paneer tikka masala – restaurant style. paneer tikka masala is favorite with many and a popular 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 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 used organic milk to make the paneer and about 1 litre of milk, yielded approx 200 gms paneer.
i already have a paneer tikka recipe posted which is a bit spiced and flavored with ajwain (carom seeds). this tikka recipe is different and is adapted from the book “prashad – cooking with indian masters” (India | US). the gravy or curry/sauce is my own recipe.
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. i have done the same. minimum marination is of 1 hour.
the tikka recipe is very versatile and can be grilled, broiled or even pan fried. since i wanted less hand work, i grilled the 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 chapatis and some jeera rice or saffron rice. so do try this restaurant style paneer tikka masala recipe.
lets start step by step paneer tikka masala recipe:
1: whisk the yogurt till smooth. add all the spices, herbs, gram flour and mix well. add the paneer cubes, bell pepper and 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.
2: thread the paneer cubes on a bamboo or metal skewers and place them on a prepared pan. keep an aluminium foil covered on the tray so that its easier to clean the pan later. brush some oil on the paneer and bell pepper cubes. grill the paneer in an oven at 200 degrees C for 8-15 minutes (depending on the oven temperatures). i have a really slow oven, so it took 15 mins for the paneer cubes to be grilled.
3: the paneer tikka is grilled and ready. you can brown the edges more if you want. keep aside.
4: heat oil in a pan. add the chopped onions and begin to saute them.
5: saute them till they get caramelized or golden brown.
6: add the ginger-garlic paste and saute for some seconds till the raw aroma goes away.
7: now add the tomato puree and continue to saute.
8: after 3-4 mins add the turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chili powder and garam masala powder. stir.
9: you have to keep on sauting till you see the oil leaving the masala paste from all the sides and the whole mixture starts getting together. this sauting process taking approx 10-12 mins on a low flame. this is important for the real flavors to come through. to get the right consistency and the texture of the sauted masala, have a closer look at the pic below.
10: now remove the pan from the fire. add the yogurt. also add the leftover marination mixture. removing the pan from fire, won’t allow the yogurt to curdle.
11: stir well.
12: keep the pan on fire & add water along with salt. stir again.
13. simmer for 8-9 minutes till you see fat or oil on the top and the curry would start to thicken a bit.
14. remove the paneer cubes and bell pepper from the skewers.
15: add the paneer tikka cubes and bell pepper to the gravy and simmer for a minute or two.
16: lastly add some crushed kasuri methi and cream. stir. switch off the fire and the paneer tikka masala is ready to be served. cream not seen in pic as i added it later
paneer tikka masala recipe below:
- 200 grams paneer, cubed or cut into squares
- 1 medium green/red/yellow bell pepper, diced
- ½ cup thick yogurt or hung yogurt or curd
- ½ to ¾ tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp cumin seeds + 2-3 green cardamoms + 1 strand of mace - ground in a mortar pestle or in a coffee grinder to a fine powder.
- ½ tsp red chili powder
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- 2 to 3 pinches of nutmeg powder or grated nutmeg
- 2 tbsp besan or gram flour
- a few tsps of oil for brushing
- salt as required
- 1 medium to large onion, finely chopped or minced
- 2 medium tomatoes - which would yield approx 1 cup tomato puree
- ¾ to 1 cup full fat yogurt - whisked well till smooth
- ¼ to ½ tsp red chili powder
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- ½ tsp garam masala powder
- 3-4 garlic cloves + ½ inch ginger - crushed in a mortar-pestle to a paste. about 1 to 1.5 tsp of ginger-garlic paste
- ½ tsp kasuri methi or dry fenugreek leaves
- 2 to 3 tbsp cream
- 1 cup water
- 2 to 3 tbsp oil or 2 tbsp butter
- a few coriander leaves for garnishing
- salt as required
- whisk the yogurt till smooth. add all the spices, herbs, gram flour, lemon juice, salt mentioned above. mix well.
- add the paneer cubes, bell pepper and mix again so that the marination coats the paneer and bell pepper evenly.
- marinate for a minimum 1 hour in the refrigerator or overnight in the refrigerator.
- thread the paneer cubes on a bamboo or metal skewers and place them on a pan that has been covered with an aluminium foil.
- brush some oil on the paneer and bell pepper cubes.
- grill the paneer in an oven at 200 degrees C for 8-15 minutes.
- even after 4-5 minutes you can brush some oil on the paneer and bell pepper.
- you can brown the edges more if you want.
- the paneer tikka is ready. when cooled remove the grilled paneer cubes & bell pepper from the skewers and keep aside.
- prep up by chopping the onions etc.
- puree the tomatoes and keep aside.
- whisk or beat the yogurt till smooth and keep aside.
- there should be no lumps in the yogurt and it should be beaten well.
- heat oil in a pan. add the chopped onions and begin to saute them till they get caramelized or golden brown.
- add the ginger-garlic paste and saute for some seconds till the raw aroma goes away.
- now add the tomato puree and continue to saute for 3-4 mins.
- add the turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chili powder and garam masala powder. stir well.
- you have to keep on sauting till you see oil leaving the masala paste from all the sides and the whole mixture starts getting together. this is important for the real flavors to come through. this process takes about 10-12 minutes on a low flame.
- now remove the pan from the fire. add the yogurt. also the add the leftover marination and stir well.
- keep the pan on fire and add water and salt.
- stir well and simmer for 8-9 minutes on a low flame till the curry thickens a bit and you see fat or oil on the top.
- add the grilled paneer tikka cubes & bell pepper to the gravy and simmer for a minute or two on low flame.
- then add some crushed kasuri methi and cream. stir. switch off the fire and the paneer tikka masala ready to be served.
- serve paneer tikka masala garnished with some coriander leave & and some cream accompanied with some naan, rotis or jeera rice.