FWD: "Paneer" Tika Masala

Does Indian food sound like it would be hard to make? It is! Unless you take a zillion short cuts like I'm going to suggest here. The ingredients for this recipe are most easily obtained at Whole Foods.

Sometimes Whole Foods actually has Paneer, but it's crazy expensive. Therefore, I determined that Queso Fresco is basically the same thing and it's a few bucks cheaper. (I actually just googled this and I think it literally is the same thing, I'm just very pleased I came to this conclusion on my own!)

Whole Foods also has a variety of Tika Masala sauces. I went with the cheapest one - Tika Masala Simmer Sauce from Saffron Road and it was great and $2.99.

Finally, you can make rice, but you can also buy pre-cooked frozen rice and microwave it for like 2 minutes and you've got the exact right amount of rice without any extra work.


Grocery List


  • Bell pepper
  • 1 tbs oil
  • Tika Masala Simmer Sauce
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • Queso fresco
  • 1 crown of broccoli
  • 2-3 cups frozen brown rice


  1. Cut up and seed bell pepper and saute in oil in a medium saucepan for ~5 minutes (basically until it's soft)

  2. While it's cooking, cut up broccoli into bite sized pieces and cut up Queso Fresco into .5 in x .5 in cubes.

  3. Once pepper is ready, add simmer sauce and coconut milk and cook until it's simmering (about 5 minutes).

  4. While the sauce is simmering, place the broccoli in a microwavable glass bowl, cover with an inch of water and microwave on high for about 3 minutes (or until a desired crunchiness).

  5. Once the broccoli is done, drain it and add it to the sauce. Add the queso fresco at the same time and cook for another 3 minutes.

  6. Using the broccoli bowl, add the frozen rice and cook according to instructions on package (about two minutes).

  7. When the rice is done, divide it among four bowls (or two bowls and two leftover containers). Add the tika masla mixture on top of the rice and serve.

Total Costs

  • Price: ~$16 for 4 servings (or $4/serving)
  • Time: ~15 - 20 minutes
  • Dirty Dishes: 1 pan, 1 microwavable bowl, 1 cutting board, 1 knife, 1 spoon