Hello slow cooker! I thought it was time to bring my old friend out of retirement again to make this slow cooker paneer tikka masala. I only use my slow cooker every now and then, but it's such a handy way to make a hearty dinner with very little effort. There's no pre-cooking needed with this vegetarian curry recipe - just throw some raw veggies and some chunks of paneer into the slow cooker, and leave it to cook. Easy peasy.
If you've never had paneer before, it's an Indian cheese that's often used in vegetarian curries. But don't go imagining big chunks of cheddar or anything - paneer is much milder and creamier, so it doesn't feel overly heavy (I'm an enormous cheddar fan, but even I wouldn't stick a whole block in a curry). Its mild flavour means it takes on whatever flavours you cook it in, so it's really versatile - any kind of sauce will work really well with it.
My tikka masala sauce is really tasty, without being super spicy. The main base is tomatoes, with garlic, ginger, cumin, paprika, coriander, turmeric... heaps of flavour with very little effort. It sounds like a lot of different spices, but these are the same basic ingredients I use in pretty much all of my curry recipes - I've never claimed I make authentic Indian curries, but I do make tasty and straightforward vegetarian food! I reckon you could stock your spice cupboard with less than 10 jars, and you'd have pretty much everything you need. I have a ton of random stuff in my spice cupboard, but I still find myself using the same things over and over again.
Since my paneer tikka masala is made in a slow cooker, it does end up a bit soupier than a standard curry. If you'd prefer a thicker sauce, you could always make this on the stove-top instead - but personally, I thought the thinner sauce was a good excuse to use a big chunk of naan bread to mop up the bowl (not that you need an excuse!).
When your slow cooker paneer tikka masala is cooked, finish it off with a good glug of cream and a sprinkling of fresh coriander (cilantro) - and don't forget the rice and naan bread! Oh, and a few onion bhajis. And maybe a vegetable samosa or two. Ooh, and poppadoms! Okay, I'll stop. Just make the curry.
Slow cooker paneer tikka masala
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- 450 g paneer cheese, cut into chunky dice (~ 3 ⅓ cups when diced)
- 1 onion, sliced or diced
- 2 bell peppers, cut into chunks (I used orange and yellow)
- 6 medium mushrooms, quartered
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ teaspoon minced ginger or ginger puree
- 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes (~ 2 ⅔ cups in total)
- 2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- Black pepper
- 4 tablespoon double / heavy cream
- Fresh coriander (cilantro), chopped, to serve
- Add the first 11 ingredients (paneer through ground coriander) to the slow cooker, and add a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Mix well, and cook on high for 4.5 - 5 hours, until the vegetables are all soft.
- Add the cream, and mix well. Serve topped with another drizzle of cream if desired, and some fresh coriander (cilantro)
Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on your exact ingredients. Please calculate your own nutritional values if you require accuracy for health reasons.