For those days when you don't want to take out, or maybe don't have an Indian restaurant nearby, our Masala Paste plus a few pantry ingredients hits the spot! Add some naan or rice and you've got a cozy comforting meal.
1.5 lbs of protein/veggies in bite-size pieces (can use chicken, tofu, paneer, cauliflower, chickpeas, etc) **See notes for marinading the chicken**
2tbs neutral oil
1tbs cumin seeds
1/2 c Masala Paste
1/2 c canned diced tomatoes
1tbs tomato paste
1/2 c water
1tbs sugar (can omit but the majority of restaurants do use some sweetener)
salt and cayenne powder to taste
Cream (optional for garnish)
Chopped cilantro (optional for garnish)
Brown paneer, chicken, tofu or protein of choice in a pan with about 1 tbs of oil. Remove and place on a plate while making the sauce. If using only veggies or chickpeas, you can omit the browning step.
For the Sauce:
Add 1 tbs of oil to a saucepan.
Once the pan is warm, add cumin seeds and cook until you hear them begin to sputter.
Carefully Masala Paste, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste stir consistently until for 5-7 minutes until warm and darker in color.
Slowly add 1/2 cup water and cook for about 5-7 more minutes on medium low heat as the sauce begins to thicken.
Add cayenne (omit if you prefer it less spicy) and salt.
Add protein and/or veggies to saucepan and simmer for about 5-7 min.
Stir in sugar and cream.
Simmer for another 3-4 minutes.
Top with finely chopped cilantro and more cream if desired.
Serve with basmati rice or naan.
***If you are using chicken, marinate the chicken for at least 3 hours (or overnight) in the following:
3/4 cup plain yogurt, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1tsp minced ginger, 2tsp Mirch Masala Blend, and 1/2 tsp salt