Sunday, November 30, 2008

Goodbye Takeout!

OK, so I've been walking around the house, saying things like, "I'm the best!" and "I rock!" and "I should open an Indian restaurant!" for the last hour. Why? Because I made the second best Paneer Tikka Masala on earth! The number one honors belongs to Bombay in Hillcrest (Monsoon in the Gaslamp - same owners/menu, different locale). OK, so maybe an Indian restaurant has a tandoori oven so they don't have to use frozen naan. Details, details.

However, I have to say that this one was amazing and I did it with ingredients from my regular market. OK, so maybe this market is a natural foods market in an Indian section of town, but still, I didn't have to go to a special market.

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But I want you to enjoy it as much as me, so I'm going to give you the recipe! This recipe comes from the Chicago Tribune and it is originally intended for chicken, so obviously chicken thighs or breasts or both can be substituted. Also, lamb can be used. If you're making chicken, reduce marinating time to 1 hr.

Paneer Tikka Masala

3/4 pound paneer cheese, cut into 1 x 1/2 inch cubes (local source: Windmill Farms)

Marinade:

1 cup plain Greek-style yogurt (local source: Trader Joe's or Windmill Farms)
2 T lemon juice
2 t ground cumin
1-2 t cayenne pepper (I used one teaspoon to get a medium-spiced dish)
2 t black pepper
1 t cinnamon
1 t salt
1 one-inch piece fresh ginger, minced

Sauce:
1 T ghee (clarified butter) (local source: Windmill Farms)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno, minced
2 t ground coriander
1 t ground cumin
1 t sweet paprika
1 t garam masala (local source: Windmill Farms)
1/2 t salt
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
1 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup fresh, chopped cilantro
1/2 onion (chopped into 1-inch squares)
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 cup basmati rice, uncooked
1 3/4 cups water
1/2 t salt
1 pkg frozen garlic naan (source: Trader Joe's)

Combine marinade ingredients in a small bowl. Add paneer and marinate as long as possible up to overnight (I marinated it for 5 1/2 hours). Put paneer on a greased cookie sheet covered with foil or parchment paper and broil, on high, for 8 minutes. Remove from oven.

Meanwhile, bring 1 3/4 cups water, 1/2 t salt, and 1 cup rinsed basmati rice to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Meanwile, melt ghee in a saucepan. Add garlic and jalapeno and saute for 2 minutes. Add spices and cook for 1 minute. Add tomato sauce and simmer for 15 minutes. Add cream and simmer for 5 minutes to thicken. Add paneer, onion and peas. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Add cilantro and remove from heat.

Reheat naan according according to package instructions. Serve paneer with rice and naan.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

4 Comments:

Blogger Theresa said...

Glad it came out well!

12:11 PM  
Blogger Nonnahs said...

I've never tried cooking Indian dishes- I don't know why, they just seem intimidating- but I might have to try this- it looks SO good!

8:06 PM  
Anonymous marisa said...

Yum! Now I have an Indian food craving...

11:42 PM  
Blogger Jane said...

This looks delicious! I've been meaning to make paneer for *ages* now and this looks like a really wonderful thing to do with it. I'll be trying it! Thanks for the recipe :)

8:12 AM  

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