Paneer Tikka Masala Restaurant Fashion


This restaurant type Paneer Tikka Masala recipe is brimming with vibrant flavors from the spicy tomato onion curry sauce and delightfully marinated grilled cottage cheese. Whereas this dish could also be thought-about a labor of affection, the effort and time are properly price it!

paneer tikka masala served in a white bowl garnished with some coriander leaves on a dark mahogany board

This scrumptious conventional Punjabi dish is one thing the entire household will love. Make it for dinner tonight and serve with a pile of naan, roti, or paratha. I can nearly assure the entire household will clear their plates!

What’s Paneer Tikka Masala?

For any non-native Indians, I consider it’s best to elucidate if we break it down into its part components.

First, we now have paneer. Paneer is ubiquitous in Indian cooking and is a good vegetarian different to rooster, lamb and different meats. It’s a agency, non-melting cheese that’s related in consistency to tofu. 

TIP: Are you vegan? Merely substitute agency tofu for any recipe that requires paneer!

Tikka refers to a bit of meals that has been grilled. On this case, the paneer is grilled earlier than including to the gravy. Lastly, we now have masala. Whereas masala means any variety of spices which are combined, on this case the masala is referring to the spice laden gravy.

There you will have it! Paneer Tikka Masala can actually be translated to grilled cottage cheese in a spiced gravy! 

paneer tikka masala garnished with some coriander leaves in a white bowl placed on white napkin on a dark mahogany table

Step-by-Step Information

How you can make Paneer Tikka Masala

Whereas this recipe has many steps, don’t be discouraged! Nothing is especially technical or troublesome, and I’ll stroll you thru each step with detailed notes and photos.

Marinating the paneer

1: In a big bowl, whisk the hung curd till clean.

TIP: Hung curd is made by bundling curd (yogurt) in cheesecloth and permitting the whey to drip away. This may end in a thicker yogurt. To omit this step, you can too use Greek yogurt, Icelandic Skyr or Center Japanese Labneh.

whisked hung curd

2. Add the ginger-garlic paste, spice powders, lemon juice, corn starch or gram flour & salt. Combine properly.

spice powders and salt added to hung curd

three. Add lemon juice

lemon juice being added

four. Combine the whole lot very properly.

everything mixed very well

5. Add the paneer cubes, onions, bell pepper.

paneer cubes, onions and green bell pepper added

6. Gently combine once more in order that the marination coats the paneer, onions and bell peppers evenly. Cowl the bowl & marinate within the fridge for a minimum of one hour and as much as in a single day.

TIP: Don’t skimp on marinating time! This marinating course of imparts numerous taste and is a vital a part of making this genuine Paneer Tikka Masala.

paneer cubes, onions and bell pepper mixed gently in the marination

Oven Technique

7. Line a baking tray or pan with aluminum foil or parchment. Whereas this step is technically non-obligatory, this methodology makes it a lot simpler to wash the pan later.

Subsequent, thread the paneer cubes and greens on bamboo or steel skewers and place them on the ready pan. When you don’t have to skewer the paneer, I discover that it makes for much less work turning the cubes in all preparations.

TIP: If utilizing bamboo skewers, you need to soak them in water for a minimum of 10 minutes earlier than skewering the paneer. This may make sure that they don’t catch fireplace whereas cooking.

Preheat the oven to 200 levels Celsius (390 levels Fahrenheit) for a minimum of 10 minutes earlier than you grill the paneer cubes. 

For a daily oven, maintain each the highest and backside components on and maintain the pan within the middle rack. For a microwave oven use the convection mode and preheat at 180 levels celsius/350 levels fahrenheit.

eight. Brush about ½ tsp oil evenly on the paneer and bell pepper cubes.

9. Bake the skewered paneer cubes & veggies in a preheated oven at 200 levels Celsius (390 levels Fahrenheit) for 15 to 25 minutes (relying on the oven temperatures).

Simply maintain an eye fixed when the paneer is baking within the oven. You need the cubes to start to brown on the edges, however you don’t need it to burn.

paneer tikka being grilled in the oven

10. Beneath is the oven grilled tikka cubes. You’ll be able to brown the sides a bit extra if you’d like however don’t overcook the paneer cubes.

grilled paneer tikka out from the oven

Pan Frying Technique

11. Subsequent, thread the paneer cubes and greens on bamboo or steel skewers and place them on the ready pan. When you don’t have to skewer the paneer, I discover that it makes for much less work turning the cubes in all preparations.

