paneer tikka masala, restaurant style paneer tikka masala recipe


paneer tikka masala recipe

paneer tikka masala recipe with step by step photos. paneer tikka masala is favorite with many and a popular punjabi dish.

this paneer tikka masala recipe is restaurant style and is pretty rich and heavy. the sauce is made with onions, tomato puree, yogurt and cream.

while making the sauce or gravy, one point which is essential is balance in the flavors and taste.  i suggest to use ripe, red and slightly sweet tomatoes and fresh curd/yogurt. avoid using tomatoes which are too tangy or sour. the same rule applies with yogurt. use fresh full fat yogurt and not one which has become sour.

for making any paneer based curry dish, its always best to make paneer at home.

i already have a paneer tikka recipe posted which is a bit spiced and flavored with ajwain (carom seeds). if you like paneer tikka, you can also check paneer tikka recipe on stove topquick paneer tikka and achari paneer tikka recipeother variations of this popular snack are mushroom tikka, mushroom tikka masalatandoori aloo and tandoori gobi or gobi tikka.

paneer tikka masala is a lengthy dish so some prep work often helps. you can marinate the paneer the night before and keep in the refrigerator. minimum marination is of 1 hour.

the tikka recipe is very versatile and can be grilled, broiled or even pan fried. i have shown both the grilled and pan fried method in this post. if you prefer less hand work then grill the paneer tikka in the oven. if you don’t have an oven, then heat some oil in a non stick pan or tava/griddle and pan fry the paneer tikka cubes till golden.

paneer tikka masala goes best with naan (plain or butter) and even with tandoori rotis. however they also can be served with rotis and some jeera rice or saffron rice. so do try this restaurant style paneer tikka masala recipe.

if you are looking for more paneer recipes then do check paneer butter masalakadai paneer, malai kofta, shahi paneer, malai paneer, tawa paneer masalamatar paneer and paneer pasanda recipe.

paneer tikka masala recipe below:

