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Paneer Cheese Tikka Masala
Paneer Tikka Masala

Mamta Gupta

This is a vegetarian version of the popular chicken tikka masala. Serves 4

Edited July 2012

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Ingredients

500 gm. Paneer Indian cheese. Buy a ready made block or make at home.
Marinade:
1 cup natural yoghurt* (creamy yoghurt is better)
1 tbsp. oil
1 tsp. coriander powder
1/2 tsp. chilli powder (adjust to taste)
Juice of 1/2 lemon or lime
1 tsp. sweet paprika powder for colour
1/2 tsp. Garam Masala
Salt according to taste
For cooking:
1-2 tbsp. oil
1 tsp. nigella/kalaunji seeds (or use cumin seeds)
1 medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1-2 cloves of garlic, crushed or grated (optional)
1/2 inch root ginger, peeled and grated
1 medium tomato, cut into small wedges
1/2 tbs. tomato puree, mixed with 2 tbs. water

Instructions

1.Slice cheese into cubes or small fingers.
2.Mix all marinade ingredients and make a paste.
3.Add paneer pieces to this mix, stir gently and leave for a few hours or overnight in the fridge. Keep it in an airtight container in the fridge to avoid smell getting into everything else.
4.Place paneer pieces on a tray and cook in a hot oven for approximately 15 minutes. Oven times and performance vary. Keep an eye to make sure that they do not burn. Take out and keep aside. If you do not have an oven, fry gently in a wok or karahi. Keep aside.
5.Heat oil in a wok or pan.
6.Add nigella seeds, When they crackle a bit, add onion, ginger and garlic. Fry until nicely browned.
7.Add Tomatoes and tomato purée and fry for a few minutes.
8.Add the cooked paneer and its marinade to this mix and stir fry gently. The sauce should be thick, coating the paneer.
9.Adjust spices and salt.
10.Serve hot with a curry of choice, Nan and Plain Pulao Rice.
11.Starter
12.To serve as a snack or starter, serve with a shredded salad of choice.

Notes

You can add sliced green or red peppers (bell pepper or Shimla mirch), thinly sliced, at step 3. This adds to the colour of the dish.
*A few tips for cooking with yoghurt :
Always use full fat yoghurt, if possible. Skimmed milk yoghurt sometimes curdles during cooking. If you wish to use low fat yoghurt, add 1 heaped teaspoon of plain or corn flour per cup of yoghurt.
Make sure that the yoghurt is at room temperature. If chilled yoghurt straight from the fridge is added to a hot dish, it may curdle.
Or, take out a few tablespoons of the hot food in a bowl, mix yoghurt, warming it a bit and then stir it back into the hot dish.
Substitute sour cream for yoghurt, using only half the amount.

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