Paneer tikka masala

Anjum Anands paneer tikka masala has a wonderful creamy tomato sauce and a few key spices that work beautifully with the paneer
By Anjum Anand
Paneer tikka masala
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the tikka marinade:

  • 10 g root ginger, peeled weight
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 150 g Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil

For the curry:

  • 400 g paneer, in 3-4cm cubes
  • 500 g vine tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 60 g unsalted butter
  • 1 black cardamom pod
  • 6 green cardamom pods
  • 5 cm cinnamon sticks
  • 4 cloves
  • 20 g root ginger, peeled weight, grated
  • 4 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2-4 small green chillies, whole but pierced with the tip of a knife
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1½ tsp dried fenugreek leaves, crushed with your fingers
  • 1-1½ caster sugar, to taste
  • 60-80 ml single cream, to taste


1. Blend together the ingredients for the tikka marinade until smooth, scrape into a bowl, add the paneer and stir to coat.

2. With a stick blender, blend the tomatoes until smooth. Heat the oil and half the butter in a large non-stick saucepan. Add the whole spices and cook for 10 seconds before adding the ginger and garlic; cook gently until starting to colour.

3. Add the tomatoes and tomato purée and cook down until the resulting paste releases oil, around 20 minutes. Now, over a low-medium flame, brown this paste, stirring often, until it darkens considerably, around eight to 10 minutes.

4. Add 250ml of water, bring to a boil, then pass through a sieve, pressing down on the solids with the back of a spoon until all you have left are fibre and spices, throw these away.
5. Heat the grill on its highest setting. Place the paneer on a foil-lined tray and grill for eight to 10 minutes, turning once, or until the edges are lightly charred. Remove from the oven.

6. Heat the remaining butter and add the green chillies. Add the tomato sauce, powdered spices, a pinch of salt, sugar and a good splash of water and simmer for two or three minutes. Add the paneer and simmer for another five to six minutes. Add the cream and simmer, shaking the pan gently, until the sauce is lovely and creamy, around two or three minutes.

7. You may need to add a little more water to get the consistency of single cream. Taste and adjust the balance by adding more salt, sugar or cream as necessary the cream will lessen any obvious acidity from under-ripe tomatoes. Serve and wait for the applause.

Anjum's Indian Vegetarian Feast by Anjum Anand, published by Quadrille, £19.99.

Photos ©Emma Lee

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