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paneer tikka masala recipe – restaurant style paneer tikka masala recipe

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paneer tikka masala recipe with step by step photos. super delicious restaurant style paneer tikka masala gravy recipe. this recipe is favorite with many and a popular punjabi dish on the blog.

this restaurant style paneer tikka masala recipe 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. so to get the best taste i suggest following tips:

  • use ripe, red and slightly sweet tomatoes. avoid using tomatoes which are too tangy or sour.
  • the same rule applies with hung yogurt. use fresh hung curd or use fresh full fat thick yogurt (thick curd). and not the one which has become sour.
  • for making any paneer based curry dish, its always best to make paneer at home.

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. or you can check this paneer tikka recipe on stove top.

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 these tikka recipes:

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.

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

if you are looking for more paneer gravy recipes then do check:

paneer tikka masala recipe below:

4.76 from 33 votes
paneer tikka masala recipe
prep time
1 hr 30 mins
cook time
30 mins
total time
2 hrs
 

paneer tikka masala gravy recipe - marinated grilled paneer cubes in onion-tomato yogurt based curry.

course: main course
cuisine: north indian, punjabi
servings: 4
author: dassana amit
ingredients (1 cup = 250 ml)
for the paneer tikka:
  • 250 to 300 grams paneer (cottage cheese) - cut into cubes or squares
  • 1 medium bell pepper (capsicum or shimla mirch - green, red, yellow) - diced
  • 1 medium onion - halved and the layers removed
  • 6 tablespoon thick curd (yogurt or dahi) or hung yogurt (hung curd)
  • ½ inch ginger + 2 small garlic - crushed to a smooth paste in mortar-pestle. OR about ½ teaspoon ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder or deghi mirch or red chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala powder or tandoori masala powder
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi)
  • 2 to 3 pinches of nutmeg powder or grated nutmeg (jaiphal powder)
  • a generous pinch of crushed saffron (kesar) or saffron powder - optional
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch OR besan (gram flour)
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon oil for brushing
  • ½ teaspoon salt or as required
for paneer tikka masala gravy (sauce or curry):
  • 2 medium onions OR 1 large onion OR 100 grams onion - peeled and halved
  • 3 medium tomatoes OR 200 grams tomatoes
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves+ ½ inch ginger - crushed in a mortar-pestle to a paste. OR about 1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste
  • 2 to 2.5 tablespoon fresh full fat curd (yogurt or dahi) - whisked well till smooth
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder (dhania powder)
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder (jeera powder) - optional
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala powder
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder or kashmiri red chili powder or deghi mirch
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi)
  • ½ teaspoon crushed kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves)
  • ½ cup water or add as required
  • 3 to 4 tablespoon low fat cream - 25% to 35% low fat (i used amul cream)
  • 2 tablespoon oil OR 2 tablespoon butter
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • a few coriander leaves for garnishing
  • salt as required
how to make recipe
marinating 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 to make paneer tikka:
  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 paneer tikkas. 

  3. 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.

  4. brush about 1/2 tsp oil evenly on the paneer and bell pepper cubes.
  5. grill the paneer tikka 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. 

  6. 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 paneer tikka.

pan frying method to make paneer tikka:
  1. heat about 1/2 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.
making paneer tikka masala gravy (sauce or 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. 

  2. 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.

  3. later chop the onions roughly and make a smooth fine paste in a grinder or blender.
  4. 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.
  5. whisk or beat the yogurt till smooth and keep aside. there should be no lumps in the yogurt and it should be beaten well.
  6. in the same pan, heat 2 tbsp oil and then add the onion paste.
  7. stir often and saute till the onions paste turns golden.
  8. add ginger garlic paste and saute till the raw aroma of ginger-garlic goes away.
  9. add the tomato puree. stir well and saute till you see fat leaving sides of the masala.
  10. now add all the dry spice powders - turmeric, red chili powder, coriander powder and garam masala/tandoori masala.
  11. stir well so that the spices are incorporated in the masala paste evenly.
  12. 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.
  13. stir well. add water and salt. stir again.
  14. simmer for 5 to 6 minutes or till the paneer tikka masala 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.

  15. 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.
  16. then add the paneer tikka along with the veggies. stir again and switch off the flame.
  17. garnish with coriander leaves & serve paneer tikka masala gravy with some naan, rotis or jeera rice.


how to make paneer tikka masala recipe:

1: whisk the hung curd (yogurt or dahi) till smooth. you can also use a really thick curd instead of hung curd.

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

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

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.

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 2 tablespoons cashews (12 to 15 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.

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

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.

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.

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

10. grill the paneer tikka 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 tikka is getting grilled in the oven. for a microwave oven in the convection mode, use 180 degrees celsius/350 degrees fahrenheit for grilling the paneer tikka.

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

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.

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.

making paneer tikka masala gravy:

14. roughly chop the blanched onions and make a fine paste. make a smooth puree of the blanched tomatoes and cashews (if you have added them) too. forgot to take a pic.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

21. stir well.

22. add water and salt. stir again.

23. simmer for 5 to 6 minutes or till the paneer tikka masala 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.

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.

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

26. stir paneer tikka masala gravy again and switch off the flame.

