paneer tikka masala recipe – restaurant style paneer tikka masala recipe

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paneer tikka masala recipe

paneer tikka masala is a popular paneer dish of marinated grilled paneer cubes in onion-tomato yogurt based gravy.

4.66 from 40 votes
total time:
120minutes

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.

paneer tikka masala recipe

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.

tips to get best taste in paneer tikka masala

  • 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 on stove topi already have a paneer tikka recipe posted which is a bit spiced and flavored with ajwain (carom seeds).

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

4.66 from 40 votes
Prep Time:1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time:30 mins
Total Time:2 hrs
paneer tikka masala is a popular paneer dish of marinated grilled paneer cubes in onion-tomato yogurt based gravy.
paneer tikka masala recipe
Course:main course
Cuisine:north indian,punjabi
Servings:4

INGREDIENTS FOR paneer tikka masala

(1 CUP = 250 ML)

for 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

  • 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 paneer tikka masala

marinating paneer tikka

  • whisk the hung curd/yogurt till smooth in a large bowl. you can also use a really thick curd instead of hung curd.
  • add all the ginger-garlic paste, spice powders, corn starch or gram flour & salt. mix well.
  • add the paneer cubes, onions, bell pepper.
  • 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

  • line a baking tray or pan with aluminum foil. this method makes its easier to clean the pan later.
  • 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. 
  • 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.
  • brush about 1/2 tsp oil evenly on the paneer and bell pepper cubes.
  • 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. 
  • 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

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

preparation for making paneer tikka masala

  • 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.
  • later chop the onions roughly and make a smooth fine paste in a grinder or blender.
  • 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.
  • whisk or beat the yogurt till smooth and keep aside. there should be no lumps in the yogurt and it should be beaten well.

making paneer tikka masala

  • in the same pan, heat 2 tbsp oil and then add the onion paste.
  • stir often and saute till the onions paste turns golden.
  • add ginger garlic paste and saute till the raw aroma of ginger-garlic goes away.
  • add the tomato puree. stir well and saute till you see fat leaving sides of the masala.
  • now add all the dry spice powders - turmeric, red chili powder, coriander powder and garam masala/tandoori masala.
  • stir well so that the spices are incorporated in the masala paste evenly.
  • 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.
  • stir well. add water and salt. stir again.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • then add the paneer tikka along with the veggies. stir again and switch off the flame.
  • garnish with coriander leaves & serve paneer tikka masala with some naan, rotis or jeera rice.
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how to make paneer tikka masala

1: whisk the hung curd (yogurt or dahi) 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 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.

blanching onions for paneer tikka masala recipe

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

marinated paneer

grilling method for making 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 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.

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

making paneer tikka masala

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.

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 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.

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.

paneer for paneer tikka masala recipe

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

stir paneer tikka masala recipe

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.

paneer tikka masala recipe, paneer tikka masala


namaste, i am dassana

dassana amit

Founder, Chef, Recipe Developer, Food Photographer >> MORE ABOUT US

i started vegrecipesofindia.com in feb 2009. it is a pure vegetarian blog and shares recipes with step by step photos that will help you to make delicious and tasty vegetarian food easily.

i am passionate about cooking from childhood and learnt cooking from my elders. having a home science degree greatly enhanced my cooking & baking skills and took it to a different level which i now share as foolproof recipes. i was trained both in mainstream indian as well as international cuisines.

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111 comments/reviews

  1. Hi….I made this yesterday and surprisingly it turned out so well…Just like restaurant…Thanks so much ….I really like your recipes…

  2. 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..

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

  6. 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!!

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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…

    • 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.

  10. 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.

  11. hi

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

  12. 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

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