healthier paneer tikka masala

Healthier Paneer Tikka Masala

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Paneer(cheese made with curdled milk) is an all-time favorite and I could have it all day , everyday ! Paneer is so versatile that there are endless recipes popping up everyday to make things interesting. However, my recipe here is healthier take on the most loved Paneer tikka masala or Paneer butter masala, a classic north indian dish. This recipe has no butter or cream and makes you feel light yet content. I have with millet rotis and it is the perfect balanced meal to eat at any time of the day. I have included a few tips and suggestions which would be useful for you. So let me know how it turns out when you try out my verion!

Ingredients:

  • Paneer – 350 gms 
  • Olive oil – 2 tablespoons 
  • Onions – 1 medium 
  • Tomatoes – 1 medium 
  • Turmeric powder – ½ teaspoon 
  • Red chilli powder – 1 teaspoon 
  • Coriander powder – 2 teaspoons 
  • Cumin powder – 1 teaspoon 
  • Garam masala – 1 teaspoon 
  • Salt to taste
  • Kasuri methi – 1 tablespoon, crushed (dried fenugreek leaves)

Whole spices 

  • Bay leaf – 1 
  • Cardamom – 2 
  • Cloves – 3 
  • Cinnamon stick – 2 inches long 

Other ingredients:

  • Ginger garlic paste – 1 tablespoon 
  • Chestnuts or Almonds – 6 or 7 
  • Milk – ½ cup 
  • Cilantro/coriander leaves for garnish 

Instructions: 

  1. Cut the paneer into cubes and soak in hot water until ready to use. This helps soften the paneer to give you a melt in your mouth experience. 
  2. In a wide kadai, lightly heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and saute onions and tomatoes until soft and mushy. Add in turmeric, red chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder,garam masala and salt. Combine until the spices are mixed well. Turn off the stove and let it cool. Blend the mixture into a smooth puree. 
  3. In a the same kadai, lightly heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Do not increase the flame while heating olive oil as it has a low smoke point. Add the whole spices to the oil and saute for a few seconds before adding in the ginger garlic paste. Once it turns fragrant, incorporate the pureed miture into the kadai and stir. Let it cook in medium flame for 5 minutes. Add in the paneer along with the water and let it cook for another 5 minutes. 
  4. Meanwhile blend together chestnuts or almonds with the milk until smooth. If you’re using chestnuts, then a small portion would do since it becomes very thick. Chestnuts would be an ideal choice as they help give a rich, creamy texture and taste to the curry. Pour this mixture into the curry and combine well. Check for seasoning. Add in crushed kasuri methi, mix well and turn off the stove. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with cilantro and the creamy almond milk mixture. Serve hot with healthy millet roti or paratha. 
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