Warmth about ½ tbsp oil in a pan till shimmering. Place the skewers on the pan.

paneer tikka skewers being pan fried on a skillet

12. When one aspect is crisp and browned, gently rotate the skewers. Carry on rotating till all sides are browned. If vital, add extra oil to the pan whereas frying. 

Nonetheless you prepare dinner your paneer, you’ll wish to take away the skewers and set the grilled paneer and greens to the aspect when you make your gravy. 

paneer tikka skewers being pan fried till golden

Sauce Preparation

13. Deliver a pot of salted water to a boil. Add halved onions and tomatoes to the boiling water. Cook dinner for one or two minutes. Change off. Cowl and maintain apart for 15 to 20 minutes. 

TIP: For a barely sweeter gravy, you possibly can add 10-12 cashews to the new water with the onion and tomato. Including cashews provides a creamier consistency with a pleasant sweetness. You’ll be able to add them to the onion paste within the subsequent step.

TIP: To make the tomatoes simpler to peel, make a small “x” within the pores and skin with a paring knife earlier than including to the boiling water. The pores and skin will slide proper off!

onions and tomatoes being blanched in hot water

14. Later chop the onions roughly and make a clean paste in a grinder, blender or with a mortar and pestle.

onions ground to a fine paste in a blender

15. Peel and roughly chop the tomatoes. Make a clean puree of the tomatoes within the grinder or blender. Maintain each the onion & tomato puree apart.

tomato pureed in a blender

16. Whisk or beat the yogurt until clean and maintain apart. There needs to be no lumps within the yogurt and it needs to be crushed properly.

Placing all of it collectively

17. In a sauté pan, warmth 2 tbsp oil over medium warmth till shimmering and add the onion paste.

TIP: Should you pan fried the paneer, use the identical pan for simpler clear up!

onion paste added in hot oil in a pan

18. Stir usually and sauté till the onion paste turns golden.

onion paste sautéed till golden

19. Add ginger garlic paste and sauté till the scent of uncooked ginger and garlic goes away. This could take roughly some 5 to 10 seconds.

TIP: Burnt garlic has a really bitter, acrid style. Make sure to stir the ginger-garlic paste repeatedly and add the tomato purée as quickly because the garlic is cooked by.

ginger-garlic paste added

20. Add the tomato purée. Stir properly and sauté till you see fats leaving sides of the masala.

tomato puree added

21. Now add all of the dry spice powders – turmeric, pink chili powder, coriander powder and garam masala or tandoori masala.

spice powders added

22. Stir properly in order that the spices are integrated within the masala paste evenly. Now take away the pan from warmth.

spice powders mixed very well

23. TIP: When including cultured dairy to a dish, you need to all the time take away the pan from warmth earlier than stirring it in. This may maintain the dairy from breaking or separating your sauce.

Add crushed contemporary curd (yogurt). Make sure to use full fats contemporary curd.

beaten curd added

24. Combine very properly.

curd mixed with the rest of the onion-tomato masala

25. Add water and salt. Combine and stir once more.

water added and mixed

26. Simmer for five to six minutes or until the gravy thickens and also you see fats floating on the highest. The consistency ranges from medium to barely thick. You’ll be able to alter the consistency to your liking by including roughly water.

masala gravy being simmered

27. Add cream and kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves). Stir properly and simmer on a low flame for a minute. Test the style and add extra salt or cream should you want. 

TIP: You too can about ½ to 1 tsp of sugar for a bit of additional sweetness.

cream and kasuri methi added

28. Lastly, add the grilled or pan-fried paneer and veggies cubes.

paneer tikka cubes added in the gravy

29. Stir once more and change off the flame.

grilled paneer, onion, capsicum cubes mixed in the gravy

30: Garnish with contemporary coriander leaves and serve your do-it-yourself Paneer Tikka Masala with some naan, roti or jeera rice. Tuck in with a spoon and watch your loved ones’s faces dissolve into ecstasy! This dish is all the time successful, even with folks new to Indian delicacies.

paneer tikka masala served in a white bowl garnished with some coriander leaves on a dark mahogany table


