Make Good Indian Food at Home Palace of Asia Buffet Indian Food

Make Good Indian Food At Home

With the monthly trip to Palace of Asia buffet no longer available what could I do?  Make good Indian food at home!

Easy Good Indian Food At Home

We had a monthly trip on our calendar for Indian food.  We’d collect our friend Charles in Princeton and head to Lawrenceville, NJ for the best Indian buffet lunch in the area. For now, since that’s not an option, I’ve found ways of making really good, easy Indian food at home.

While I do use some specialized ingredients, none of them are essential.  To get really good Indian food, I rely on commercially jarred Indian “simmer sauces” and doctor them up.  My latest dish was Butter Paneer (like Butter Chicken, except I used the Indian cheese called paneer).  I started with a jar of Patak’s Butter Chicken Curry Cooking Sauce.

If I simply followed the directions for making Butter Chicken on the label, it would be less than good. So, here’s what I do.

QueerJoe’s Recipe for Butter Paneer


  • 2 tbsp Ghee (clarified butter) – vegetable oil would work fine if you don’t have ghee
  • Cumin seeds – 1 tsp (optional)
  • Julienned carrot
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 8 ounces Paneer cheese (full fat) – (you can substitute halloumi cheese, firm tofu or chicken) cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 15 ounce jar of Patak’s Butter Chicken Curry Cooking Sauce (or something similar you can find at your grocer)
  • 1/2 cup Half & Half
  • 3 tbsp chopped cilantro (see my method below for long-term storage of fresh cilantro!)

Heat the ghee in a medium-high saucepan (large enough to hold all the ingredients). When ghee starts to smoke, add whole cumin seeds and carrot. Cook for 2 minutes and then add onions. Cook until onions are wilted. Add cumin powder, turmeric and coriander.  The spices and oil will start to make a roux-like texture and you’ll be toasting the spices a bit.

Add the paneer cubes and gently mix to coat the cheese with the oil/spice mixture.

Paneer Sauteed

Add the Patak’s simmering sauce.  Pour the half & half into the empty jar of simmering sauce, put the top back on and shake it. Pour the resulting liquid into the pan and stir slowly.

Simmer this and stir infrequently for at least 10 minutes and add fresh cilantro right before serving.

Butter Paneer

Serve over rice and while it might not be as good as your Indian mom’s food, it is a LOT better than Patak’s right out of the jar!

Food Tip: Storing Fresh Cilantro

Most of us don’t use a ton of fresh cilantro. It always seemed a waste for me to buy a small bunch of the herb for one dish.  Until I realized I could store it for weeks and have fresh cilantro for a long time.

Storing Cilantro

If you cut off 1/8″ of the bottom of the stems and put them in a glass of water. You can put a cheap plastic bag over the top of it and store it for LONG time in your refrigerator.  Just clip off what you need.  It will even grow new leaves in your refrigerator this way!

Current Knitting

The Pairfect socks I cranked on the antique CSM were finished.

Pairfect Socks Cranked Finished 04-05-20 02

I grafted the toes and wove in the ends, and I love these new socks.  Like most Regia sock yarn, they will get even nicer once I’ve laundered them the first time.

I also made some progress Chevron Striped Scarf.

Chevron Striped Scarf 04-05-20 01

Now that it’s the only active project I have on the needles, it should move along quickly.

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