4.8 from 16 reviews
paneer tikka masala - restaurant style
 
PREP TIME
COOK TIME
TOTAL TIME
 
paneer tikka masala - marinated grilled paneer cubes in onion-tomato yogurt based curry.
AUTHOR:
RECIPE TYPE: main
CUISINE: punjabi, north indian
SERVES: 4
INGREDIENTS (measuring cup used, 1 cup = 250 ml)
for the paneer tikka:
  • 250 to 300 grams paneer, cut into cubes or squares
  • 1 medium green/red/yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium onion, halved and the layers removed
  • 6 tbsp thick yogurt or hung yogurt/curd
  • ½ inch ginger + 2 small garlic, crushed to a smooth paste in mortar-pestle, about ½ tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • ½ tsp kashmiri red chili powder or deghi mirch or red chili powder
  • ½ tsp garam masala powder or tandoori masala powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 to 3 pinches of nutmeg powder or grated nutmeg
  • a generous pinch of crushed saffron or saffron powder (optional)
  • 1 tbsp corn starch or besan/gram flour
  • ½ to tsp oil for brushing
  • ½ tsp salt or as required
for the tikka masala/gravy/sauce/curry:
  • 2 medium onions or 1 large onion, 100 gms, peeled and halved
  • 3 medium tomatoes, 200 gms
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves + ½ inch ginger - crushed in a mortar-pestle to a paste. about 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 2 to 2.5 tbsp fresh full fat curd or yogurt- whisked well till smooth
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp cumin powder (optional)
  • ½ tsp garam masala powder
  • ½ tsp red chili powder or kashmiri red chili powder or deghi mirch
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp crushed kasuri methi or dry fenugreek leaves
  • ½ cup water or add as required
  • 3 to 4 tbsp low fat cream, 25% to 35% low fat (i used amul cream)
  • 2 tbsp oil or 2 tbsp butter
  • ½ to 1 tsp sugar (optional)
  • a few coriander leaves for garnishing
  • salt as required
INSTRUCTIONS
making the grilled paneer tikka:
  1. whisk the hung curd/yogurt till smooth in a large bowl. you can also use a really thick curd instead of hung curd.
  2. add all the ginger-garlic paste, spice powders, corn starch or gram flour & salt. mix well.
  3. add the paneer cubes, onions, bell pepper.
  4. gently mix again so that the marination coats the paneer, onions and bell peppers evenly. cover the bowl & marinate for a minimum of 1 hour or overnight in the refrigerator.
grilling method:
  1. line a baking tray or pan with aluminum foil. this method makes its easier to clean the pan later.
  2. thread the paneer cubes on a bamboo or metal skewers and place them on the prepared pan. preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius/390 degrees fahrenheit for at least 10 minutes before you grill the tikkas. for a regular oven, keep both the top and bottom elements on and keep the pan in the center rack. for a microwave oven use the convection mode and preheat at 180 degrees celsius/350 degrees fahrenheit.
  3. brush about ½ tsp oil evenly on the paneer and bell pepper cubes.
  4. grill the paneer in an preheated oven at 200 degrees C/390 degrees fahrenheit for 15-25 minutes (depending on the oven temperatures). i have a really slow oven, so it took 28 mins for the paneer cubes to be grilled and browned at the edges. just keep an eye when the paneer is getting grilled in the oven. for a microwave oven in the convection mode, use 180 degrees celsius/350 degrees fahrenheit for grilling the tikka.
pan frying method:
  1. heat about ½ tbsp oil in a pan. place the threaded paneer tikka with the skewers on the pan.
  2. gently rotate the skewers, when one side is crisp and browned. keep on rotating till all the sides are browned. add more oil if required, while frying. keep the fried paneer tikka aside.
preparing the tikka masala/gravy/sauce/curry:
  1. boil water with a pinch of salt. add halved onions and tomatoes to the boiling water. cook for one or two minutes. switch off. cover and keep aside for 15 to 20 minutes. you can also add cashews to the hot water. adding cashews gives a creamier consistency with a nice sweetness. later drain and chop the onions and tomatoes roughly. its not necessary to blanch, but blanching reduces the cooking time later.
  2. later chop the onions roughly and make a smooth fine paste in a grinder or blender.
  3. peel and roughly chop the tomatoes. make a smooth puree of the tomatoes in the grinder or blender. keep both the onion & tomato puree aside.
  4. whisk or beat the yogurt till smooth and keep aside. there should be no lumps in the yogurt and it should be beaten well.
  5. in the same pan, heat 2 tbsp oil and then add the onion paste.
  6. stir often and saute till the onions paste turns golden.
  7. add ginger garlic paste and saute till the raw aroma of ginger-garlic goes away.
  8. add the tomato puree. stir well and saute till you see fat leaving sides of the masala.
  9. now add all the dry spice powders - turmeric, red chili powder, coriander powder and garam masala/tandoori masala.
  10. stir well so that the spices are incorporated in the masala paste evenly.
  11. now remove the pan from the fire. add beaten fresh curd/yogurt. removing the pan from fire, won't allow the yogurt to curdle. use full fat and fresh curd.
  12. stir well. add water and salt. stir again.
  13. simmer for 5 to 6 minutes or till the gravy thickens and you see fat floating on the top. you can keep the consistency from medium to slightly thick. the consistency can be altered by adding more or less water.
  14. add cream and kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves). stir well and simmer on a low flame for a minute. check the taste and add more salt or cream if you prefer. you can also about ½ to 1 tsp of sugar for a light sweet taste.
  15. then add the paneer tikka along with the veggies. stir again and switch off the flame.
  16. garnish with coriander leaves & serve paneer tikka masala with some naan, rotis or jeera rice.

lets start step by step paneer tikka masala recipe:

1: whisk the hung curd/yogurt till smooth. you can also use a really thick curd instead of hung curd.

curd for paneer tikka masala recipe

2. add all the ginger-garlic paste, spice powders, salt, gram flour or corn starch and mix well.

add spices - making paneer tikka masala recipe

3. add the paneer cubes, onions, bell pepper.

add paneer

4. gently mix again so that the marination coats the paneer and bell pepper evenly. marinate for a minimum of 1 hour or overnight in the refrigerator.

marinating paneer cubes

5. meanwhile boil water with a pinch of salt. add halved onions and tomatoes. cover and keep aside for 15 to 20 minutes. you can also add cashews to the hot water. adding cashews gives a creamier consistency with a nice sweetness. later drain and chop the onions and tomatoes roughly. its not necessary to blanch, but blanching reduces the cooking time later.

blanching onions for paneer tikka masala recipe

6. the marinated paneer and veggie after one and a half hour.

marinated paneer

grilling method for paneer tikka:

7. line a baking tray or pan with aluminum foil. this method makes its easier to clean the pan later.

making paneer tikka masala recipe

8. thread the paneer cubes on a bamboo or metal skewers and place them on the prepared pan. preheat your regular oven to 200 degrees celsius/390 degrees fahrenheit, for atleast 10 minutes before you grill the tikkas. for a regular oven, heat both the top and bottom elements and keep the pan in the center rack. for a microwave oven use the convection mode and preheat at 180 degrees celsius/350 degrees fahrenheit.

thread the paneer cubes

9. brush about ½ tsp to 1 tsp oil evenly on the paneer and bell pepper cubes.

paneer and bell pepper cubes

10. grill the paneer in an preheated oven at 200 degrees celsius/390 degrees fahrenheit for 15-25 minutes (depending on the oven temperatures). i have a really slow oven, so it took 28 mins for the paneer cubes to be grilled and browned at the edges. just keep an eye when the paneer is getting grilled in the oven. for a microwave oven in the convection mode, use 180 degrees celsius/350 degrees fahrenheit for grilling the tikka.