Skilled Suggestions

  • Gravy or sauce: For the gravy or curry, use ripe, pink and barely candy tomatoes. Keep away from utilizing tomatoes that are too tangy or bitter or unripe.
  • Curd (Yogurt): For  marinating the paneer cubes, use contemporary hung curd or use contemporary full fats thick yogurt (thick curd). Don’t use curd which has grow to be bitter.
  • How is hung curd made? Hung curd is made by permitting all of the whey (water) to empty from contemporary curd or yogurt. The curd is bundled in a muslin or cheese material, positioned on a sieve having a bowl beneath (to gather the whey) in a single day or for four to five hours within the fridge. A heavy object like a small pan or pestle is saved on prime of the bundle. Use 1 cup of contemporary curd (yogurt) to make hung curd for this recipe.
  • Paneer: Paneer is agency cottage cheese made by curdling milk with lemon juice or vinegar. It is rather straightforward to make paneer. For making any paneer based mostly curry dish, it’s all the time finest to make the paneer at dwelling. If utilizing packaged paneer, then observe the directions talked about on the pack earlier than marinating them.
  • Grilling or pan-frying: Don’t grill or pan-fry the paneer cubes for a very long time as this can end result within the cubes getting dense and rubbery.
  • Consistency: The consistency of the gravy is medium to medium-thick. So add water accordingly to get the consistency you like.


Can I make Paneer Tikka Masala with out garlic and onions?

Sure! You’ll be able to simply sub just a few pinches of hing (also called asafoetida) for the alliums. For the marinade, add a pinch of hing as a substitute of garlic paste. For the gravy, add one to 2 pinches of hing while you add the ginger paste. You too can add the paneer tikka items in a makhani/makhanwala gravy which doesn’t use yogurt or onions. 

What’s kasuri methi? Can I substitute one thing else for it?

Kasuri Methi are fenugreek seeds which were sun-dried. It tastes like a mix of fennel and celery with a little bit of a bitter chew. 

Should you don’t have entry to kasuri methi, you possibly can substitute an equal quantity of normal methi, or substitute ½ Tbsp of chopped celery leaves or watercress leaves. You too can omit it from the sauce solely.

Can I make this vegan paneer tikka masala?

Completely! Merely change out tofu for the paneer. Use a coconut or cashew yogurt that you’ve got strained rather than the hung curd. Swap coconut cream for the heavy cream.

Can I make this in a tandoor?

Actually! Should you’re fortunate sufficient to have one, this recipe can be much more genuine in a tandoor oven.

Can I make the paneer on the grill?

Sure! You’ll positively wish to skewer the paneer and greens on bamboo or steel skewers. If utilizing bamboo, you’ll want to soak the skewers for a minimum of 10 minutes earlier than threading on the paneer and cooking it.

What’s hung curd? Is there one thing I can use as a substitute?

Hung curd is common yogurt that’s then strained with cheesecloth to take away all of the whey. For this recipe you should utilize 1 cup of contemporary curd (yogurt) to make hung curd. Should you want to omit this step, Greek yogurt, skyr and labneh are all completely acceptable substitutes.

Can I exploit retailer purchased paneer?

Whereas I extremely suggest making your personal paneer at dwelling (it simply tastes so a lot better!), you possibly can definitely use retailer purchased in a pinch. Make sure to observe any package deal directions earlier than marinating.

What makes this dish Punjabi?

Punjab is a area in Northern India, and Punjabi delicacies is the meals that originates from there. Punjab is a extremely agricultural area, and their delicacies is knowledgeable by domestically grown staples. Dairy is sort of prevalent within the area, which means many well-known Punjabi dishes are made with milk or cream. Different Punjabi dishes you may be aware of are Biryani, Lassi, Butter Paneer and Pakora.

Why does my paneer style rubbery?

Rubbery paneer is usually a results of overcooking. First, make certain that you aren’t overcooking it within the “grilling” step. Second, you need to add the paneer to the sauce after it has been faraway from the warmth. You wish to enable it to heat within the sauce, however not proceed cooking.

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Paneer Tikka Masala is a well-liked paneer dish of marinated grilled cottage cheese cubes in onion-tomato yogurt based mostly gravy.

Prep Time 1 hr 30 minutes

Cook dinner Time 30 minutes

Whole Time 2 hrs

Delicacies North Indian, Punjabi

Course: Most important Course

Food plan: Gluten Free, Vegetarian

Problem Degree: Average

Servings four


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This recipe put up from the archives (October 2014) has been republished and up to date on 21 October 2020.

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