Lychee Paneer Tikka Masala
a sweet and aromatic dinner for two
I am sure you had Tikka Masala in Indian Restaurants many times. It is so famous, loved and prepared all over the world now-a-days that Tikka Masala is no longer an Indian delicacy. If you looking forward to make special dinner for your Valentine this week, consider making sweet, spicy and aromatic Tikka Masala with rice, Indian style naan bread and a bottle of Cabernet. I promise, you will thank me for making this a grand day for you and your valentine. I often shirk from making sweet cakes and puddings for Valentine ’s Day, rather we love enjoying a special dinner just for two of us. We eat Tikka Masala very often, but this time I decided to make it little special for Valentine’s Day. This tikka masala has a sweet surprise of lychee nuts.
If you like Tikka Masala, like I do, you will adore this lychee Tikka Masala Sauce. A bite of flavorful tikka masala gravy with sweet and juicy lychees, will just melt in your mouth. The perfect combination of sweet and spicy like match made in heaven!
Sauce has beautiful lush color; aroma and richness which will win your valentine’s heart.
Not just for valentine, you can also pamper yourself with this scrumptious curry sauce.
Serve Tikka Masala with some naan bread or steamed rice on the side and enjoy!!
A few more easy Curries and Paneer Recipes:
Lychee Paneer Tikka Masala
- 2 Cup Lychee(Litchi) (20 ounce can of lychee in light syrup)
- 2 Cup Tomato Sauce (I often use Marinara Sauce or canned tomatoes/large ripe tomatoes, pureed)
- 1/2 tsp Garam Masala (or add 1 clove, 1/2 inch cinnamon, 1 cardamom, ground or crushed.)
- 1/2 lbs Paneer (Indian Cottage Cheese, you can also use Firm Tofu Or Grilled Chicken (if prefer meat))
- 2-3 tbsp Honey (if using fresh tomatoes, you need 3-4 tbsp. Add 2 tbsp, taste and adjust.)
- 2 tbsp Heavy Cream (adjust per taste)
- 1 Cup Water
- 2 tbsp Unsalted Butter (plus 1 tbsp oil for shallow frying paneer)
- 1/2 White Onion (thin moon slices of 1 medium size or 1/2 large onion)
- 1 tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste (3 garlic cloves and 1 inch ginger, fine crushed or grated)
- 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Powder (Paprika will be fine too)
- 1 tbsp Basil (fresh chopped basil or cilantro for garnish)
- 1 tsp Salt
1. Heat butter in a pan, when melted, add garam masala and cook until fragrant (30-40 secs). Now add sliced onion, ginger and garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes or until onions are slightly soft. Don't let garlic burn.2. Add tomato sauce, water, salt, pepper , and honey. Mix well and bring to boil on high heat.
3. Reduce heat to medium and let sauce cook for 10-12 minutes or until sauce gets signature deep red color and is reduced to 3/4 of original liquid.4. In meantime, heat 1 tbsp oil in a small pan. Slice paneer/tofu to small length-wise rectangular pieces. Add paneer or tofu to hot pan and fry it until crisp brown from 2-3 sides. Paneer will take about 4-5 minutes (1-2 minute per side), tofu might take a little longer. Additional Notes: Remove excess moisture from paneer/tofu before frying to avoid oil splashes. I have used homemade paneer, so pieces are little uneven. Store bought paneer will give you perfect rectangle pieces.
5. Add lychees and 1/4 cup of lychee juice into the simmering gravy. Taste and adjust the salt.6. Also add crispy paneer pieces and 2 tbsp heavy cream (adjust per taste). Continue cooking for two more minutes and then remove from heat.
- 7. Garnish with fresh cilantro or basil leaves. Serve with fresh steamed rice or naan bread for your special Valentine. Happy Valentine's Day
Savita's Recipe Notes:
Took these pictures while using leftover Tikka Masala to make Masala Pasta,
will be posting recipe very soon posted recipe here . Save some sauce for delicious homemade masala pasta :)
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