oven grilled paneer tikka

11. below is the oven grilled paneer tikka. you can brown the edges more if you want.

threaded paneer tikka with the skewers
pan frying or stove top method for paneer tikka:

12. heat about 1/2 tbsp oil in a pan. place the threaded paneer tikka with the skewers on the pan.

fried paneer tikka

13. gently rotate the skewers, when one side is crisp and browned. keep on rotating till all the sides are browned. add more oil if required, while frying. keep the fried paneer tikka aside.

fried paneer tikka

14. roughly chop the blanched onions and make a fine paste. make a smooth puree of the blanched tomatoes too. forgot to take a pic.

tomato puree for paneer tikka masala recipe

15. in the same pan, heat 2 tbsp oil and then add the onion paste.

onion paste for paneer tikka masala recipe

16. stir often and saute till the onions paste turns golden.

sauting onions for preparing paneer tikka masala recipe

17. add ginger garlic paste and saute till the raw aroma of ginger-garlic goes away.

add ginger garlic paste - making paneer tikka masala recipe

18. add the tomato puree. stir well and saute till you see fat leaving sides of the masala.

add the tomato puree - making paneer tikka masala recipe

19. now add all the dry spice powders – turmeric, red chili powder, coriander powder and garam masala/tandoori masala.

add spices - making paneer tikka masala recipe

20. stir well so that the spices are incorporated in the masala paste evenly.

mix - making paneer tikka masala recipe

21. now remove the pan from the fire. add beaten fresh curd/yogurt. removing the pan from fire, won’t allow the yogurt to curdle. use full fat and fresh curd.

add curd - making paneer tikka masala recipe

21. stir well.

stir making paneer tikka masala

22. add water and salt. stir again.

add water to paneer tikka masala

23. simmer for 5 to 6 minutes or till the gravy thickens and you see fat floating on the top. you can keep the consistency from medium to slightly thick. the consistency can be altered by adding more or less water.

simmer paneer tikka masala

24. add cream and kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves). stir well and simmer on a low flame for a minute. check the taste and add more salt or cream if you prefer. you can also about 1/2 to 1 tsp of sugar for a light sweet taste.

add cream to paneer tikka masala recipe

25. then add the paneer tikka along with the veggies.

add paneer

26. stir again and switch off the flame.

stir paneer tikka masala

27: garnish paneer tikka masala with coriander leaves. serve paneer tikka masala with some naan, rotis or jeera rice.

paneer tikka masala





{ 71 Responses }

  1. sufiya says

    This is an incredible recipe can’t wait to cook it I always love ur site seeing further to go through all of your wonderful recipes more often <3

  2. Rajesh says

    My hobby is cooking, specially tr u ing new and old dishes in new format. This is usually on weekends for kids.
    while searching on net I came across your website two days back. I found it very useful. You have very well explained the recipe with pic of each step. Yesterday I prepared paneer tikka masala. It was delicious and kids loved it. Thanks.

  3. VIVian N. says

    Hi Dassana,

    There’s a Himalayan restaurant that I love, and they make the best tikka masala. I can’t wait to make this!

    Instead of amul cream, could I use heavy whipping cream? Thanks.

  4. Meet Thakkar says

    Thanks a lot. this is the first dish ive ever cooked in my life and turned out to be perfect. Made this for my parents…my dad did not try until my mom approved as it was my first time entering kitchen. Lol. Thanks for step to step photography. It takes an effort.

  5. Dani says

    Tried this recipe today. I have to tell you that I am Mexican married to a Punjabi man. Yes it took me a while to somewhat perfect my Indian cooking(still in progress). I’ve been learning from MIL and other videos online that’s until I found your website! I love how you explain it very clearly and gives a little feedback on the recipe. Hands down my MIL was sooo surprised by how well I cooked it and all my family ate and cleaned their plates! Thank you very much. I love Indian culture and food of course and this has made me less intimidated in the kitchen. Especially when I have to cook it for my hubby’s family.

  6. Zef says

    Tastiest curry I have ever cooked. Had a lot of trouble finding the Kasuri methi, so used celery leaves instead. SUPER TASTY!

    Thank you for sharing this.

  7. Vani says

    I made this paneer tikka masala today. This turned out very well. I will be making this again. The recipe you have posted is flawless. I used coconut oil for this recipe. I might even try adding coconut milk instead of cream and yogurt while making the gravy. Thanks for sharing your recipes.

    • says

      welcome vani. coconut milk will give a very good taste. i have had one potato curry recipe which is actually a north indian recipe with the onion tomato gravy but the coconut milk was added and it was superb.

