paneer tikka masala

Paneer tikka masala recipe With step by step photos. Paneer tikka masala is a popular dish of marinated grilled cottage cheese cubes in onion-tomato yogurt based gravy.

This is a 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 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 a 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.

How to make paneer tikka masala

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, lemon juice, 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 it 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 at least 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 the gravy again and switch off the flame.

stir paneer tikka masala recipe

27: garnish 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

More paneer gravy recipes

STEP BY STEP PHOTOS ABOVEmany of my recipes have step by step photos and useful tips to help you make it easily and perfectly.

Paneer Tikka Masala

4.81 from 42 votes
Paneer tikka masala is a popular paneer dish of marinated grilled cottage cheese cubes in onion-tomato yogurt based gravy.
paneer tikka masala recipe
Author:Dassana Amit
Prep Time:1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time:30 mins
Total Time:2 hrs
Course:main course
Cuisine:north indian,punjabi
Diet:vegetarian
Servings (change the number to scale):4
(1 CUP = 250 ML)

INGREDIENTS

for paneer tikka

  • 250 to 300 grams paneer (cottage cheese) - cut into cubes or squares
  • 1 medium bell pepper (capsicum- green, red, yellow) - diced
  • 1 medium onion - halved and the layers removed
  • 6 tablespoon thick curd (yogurt) or hung yogurt (hung curd)
  • ½ inch ginger + 2 small garlic cloves - crushed to a smooth paste in mortar-pestle. or about ½ teaspoon ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice or 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
  • 2 to 3 pinches of nutmeg powder or grated nutmeg
  • a generous pinch of crushed saffron 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 (ground coriander)
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder - optional
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala powder
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder or kashmiri red chili powder or deghi mirch
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 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 (cilantro leaves)
  • salt as required

INSTRUCTIONS

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, lemon juice, 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 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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Dassana Amit

[avatar]namaste and welcome to vegrecipesofindia.com which i started in feb 2009 and is a pure vegetarian blog. i have been passionate about cooking from childhood and began to cook from the age of 10. later having enrolled in 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 formally trained both in mainstream indian as well as international cuisines.

Comments are closed.

118 comments/reviews

  1. 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.5 stars

    • welcome rajesh. glad to know this.

  2. 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.

    • yes you can use heavy whipping cream. you can add about 1 tbsp.

  3. 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.4 stars

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

  4. 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.

  5. Yummy…yummy..5 stars

    • thanks barath

  6. The recipe turned out simply awesome. ..thanks a tonne. Waiting to try out the other recipes.

    • welcome melita. thanks for sharing positive review on paneer tikka masala.

  7. Vry delicious recipe…creamy….simple nd easy4 stars

  8. 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.5 stars

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

  9. Looks perfect, will try and then revert back.

    • thanks jaya

  10. 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.5 stars

    • 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.

  11. 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!

    • welcome florian. glad to know. thanks for sharing your positive feedback.

  12. Thank u so much….learned a good recipe from this site….All d best

    • welcome charmi

  13. Really good.. Too much good..5 stars

    • thanks soma

  14. 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.

  15. Amazing recipe !! I’m making this for 3rd time !! Cheers5 stars

    • welcome ritu. glad to know this.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Nice recipe

  19. 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?5 stars

    • yes it would.

  20. 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!

    • welcome elly. will look forward to your feedback.

  21. 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

    • thanks vidya. glad to know that you liked the recipes.

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

    • welcome monika and thanks for motivating feedback.

  23. Turned out delicious. Great recipe and pictures were really helpful.

    • BTW I used low fat yogurt and 1 tbs of philladelphia cheese intead of cream and still turned out great.5 stars

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

  24. 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! 🙂4 stars

    • 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.

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

  25. 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?4 stars

    • 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.

  26. 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.

  27. Excellent taste and you are great that you made me to prepare a delicious side-dish.5 stars

    • thanks kamal for the positive feedback.

  28. 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.5 stars

    • thanks david for your feedback. glad to know that you liked the recipe.

  29. Awesom

  30. 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?

    • 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.

  31. Thanks a lot for the recipe. Well described and delicious.

    • welcome trek

  32. Nice recipe….

    Enjoyed eating it today =D5 stars

    • thanks yashraj

  33. UR recipe Photographs r very wonderful. Will u take them yourself?

    • thanks papia. yes i only take them.

  34. wow… looks delicious and yummy….

  35. Beautifully done! Labour of love. I also love “prashad”. It inspires me to get up and do something.

    Love the beautiful colors in your dish!