it as soon as I could. I know from practice that Anjana’s recipes are foolproof and absolutely delicious.

Regular readers of this blog will remember that recently made a superlative Biryani with Soy Nuggets after being inspired by Anjana’s Shrimp (Prawns) Dum Biryani.

So this Sunday, I once used Anajan’s recipe as a base to make a slightly modified version of the Paneer Koftas in Yogurt Gravy. 🙂

Time: 60 Mins

Serves: 4

Ingredients for the Kofta

  1. Paneer – 200 gms
  2. Corn Flour – 2 tbsp
  3. Green Chillies – 2
  4. Ginger – 1/2″ Piece
  5. Garam Masala – 1/2 tsp
  6. Salt to Taste
  7. Oil for Deep Frying

Ingredients for the Gravy

  1. Yogurt or Dahi – 1.25 Cup
  2. Tomato – 1 Large
  3. Onion – 2 Large
  4. Ginger – 1″ Piece
  5. Garlic – 3 Cloves
  6. Red Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
  7. Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
  8. Garam Masala Powder – 1 tsp
  9. Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
  10. Cloves – 5
  11. Cinnamon – 1″ piece
  12. Green Cardamom – 4
  13. Oil – 2 tbsp (You can use some from the oil left-over after frying the koftas)

Method to Make the Koftas

  1. Grind the ginger and green chillies to a smooth paste.
  2. Crumble the paneer.
  3. Add the corn flour, green chilli-ginger paste, garam masala and salt.
  4. Mix well.
  5. Knead the paneer using the heel of your palm so that it forms a smooth dough.
  6. Set aside two small pinches of dough to test the heat of the oil.
  7. Divide into 12 equal portions.
  8. Roll each portion into a smooth ball.
  9. In a small wok, heat about 1 cup of oil. The oil should be medium hot.
  10. To test the oil:
    1. Roll one of the pinches of paneer into a small ball into the oil.
    2. It should rise to the top and start frying on the surface.
    3. The paneer ball should not  start turning brown immediately, but take a few seconds before which it should turn brown.
    4. If the paneer ball turns brown immediately, lower the heat for a few minutes and try again. 🙂
    5. If the paneer ball does not start to fry immediately, turn up the heat and try again. 🙂
  11. Fry the paneer balls till they are golden brown.
  12. Set aside.

Method to Make the Gravy

  1. Peel and chop the onions into large pieces.
  2. Chop the tomato into large pieces.
  3. Grind the onion, green chillies and ginger into a smooth paste.
  4. Set aside.
  5. Grind the tomato to a puree consistency.
  6. Set aside.
  7. Beat the yogurt till it is smooth and set aside.
  8. Heat 2 tbsp of oil.
  9. Add the whole green cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, and bay leaf.
  10. Stir-fry for 10-15 seconds.
  11. Add the onion paste and fry till it starts to turn light brown.
  12. Add the tomato paste and fry till the oil starts to leave the sides.
  13. Turn the heat to low.
  14. Add the garam masala, coriander powder, turmeric, and red chilli powder.
  15. Saute for 2 minutes.
  16. Add the beaten yogurt and mix well.
  17. Add 1 cup water and bring to a gentle simmer.
  18. Turn off the heat.

Putting It All Together

  1. Just before you are ready to eat, heat the gravy over low heat.
  2. Add the koftas to the gravy.
  3. Serve the koftas with hot rotis.

Tips

  • I used just one tomato because too much tomato with yogurt makes the gravy sour/khatta.
  • You could omit the tomato and add some amchur to the kofta (not gravy) instead.
  • Notice that in step 13 of making the gravy, I turned the heat to low and then added the dry spices. This is because I wanted the pan to cool a bit before I added the yogurt. Do not add the yogurt when the pan is very hot or it will split and you will have grainy gravy. 🙁

I am taking this recipe to:

Achari Paneer (Cottage Cheese in a Spicy Yogurt Gravy)

Achari Paneer - Spicy Cottage Cheese
Achari Paneer

A few weeks ago, I posted the recipe for Dahiwale Achari Baingan and it proved to be a hit with many of my fellow bloggers, not to mention my family. This time I decided to try this recipe with Paneer and it turned out just as super delicious. As a bonus, it is also very light on the stomach, having almost no heavy spices (despite its name) as well as using paneer as is.

Serves: 4

Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients

  1. Fresh Paneer – 250 gms
  2. Onion – 1 Large
  3. Dahi, Curd or Yogurt – 1 Cup
  4. Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
  5. Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
  6. Saunf or Fennel Seeds – 1 tsp
  7. Jeera or Cumin Seeds – 1/2 tsp
  8. Kalonji or Nigella Seeds – 1 tsp
  9. Rai or Mustard Seeds – 1/2 tsp
  10. Methi or Fenugreek Seeds – 5 or 6
  11. Hing or Asafoetida – A Large Pinch
  12. Oil – 2 tbsp + 1 tsp
  13. Salt to Taste

Method

  1. Cut the paneer into 1/2″ cubes.
  2. In a wok or kadhai, heat 1 tbsp oil.
  3. Add mustard, fennel, nigella, cumin, and fenugreek seeds.
  4. Stir-fry for a minute or till the seeds start to pop.
  5. Add the sliced onions.
  6. Stir-fry till the onions are transparent.
  7. Add the paneer cubes and turmeric powder.
  8. Stir-fry for a 5 minutes.
  9. Turn off the heat.
  10. Add red chilli powder.
  11. Mix well.
  12. Beat the yogurt to a smooth paste.
  13. Add the yogurt and salt to the fried onions and paneer.
  14. With a gentle hand, mix well.
  15. Serve with hot rotis.

I am taking this recipe to:

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