Soft cottage cheese cubes swimming in a rich, creamy, and tangy sauce- that’s what this paneer tikka masala is all about.
Indian curries have a reputation for being loaded with complex flavors, and while that’s true, they’re actually pretty easy to whip up too. I recently tried recreating the infamous paneer tikka masala in my kitchen and was more than pleased with the results.
It was one of the easiest one-pot curries I had ever tried making, and the flavors were spot-on. Best of all, it is a vegetarian curry, which makes it a perfect quick meal to whip up for your friends or guests who have come over.
All set and ready to give the recipe a try? Here’s all you need to know about it before you do.
What Else Can I Add to the Paneer Tikka Masala?
You can add a lot to this versatile Indian curry. Dice some veggies of your choice- onion, bell peppers, and carrots are great choices- and add them into the curry to increase its nutritive value. You can also throw in sliced mushrooms, green peas, green beans, and cauliflower florets- basically any veggie that you have in your refrigerator.
Just don’t forget to use the star ingredient- cottage cheese aka paneer.
How Do I Store the Leftovers?
Your leftover paneer tikka masala can be refrigerated for up to 5 days. Just remember to use an airtight container to keep the curry fresh. Freezing the curry is not recommended, since it may cause textural changes to the paneer, and make it chewy and tough, even if you reheat it.
What is the difference between Paneer Butter Masala and Paneer Tikka Masala?
Paneer Butter Masala is a creamy and mildly sweet gravy made with butter, tomatoes, cashews, spices and paneer. Paneer Tikka Masala is a robust dish made with grilled yogurt marinated paneer cubes in a spicy, aromatic tomato-onion gravy.
Tips to Make the Paneer Tikka Masala
Think you’re ready to give the recipe a try? Here are some additional tips and tricks to get those flavors bang on!
- If you want to cut down the cooking time for this recipe, you can use tomato puree instead of chopping the tomatoes and using them.
- Want some extra spice? Add some chopped green chilies or green chilly paste into the mix and let the curry simmer for a few minutes on low heat.
- If you don’t have cream or are just looking for a healthier alternative, you could use hung Greek yogurt or regular yogurt instead.
- Coconut milk is another excellent alternative to the cream, but remember that you’ll need to let the curry simmer for a few more minutes to get it to the right consistency.
- To balance out the heat and tanginess of the curry, you can also add a teaspoon of honey or sugar.
- Don’t forget to top the paneer tikka masala with a generous sprinkle of chopped coriander and some fresh cream, right before you serve.
Serving Ideas & Suggestions
Your one-pot paneer tikka masala tastes best when served with naan or any other flatbread of your choice. If you don’t have the time to make the bread yourself, you can also team it up with some steamed rice. Some of my favorite rice options are basmati or jasmine.
To make it a complete meal, you can also serve it with some sweet and sour meatballs or air fryer chicken wings on the side, or whip up another flavorful Indian curry- the pumpkin and eggplant rogan josh.
One Pot Paneer Tikka Masala
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
- 4 small tomatoes, chopped
- ¼ cup cashew nuts
- 2 tsp garam masala powder
- 2 tsp coriander powder
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- ½ tbsp red chilly powder
- 14 oz cottage cheese, cut into cubes
- 1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves
- ½ cup heavy cream
- salt to taste
- Start by marinating the cottage cheese cubes in a bit of salt, turmeric powder, red chilly powder and garam masala powder for 15-30 minutes.
- Next, heat up some butter in the pot and fry the cottage cheese for 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove them out and set them aside.
- Add some more butter in the same pot and saute some cumin seeds, chopped onions, chopped tomatoes, ginger-garlic paste, cashewnuts, coriander powder, garam masala powder and salt until the mixture starts to come together.
- Once the tomatoes and onions seem softened, remove the mixture from heat and allow it to cool down. Use a stick blend to blitz everything together until you get a uniform mixture.
- Turn the heat back on and add the cream, cottage cheese cubes and a generous sprinkle of dried fenugreek leaves.
- Let the curry simmer for a few minutes and it's done!
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