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




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This post was last modified on May 11, 2018, 2:55 pm

    Categories Curry RecipesDinner RecipesFestival RecipesNorth Indian RecipesPaneer RecipesPopular Indian RecipesPunjabi Recipes

View Comments (109)

  • 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.

  • 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!

    • 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.

  • 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?

    • 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.

  • 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! :)

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

    • 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.

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

      • thanks smita for your feedback. good to know the variation of low fat yogurt and philadelphia cream cheese worked great.

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

  • 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

  • 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!

  • 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?

  • 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?

    • 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.

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

    • thanks divya for the feedback. good to know you and your family liked the paneer tikka masala. thanks for sharing with us.

  • 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.

    • 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 - https://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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

    • 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.

  • 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.

    • Welcome Zef. Thats very interesting and unique variation of adding celery leaves. thanks for sharing this and giving your positive feedback.

  • 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.

    • welcome dani. glad to know this. i hope you master indian cooking specially punjabi cuisine soon. wish you all the best.

  • 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.

    • welcome meet. i congratulate you for this good beginning in cooking. do try more recipes and i hope you learn cooking quickly.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • hii
    I like ur recipes very much
    The way of ur explanation is very nice step by step photos
    Keep posting more recipes

  • Your recipes are very nice, and the step-by-step photos and explanation make them very easy to try. I've tried a few of these at home and they turned out delicious..! Thank you and keep up the good work..

  • As a bachelor I have learned almost all major recipes credit goes to you sis..
    Even my mother says from where do u learned cooking?
    But I never shared the secret..!(sorry)

    You had a god gifted talent, may god bless you always.
    Thank you.. Thank you

  • hi

    Yr receipe is great. yr step by step explanation with a photograph is helpful especially for the begineers. thk u

    • welcom always vidya thankyou so much for your kind and positive words. glad we could help you :)

  • hi dassana,i loved the use of kesar in marination.the recipe turned out even tastier with the use of your garam masala.thank you for helping me to bring the restaurant style flavours to my home.

    • arjun, i have not used cashews in the recipe. but cashews can be added. you soak 10 to 12 cashews in hot water for 20 minutes. then make a paste of them with little water. or you can blanch the cashews along with the onions and tomatoes.

  • Awesome recipe dassana...it came out really well.. M not good at making paneer cuisines.. But this one is just too good... For any recipes.. I always look for u... Thanks...

  • Wow never been on this site before.. Love the way u explained prifessionally as well as method of making.. Step by step photos really help as well.. I used to always cook through youtube and had the hassle of pausing and going back on the video again and again.. Now i will always come here.. Makes life easier.. I am a beginner in cooking and living in Australia so ur site is a Godsend (-:

    • Thanks Neha for your kind words and appreciation. We have just started putting videos on youtube. However the website is around 8 years old. Do try some recipes and feel free to ask any query on recipes.

  • Dassana, I wanted to say a massive THANK YOU! I spent 11 years in the UK where Indian food is so popular and have eaten in some of the best Indian restaurants. I have never attempted to cook Indian myself, however, as it seemed too complex and time consuming. I now live in Poland and when I got my hands on some paneer while visiting London, I've decided to bring it back from my trip and cook it for my friends, introducing them to Indian cuisine. Not believing in huge success I followed your recipe to the dot (minus fenugreek leaves as couldn't Buy them anywhere) and - WOW. This was easy and on a par with some of the best Indian dishes I have ever tasted. I have substituted paneer with some chicken for some of my meat eating friends (not a fan myself - and most of them said paneer was the winner anyway!) and the whole pot was polished and the praise they were expressing so generous and nice!! Will be coming back for more to your website! Thank you again, I am so grateful!!

    • Welcome Kasia. Glad to know that the recipe post helped you in cooking indian food at home. Do try some more recipes. Feel free to ask any query on recipes posted. Thanks for sharing this awesome feedback. Happy cooking.

  • Wow. Made this recipe last night and it was fantastic. Perfect recipe, so tasty and worth the little bit of effort. The only ingredient I didn't have on hand was the cream so I used a couple spoons of yogurt which worked out fine. Thank you so much and I'll be making again!!

    • Welcome Theresa. Glad to know this. Thanks for sharing your positive feedback and the variation you did.

  • Hi i m ur gr8 fan.. i always want to see ur recipes..ur recipes are too gud... thanks for helping us

  • Adding cashews is recommended, but there's no mention on how many or what to do with them. I processed them with the tomatoes. (???) I suggest if you're going to add something in, include the amount and what to do with it.

    • about 2 to 3 tablespoons of cashews can be added. you can blend them with the tomatoes. i have not added as i understand that most indian readers will have an idea on how many cashews are added and how to use it. i will update the post.

  • Hello,
    I wrote in about the cashews. I didn't mean to be ungrateful, I was just frustrated. I added 140 g! Anyway, I doubled the tomatoes and the spices by 1/2 and it came out great. I'll try it next time without the cashews, but it really is a great recipe!!

    • i can understand laura. glad to know that inspite of this the recipe turned out good. you can definitely try without cashews also. i will be updating the post also. thanks for the feedback.

  • i just love all your recipes...this one just turned out the best for me ...thank you so much...
    plz can you help me with gujarati dal..

Comments are closed.