Oh umm, hey! I made us some cheese… in a creamy indian sauce!!
No I literally made us some cheese. Well, not us, me, but you know.
My grocery store didn’t carry paneer (or they do, but they were out), so I decided to make my own. It was actually so incredibly easy and if you are interested, I used this recipe from The Kitchen. It only takes thirty minutes and it was actually kind of fun. If you have the time, I would totally give it a try. It’s kind of cool saying you made your own cheese, or at least I think it is.
But this recipe isn’t for homemade paneer. Nope. Today I am telling all about how I fried the paneer in a skillet, made it crispy and then tossed it in a creamy cashew Indian butter sauce. I know, I know. The Indian food lovers are going insane right now.
It’s good stuff, semi healthy and actually a very simple, quick and easy recipe to make. Yeah!!
I used my Healthy Crockpot Indian Butter Chicken as a guide for this recipe. That Butter Chicken recipe is probably my most viewed and well liked recipe, it seems people really love it!! Which is kind of weird since I will not lie, no one in my family went head over heels for it. I mean, I loved both of these recipes, especially the sauce, but my family really doesn’t like Indian food. It’s such a bummer.
Oh well, more creamy cashew Indian butter paneer for me and you!!
But can we just talk about that crispy paneer? I mean, it is totally not necessary for you to do this step, but why wouldn’t you? It is so good and it gives that somewhat bland cheese such nice flavor and texture. Please try it!!
Oh and the sauce? I know it is not traditional to have cashews in butter chicken, but then again neither is swapping the chicken for paneer. So since I was already going all wild and crazy, I kind of thought, why not add just a little more creaminess and flavor to this sauce by adding cashews. It keeps the sauce so incredibly silky without actually have to add any cream, like in traditional butter chicken.
So really, we have a completely healthy and slimmed down version here. Nice!!
Honestly though, I do think the reason I made this recipe was just yet another excuse to have a creamy sauce to dip that naan into. That naan, ah, it is a VERY loved recipe around here!
Creamy Cashew Indian Butter Paneer...with Fried Paneer!
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil or ghee or butter
- 8 ounces paneer cheese cubed
- 1 ounce can coconut milk lite or regular, 14
- 3/4 cup roasted cashews
- 1 ounce tomato paste 6 can
- 1/4 cup greek yogurt or 1/4 cup more coconut milk for vegans
- 1/2 a small sweet onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced or grated
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger grated
- 2 teaspoons spicy curry powder
- 1-2 teaspoons thai red curry paste I used 2
- 1-2 tablespoons garam masala I used 1
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon saffron optional
- 1-2 cup broccoli florets
- chopped cilantro for topping
- steamed rice for serving
- fresh naan for serving
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon coconut oil (or ghee). Once hot, add the cubed paneer in batches and cook about 2 minutes per side or until crisp. Remove from the heat and drain on paper towels. Repeat with any remaining paneer. Reserve the skillet and set the paneer aside.*
To a food processor or high powered blender, add the cashews and coconut milk. Blend on high until completely smooth and silky, about 3-4 minutes. Add the tomato paste, yogurt and 1/2 cup water. Blend until smooth. Set aside.
To the same skillet you fried the paneer, add the remaining tablespoon of oil. Once hot, add the onion, garlic and ginger, cook about 5-8 minutes or until the onion is soft and lightly caramelized. Add the curry powder, thai red curry paste, garam masala, turmeric, cayenne and salt. Cook one minute and then stir in the cashew/coconut mixture. Bring the sauce to a gentle boil and if it seems too thick for your liking, stir in water or coconut milk to thin. Once the sauce is at your desired consistency, stir in the crispy paneer and saffron if using. Add the broccoli and cook until warmed through and the sauce thickened slightly, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and serve over a bed of hot rice sprinkled with chopped cilantro. And don't forget the naan for dipping!