A very Happy New Year to all of you !! A brand new year, which seeks to bring forth the biggest surprise for us. Really hope that this New Year is happier and positive for all of you scattered across the globe. What better way to begin the New Year than by penning down about the two favorites of mine: The Man and Food. More precisely, Food from the Man's kitchen.
I am still slurping from dinner last night(and not to mention left overs for lunch), as I start to type away. Paneer Tikka Masala by the Man last night, was simply a masterpiece. Honestly the man is wasting his life in the corporate world. He should seriously open his signature restaurant. And on weekends he could also pick up his guitar and jam along with his restaurant guests. Not a bad idea. Well, not exactly mine. My Bestie had suggested this idea long long ago, knowing the man's love affair with the kitchen and music.
Its a known fact that I don't venture into the kitchen on weekends, as its the man's territory. So after Keema-Matar, Chicken Liver Curry, the Man decided to go vegetarian. For those who know him pretty well, know how strange that might sound. But the man felt that we should give Non-Veg a miss for one meal at least. Its good to de-tox every now and then. I kept nodding away, while being stretched on the couch, propped up by pillows and "You've Got Mail," on the television. I was in no mood to complain. The Man also served me some hot chocolate, as he cooked away !! Aah, I love such days. Did I mention, we were going out for the latest blockbuster, post an early dinner !!
So he had already decided that it would be Paneer for dinner, but then what with Paneer?! He brought out a bag of baby spinach from the refrigerator,and I made such a face, that he put it right back. He started to chop and mince and got really busy. Vrooommmmmmmm went the blender after some time and I could no longer concentrate on a young Tom Hanks on the television screen. The aroma from the kitchen made me get up from the super comfy couch and walk into the kitchen. Lo and behold, it was Paneer Tikka Masala. The gravy was so rich and creamy that I had to reach out for a crouton, to dunk it in.The Paneer pieces were soft as silk almost, yet they had not crumbled. I do not like a Paneer preparation where the paneer has crumbled and become paneer bharta. It was like, you were almost biting into softened butter. As for the gravy, the fact that it is still making me slurp. It was just the right consistency and the color, was to die for. Its said, that we first eat with our eyes,and in this case, I was already stuffed with the vision. Although its not customary to add peas to a Paneer Tikka Masala, but the man added them,before finishing off, and they did blend well. If the man whips up veggie delights like this every weekend, who would not mind a de-tox !
PANEER TIKKA MASALA:
Adapted from: Aarti Sequeira
Paneer: 1/2 lb: Cubed(At room temperature)
Ginger: 2 inch piece of ginger
Garlic: 6 large cloves
Paprika: 2 tsp
Garam Masala: 1 tsp
Kasoori Methi: 1 tbsp
Heavy Cream: 1/2 cup
Roma Tomatoes: 5-6: Chopped
Olive Oil: 1 tbsp
Salt: To taste
Green Chilies: 2-3: minced
Cliantro: For garnish
Peas: a handful
Grind the ginger -garlic together and teh green chilies to make a smooth paste.
Cube the thawed room temperature Paneer and keep aside. Do not fry them, as it turns paneer rubbery.
Heat a large skillet and add in the olive oil and butter.
When the butter has melted, add in th ginger-garlic-green chili paste and saute until they start to change color.
Add in the dry spices and roast for around a minute or so.
Next add in the tomatoes, a cup of water and salt and bring to a boil. Then simmer the gravy for around 20 minutes.
Use an immersion blender or pour the gravy into a blender and pulse until smooth. Pour back into the skillet , add in the cubed paneer, peas , kasoori methi and bring back to a boil.
Add in the cream and mix well. Cook for another 5 minutes.
Check for seasonings and garnish with chopped cilantro.
Serve with hot rotis, naan or even steamed rice.
Bon Appetit !!