  8. says

    I have just made Dal Makhani from your simple recipe that cooks everything in the pressure cooker. It turned out wonderful! Now I am on your website and don’t know where to start trying more. The photos are so mouthwatering I an almost taste them. Thanks for your website! My wife and I love Indian food!

  9. Trish says

    Hi Dassana!

    I must say your recipes are delicious..have tried out a few and have loved them.

    Dassana could you please suggest how to substitute onion & garlic in this recipe . Also if possible could you mention a substitute for onion, garlic & eggs in all your recipes.

    • says

      hi trish, just add hing/asafoetida. basically hing is used a substitute for onion and garlic. for the marinade, add a pinch of hing instead of garlic paste. skip the onions. just add paneer, capsicum to the marinade. for the gravy, add one to two pinches of hing when you add ginger paste. you can also add the paneer tikka pieces in a makhani/makhanwala gravy which does not use yogurt as well as onions. garlic can be skipped. even this way the gravy will taste good. here is the link – http://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/veg-makhanwala-recipe/

      which recipes are you referring where eggs are involved. there are just a couple of recipes where i have used eggs. let me know so that i can answer accordingly.

  10. Divya Makwana says

    I really like the recipe of paneer tikka….its soooooo tasty………my family & i also like it….thanks u sooo much 4 this recipe….

  11. Lisa says

    this looks so good! but one question: why would you have to put the cheese and veggies on skewers before frying them in a pan? can you not just fry them as thy are?

    • says

      you can fry them as they are. i prefer threading them on skewers as its less hand work while frying. otherwise each cottage cheese an veggie cubes you have to flip separately.

  12. Linda says

    I know this is a vegetarian site, but I was wondering, for my meat-eating friends and family members, if I just substitute chicken for the paneer, would this recipe work for chicken tikka masala?

  13. Elly says

    My family and I are new to Indian food. I love to cook so am always looking for recipes. We’ve had paneer tikka masala and love it, so I’m going to give this recipe a try. Will post again once I’ve made it. P.S.: Thanks for giving step by step instructions!

  14. vidya says

    I’m a fan of your recipes as they r healthy n easy to do ones. Especially ur cakes as they are eggless n use whole wheat. Gr8 job Dassana

  15. Monika says

    Thanks a lot this turned out delicious … Love he pictures in your site… Keep posting…!

    • Smita says

      BTW I used low fat yogurt and 1 tbs of philladelphia cheese intead of cream and still turned out great.

  16. Reshmi Abhay says

    thnk u so much for the recipe.. though it turned out a little more sour than i expected..but on the whole the dish smelled and luked awesome.. and tasted lovely too albeit a little sour! btw thnx for the visual representation.. it helped a lot!! congratulations on the good work! :)

    • says

      okay. the taste is a bit sour due to the addition of yogurt. i think this taste may be liked or not liked by some people. for making this recipe, i always suggest to use ripe tomatoes and fresh yogurt. then the taste is not that sour or too sour. thanks reshmi.

    • Vani says

      In the recipe Dassana does say that you could add a little sugar. That will reduce the sourness.

  17. Jeffin says

    Hi there,
    For the gravy I used only half the tomato and curd mentioned in the recipe. Still it turned out a bit sour. Is that how its supposed to be? I loved the taste though. Especially the paneer. I had marinated it over night and it was delicious. The consistency was good too. Can you throw some light on why its called tikka masala?

    • says

      there is slight sourness but not much. there are many variations of paneer tikka masala. the sauce can also be just onion-tomatoes and spices in cream or cashew paste which is a bit sweet. we don’t prefer the sweet version and hence i add yogurt. you can also reduce the amount of yogurt. the sourness also depends upon the quality of tomatoes and yogurt. i always use tomatoes which are not sour or tart and the yogurt has to be fresh. its called tikka masala where masala means the sauce or gravy.

  18. Aditya says

    Taking a second here to comment on the quality of this post. The food is without a doubt delicious, but I really appreciate the detailed steps and photos that you post. Made it a lot easier for me to prepare the dish, for example understanding the texture of the sauteed masalas. Keep up the good work! Will be following this website from now on, for sure!

    • says

      welcome aditya. its good you shared your feedback as it helps us to make the content better and more reader friendly. thanks for your inputs. keep visiting the site.

  19. says

    Great recipe! Very tasty – one of the best home-made curries I’ve made. I halved the amount of water for a lovely thick sauce.

  20. Sweta says

    Thanks a lot for such a nice explanation of the recipe. I just wanted to ask what other alternative one can use if one does not have a oven .! Will tandoor work?

    • says

      you can make the paneer tikka in the tandoor easily. you can also use a tava or griddle to make the tikka. just add little oil on the tava and then pan fry the marinated paneer cubes.