recipe: paneer masala / paneer masala pizza

First off, it’s World Prematurity Day and I can’t start my post without giving a shout out to all the preemie babies in our lives and hearts.  For me, I take a moment to remember my son Kush and a moment to reflect on just how blessed we are for our miracle preemie, a former #24weeker, Jai who just turned FIVE! It’s also a time that I think of just how amazing the NICU world is, all the babies, parents, doctors, therapists and nurses.  That whole world is so complicated and scary yet so beautiful and miraculous. Another special shoutout to my cousin and one of my BFFs, Kamal who is a NICU nurse.  You are amazing.  Your nephews love you.  As do I.  Thank you for making your life’s work to love and care of our tiniest miracles. xoxo.

miracle boy

On days like this, food is not the biggest thing on my brain.  But comfort is.  And I guess if I have to think about food, it has to be comforting especially on days like today.  A few weeks ago, I made a paneer masala pizza.  I actually planned to post the recipe the week leading into Diwali but LIFE.  Oh well.  I finally have time to post the recipe in time for Thanksgiving – one of my favorite, favorite holidays.  So much to be thankful for.

For this recipe, it’s best to make the paneer masala at least one day before.  So you can do what we did and make and eat the masala one night with a nice pairing of brown basmati rice, garlic naan, salad of tomato, cucumber and romaine with a lemon wedge plus some crispy roasted papad.  Two nights later – pizza time with the leftover paneer.  So good. So easy. So comforting on days like today.


Paneer Masala / Paneer Masala Pizza
Recipe Type: Indian
Cuisine: Indian
Author: Shraddha
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
comfort food. an Indian twist on an Italian favorite!
  • For Paneer Masala
  • One paneer block (1.6kg) cut into cubes, lightly pan fried until gold brown in avocado oil
  • 3 roma and five cherry tomatoes
  • Half onion
  • 1.5 tablespoon freshly grated ginger – minced into paste
  • 2 big garlic cloves – minced into paste
  • 1 Serrano chili, minced
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 2 Cloves
  • 2 Cinnamon sticks (1inch)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoon coriander/cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne red pepper powder (red mirch)
  • 2 teaspoons Tandoori Masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kasthuri Methi (Fenugreek leaves)
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 2.5 tablespoons cream
  • Water
  • For Pizza:
  • Frozen (thawed) or fresh garlic naan
  • Leftover paneer masala
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Cilantro – chopped
  • Serrano Chili – sliced thinly
  1. For Paneer Masala:
  2. Bring water to boil in a medium saucepan
  3. Place into pot gently, the tomatoes and onion
  4. Remove tomatoes after about 4-5 minutes, once skin starts to crack.
  5. Place tomatoes on a dish to cool
  6. Keep onion in boiling water for another 2-3 minutes
  7. Remove and let it cool
  8. Peel tomatoes when cool enough and cut into cubes
  9. Chop up onions into smaller pieces
  10. In food processor, finely pulse up the tomato – pour out and set aside
  11. In food processor, finely pulse the onion – pour out and set aside
  12. Heat three tablespoons butter with one teaspoon oil in a pot. Add bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon. Sauté for half a minute.
  13. Add the pureed onion and stir-fry for 2 minutes or until light golden and add ginger paste and garlic paste and minced Serrano. Cook for another thirty seconds. Add coriander powder, red chili powder, tandoori powder, turmeric, 2 teaspoons salt and tomatoes. Mix well. Cook on high heat till oil leaves the masala.
  14. Add the golden paneer cubes. Mix it all together and add water to get the consistency you want. Also adjust salt to taste. Sprinkle Kasthuri methi leaves and mix in. Let it come together covered for a 4-5minutes.
  15. Remove from heat and mix in cream. Serve hot with rice/naan.
  16. Paneer Pizza
  17. On top of fresh/thawed frozen naan:
  18. Layer paneer masala (cut paneer into smaller pieces)
  19. Add slice Serrano chilis and any other veggies you like
  20. Sprinkle lightly with mozzarella cheese
  21. Bake at 400F for about 10 minutes or until cheese is nice and bubbly
  22. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro and cut/serve in halfs



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