Henley Food Blog – Beetroot & Paneer Tikka Masala

I couldn’t succumb to ‘Veganuary’ as much as my daughter would have loved me to. It’s not necessarily the meat I’d miss (I’m whispering that quietly in case Barry from Machin’s is listening in!) but the dairy also. Butter and cheese are two ingredients I’m not about to give up, and I for one have been buoyed by the ‘butter is good for you’ trend of the last few years. I do love my fill of vegetarian food however and and in my quest to ‘eat locally and seasonally’ along with only buying meat that is grass fed and with a provenance I can trace, it’s easy to fit 3 or 4 vegetarian meals in a week. This weekend I decided to grab a couple of large beetroot and team them up with some paneer, a fantastic cheese adaptable to many curry recipes. It’s an unaged, non-melting cheese made by curdling milk with an acid, such as lemon juice. It’s fairly easy to make at home (but even easier to buy off the shelf!). The sauce is a general tikka masala sauce which you can add just about anything to. Try it with some grilled fish or chicken, seafood or grilled veggies.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of ghee (you can use vegetable oil)
  • 2 onions
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 3 red chillies
  • Stalks from a bunch of coriander
  • 1 heaped tablespoon of coriander
  • 3 teaspoons of cumin
  • 2 teaspoons of turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons of paprika
  • 2 teaspoons of garam masala
  • 6 tablespoons of ground almonds
  • 2 x 400g tins of tomatoes
  • 300ml of stock
  • 1 tin  400g coconut milk
  • 2 large or 4 medium size beetroot.
  • 1 pack (226g) paneer

Method

  1. Peel the onions and garlic
  2. Slice the chillies and the stalks of the coriander
  3. Heat the ghee in a large wok or casserole on a medium high heat
  4. Add the onions, garlic, chillies and stalks.
  5. Cook for around 20 minutes, making sure nothing burns.
  6. Add all the spices ensuring they are mixed thoroughly with your onion mixture.
  7. Add the ground almonds, mix
  8. Add the tomatoes and stock.
  9. Simmer for 10 minutes
  10. Add the coconut milk and simmer for a further 30 minutes.
  11. Stir occasionally
  12. Chop the raw beetroot into large matchsticks (I use a mandolin for this).
  13. Add the beetroot to the masala sauce and cook for a further 15 minutes
  14. Chop the paneer into cubes.
  15. Fry the paneer in a separate non-stick frying pan to get some colour. (I use a kitchen blow torch to scorch them with, quicker and loads more fun!)
  16. Add the paneer for the last 5 minutes of the cooking time
  17. Serve with basmati rice or naan, or both!

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