The first time I ever tasted a butter masala was in the Indian restaurant in the souq here in Doha, The Royal Tandoor. When the aromas and smiles greet you as you enter through the draping, you almost feel like you’re stepping into India away from the dead heat of the desert. The food is divine and the butter masala had me hooked from the first bite. It was recommended to anyone who would listen and is now a hugely popular dish among my peers.
I tried it with chicken and then on my adventures in Nepal, it was served with paneer, which was mouth watering. The first dish I had in India then had to be Paneer Butter Masala. I couldn’t resist!
So, when I stumbled upon paneer here in the supermarket I had to whip up a dish. I had been on the look out for paneer but never found it and so this must have been a sign 🙂
All of the ingredients I had in my cupboard so it wasn’t too tricky to make and was pretty nifty to put together.
2 medium sized onions, blanched and peeled
2 tablespoons cashew nut paste (handful of cashew nuts & water, blended)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon garlic paste
1 teaspoon ginger paste
1 cup of cream
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Get the onions ready for blanching, top and tail them and make a cross in the root. Add them to a pan of boiling, salted water and allow to boil for 5 minutes. Remove and place them in a bowl of cold water. When they have cooled down, peel them and add them to a blender. Blend into a puree and leave to the side, ready for use.
Soak the cashew nuts for 5 minutes. Drain the water. Place the cashew nuts in a blender and add 3 tablespoons water and blend into a paste. Leave aside, ready for use.
Next, chop the paneer into cubes, about 1/2 inch.
Heat a frying pan and allow them to golden for 5 minutes. Leave to the side.
In the heated pan, add the blanched onion paste, Allow to fry for 5 minutes.
Add the tomato puree. Mix well. Then add in two tablespoons of cashew paste.
Now add in the spices; turmeric, coriander, garam masala.
Mix evenly to make sure the spices have been fully integrated.
Then add in the freshly ground ginger and garlic pastes.
Sprinkle in a little cayenne pepper.
Put a pot of basmati rice on the boil. 1 cup of basmati rice to 2 cups water.
Allow the mixture to simmer for a few minutes and then add in the cream. Allow to thicken.
When the masala has come to a nice creamy consistency, you can add in the paneer.
After about 5 minutes, it should be ready to be served with steaming hot basmati rice.
This dish is even better if you have some buttery garlic naan to dip into it……maybe next week!