Friday, 4 November 2011

Paneer and Vegetable Tikka Masala

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Chicken Tikka Masala may be Britain's most popular food, but vegetarians don't have to miss out on a tasty alternative to this delicacy... It's taken me a while to come up with this recipe, which is as close as I can manage to one of my family's favourite Indian take away dishes - Paneer Tikka Masala.

I've added extra vegetables to make it into a slightly healthier meal, but this doesn't detract from the flavour of the sauce/gravy. I still think there's some sort of spice missing, so I'll update this recipe if I ever work out the secret ingredient/s!
Miss Ony said that this was my best curry recipe yet, which is praise indeed.
  • 100g/4oz paneer cheese, cubed 
  • 1 small onion, diced finely
  • 1-2 bell peppers, sliced or diced into chunks
  • 50-100g/2-4oz sweet potato/butternut squash, peeled and diced into small cubes
  • 8 chestnut mushrooms, sliced thickly
  • ½ tin chickpeas or other pulses, drained and rinsed
  • 250ml passata
  • 25g/1oz cashew nuts, ground (or ground almonds)
  • 25g/1oz creamed coconut
  • 2 tsp tandoori/tikka masala powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp ground fennel seeds
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1" piece of root ginger, grated
  • ½ red chilli, grated or finely chopped, optional
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp double cream, optional
Marinate the paneer in the tikka masala powder mixed with 1 tbsp lemon juice. Leave in the fridge for an hour or so.

Fry the onion in a drop of vegetable oil until soft.
Add all of the remaining dried spices, ginger, garlic and chilli and cook for a minute.
Add all of the vegetables and coat well in the spice mixture. Cook for a further 3-5 minutes on a low heat.
Pour in the passata and add the chickpeas.
Increase the heat slightly and bring to a simmer.
Allow to simmer for about 15-20 minutes, with the lid on, until the vegetables are soft.

Meanwhile, fry the paneer in a drop of vegetable oil (in another pan), until warmed through and slightly crisp.
Add the paneer to the saucepan once the vegetables have almost cooked, and stir well.
Finally add the sugar, cashew nuts, creamed coconut and cream.
Stir well and allow to simmer for a few more minutes, or until the creamed coconut has melted.

Alternatives: Use any combination of vegetables or pulses, or use extra paneer and less veg.
You could also swap the paneer for vegetarian chicken-style pieces (marinate and fry as per paneer).
For a vegan curry, replace the paneer with firm, drained tofu (marinate and fry as per paneer), extra pulses or extra mushrooms. Omit the cream.

For a BBQ version, thread the marinated paneer on skewers along with chunks of onion, pepper and mushroom, brush with vegetable oil and barbecue. Make the gravy separately on the hob and pour over the cooked kebabs.

For more Indian-inspired recipes, pop over to A Celebration of Indian Food at Lisa's Kitchen.

More sweet potato and Indian recipes. Pin It

2 comments:

  1. Divine! Thanks so much for adding this recipe to my roundup. Paneer and mushrooms and spices - you just can't go wrong with that.

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