Lately, I have been all about Indian food. It’s interesting, because a few years ago, there was no way that you would get me into an Indian restaurant. I didn’t give it a chance, and that was just rude.
Boy, was I missing out.
I was craving something spicy (but not too crazy), something different, and I came across Paneer Masala. The sauce sounded mild enough and you can get me to eat anything with cheese- so let’s go.
Oh mylanta! This concoction of creamy tomato sauce filled with delicious cubes of paneer (an Indian cheese made from curdled milk and a fruit or vegetable acid- like lemon.) This cheese is similar to halloumi and doesn’t melt, making it the perfect addition to the creamy, mild sauce. It’s safe to say that my obsession with this dish has made it become part of my weekly rotation (with my philly cheeses, can you believe it?) Yes, it’s that good.
I added grilled chicken to the mix to amp up my protein level. 💪🏾
Also, when I have it on hand- add labneh (a Lebanese style yogurt cheese, as a sour cream-like addition as you would with chili, to give it a smoother texture. And, it’s more cheese- what do you want from me?
Check out the recipe below:
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 14 ounces paneer cubed in ½ inch pieces (2 cups)
- 1 tablespoon ghee or unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon ginger paste (1-inch ginger)
- 1 tablespoon garlic paste (3 cloves) or minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder (If you can’t find it, you can substitute an equal amount of paprika)
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons garam masala (reduce to 1 teaspoon for mild flavor)
- 2 teaspoons coriander powder
- ½ cup water
- 14 ounces diced tomatoes (1 can) or 3-4 ripe Roma tomatoes, pureed
Add after cooking:
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream or, full-fat coconut milk for dairy-free
- 1 tablespoon cilantro (optional)
- 1-2 teaspoons sugar or honey or agave syrup, adjust to taste
- 2-3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro for garnish
- Cook the chicken in the oven, around 25-30 minutes or until cooked through. Or cook the chicken ahead of time and just cut out this step.
- Cut chicken into bite sized pieces and set to the side
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, then add in butter (or ghee.) Once the butter is melted, add in the ginger and garlic and saute for 30 seconds-1 minute.
- Stir in water, tomato puree, and seasonings, then cover and cook until heated through, about 10 minutes.
- Remove the lid, then add in paneer cubes, chicken, herbs, sugar, and heavy cream. Stir, then let simmer for 3-4 minutes to thicken.
- Garnish (if you wish)
- Spice up your life and enjoy!
Serve with basmati or spinach rice for a more filling meal.
The perfect dish to heat it up during these fall temperatures that seem to be on a definite downward spiral.
xoxx -Mel 💋