Paneer Tikka Masala Recipe : Tasty Punjabi Dish!

The combination of grilled paneer along with other spices powders and ingredients makes it an incredible recipe. One of the many such delicious dishes is the grilled Paneer Tikka mixed in the spicy, delicious and tasty masala curry. The dish is known as Paneer Tikka Masala and it is popular Punjabi sabzi of North Indian Cuisine. The restaurant style Paneer Tikka Masala Recipe is easy and simple to make at home with minor pre-preparation and availability of basic spice powders.

Paneer Tikka Masala

  • Author:
  • Recipe Category: Punjabi Dish
  • Cuisine: Indian

Description: Enjoy this easy and simple Paneer tikka masala recipe for dinner today which is very flavorful, tasty and delicious. Prepare it today at home in minutes.

“Just as Food is Essential to Life, so is Paneer to Food!”

Paneer Tikka Masala Recipe

If you want to see the Jain Version of Paneer Tikka Masala, Click here.

Ingredients for Paneer Tikka Masala Recipe:

To make the restaurant style paneer tikka masala at home, you will fresh paneer cubes. Also, you would need various veggies, whole spices and spice powders to make the gravy and the marinating mixture.

For Paneer Tikka:

  • Cottage Cheese (Paneer) – 300 grams
  • Thick Curd – 6 tbsp.
  • Corn Starch – 1 tbsp.
  • Ginger Garlic Paste – ½ tsp.
  • Garam Masala Powder – ½ tsp.
  • Red Chili Powder – ½ tsp.
  • Turmeric Powder – ¼ tsp.
  • Saffron Powder – a pinch
  • Nutmeg Powder – 3 to 4 pinch
  • Onions – 1 cup
  • Red Bell Peppers – ¼ cup (1 medium sized)
  • Green Bell Peppers – ¼ cup (1 medium sized)
  • Yellow Bell Peppers– ¼ cup (1 medium sized)
  • Lime Juice – 1 tsp.
  • Oil – 1 tsp.
  • Salt – as required

Note: You can use any cooking oil like vegetable Oil. If you have coconut oil, then you may use that as well. Instead of oil, butter can also be used or half oil and half butter can also be used. The paneer can be homemade as well you buy from the market.

For Masala Gravy:

  • Onions – 1 cup (2 medium onions)
  • Tomatoes – 1 ½ cup (3 medium tomatoes)
  • Ginger-Garlic Paste – 1 tsp.
  • Green Chillies – ¼ tsp.
  • Thick Yogurt – 2 cups.
  • Red Chili Powder – ½ tsp.
  • Cinnamon Powder – ½ tsp.
  • Cumin Powder – ½ tsp.
  • Coriander Powder – 1 tsp.
  • Garam Masala Powder – ½ tsp.
  • Turmeric Powder – ¼ tsp.
  • Fenugreek Leaves (Kasuri Methi) – ½ tsp.
  • Coriander Leaves – ½ cup
  • Cream (Malai) – 4 tbsp.
  • Cashews – ¼ cup
  • Water – ½ cup
  • Sugar – as per taste

Note:  The cream is an optional ingredient. If you are using the heavy whipped cream, then keep the proportion to 1 tbsp. We are using for coriander leaves for only for the purpose of garnishing. The cashews are also an optional ingredient.
If you do not have cumin powder, then you can crush the cumin seeds with the help of mortal pestle.  It is also the optional spice powder which you can skip.

Method of Making Paneer Tikka Masala Recipe:

It is very simple and easy to prepare the Restaurant style Paneer Tikka Masala at home. You need to first do the little preparation and then fry or grill the paneer. Finally you can make the gravy with the paneer tikka.

Pre-Preparation for Paneer Tikka Masala:

Ginger-Garlic Paste:

  • Take ½ inch ginger.
  • Also, take 2 or 3 garlic cloves.
  • Then, finely grate the ginger.
  • Also, roughly crush the cloves.
  • Add them to the mortar pestle.
  • Make a smooth paste from them.

You can use any proportion of garlic cloves and garlic to make the ginger-garlic paste at home. Prepare it in bulk and store it in the fridge for later use.

Wash and Chop Veggies:

  • Take all the veggies you are using.
  • Wash the medium sized onions and tomatoes.
  • Take the medium sized onions and clean them.
  • Peel off the onion skin and chop them into large pieces.
  • Then take the tomatoes and clean them.
  • Remove the inner portion of the washed tomatoes.
  • Finely cube chop the tomatoes or roughly chop them.
  • Clean the green chilies with water.
  • Deseed the green chillies.
  • Finley chop or slit chop them.
  • Rinse, wash and chop coriander leaves.
  • Now, wash and clean all the bell peppers.
  • Deseed the bell peppers and slit chop them.

Blanch the Veggies:

  • Take the large sized pot.
  • Pour the water in the bowl.
  • Add a pinch of salt.
  • Switch on the stove.
  • Heat the water over medium flame.
  • Into this bowl, add the other veggies.
  • Add the halved chopped onions.
  • Also, add the roughly chopped tomatoes.
  • If you are using cashews, then add the whole cashews.
  • Mix the cashews to the boiling water at this point.
  • Cook this mixture in the boiling water for 5 minutes.
  • When bubbles rise, switch off the flame.
  • Bring the water pot down from the stove.
  • Cover with the bowl with the steel utensil.
  • Place it aside to rest and cool down.
  • Let it come to room temperature.
  • When it is cool, drain the excess water.
  • Strain and blanch the vegetable mixture.

Onion Paste:

  • Now chop the onions into fine pieces.
  • Add the chopped onions in a blender or the small chutney jar.
  • Also, add the deseeded and chopped green chilies.
  • Grind the mixture to form a coarse textured onion paste.
  • Then add water and make the smooth onion paste in the blender.
  • Take the onion paste in a bowl aside.

It is not compulsory to add water in the onion paste.

Cashew Paste:

  • You can make the cashew paste with blanched cashews.
  • If you do not want to mix with other veggies, then soak cashews separately in warm water for 20 minutes.
  • Now, take the soft and tender cashews nuts.
  • Add these cashews in the mortar pestle.
  • Pour in some water with the soft cashews.
  • Grind it to make the smooth cashew paste.
  • The final paste has to be creamy with a thick consistency.

Tomato Puree:

  • Take the roughly chopped tomatoes.
  • Chop them over the mixer grinder.
  • Add all the tomato juice in the jar.
  • Grind everything on the medium pace.
  • Make the smooth tomato puree.
  • Keep the tomato puree aside in a small bowl.

Whisk the Yogurt:

  • Take the thick and fresh homemade yogurt.
  • Beat till it becomes smooth.
  • Whisk it continually and vigorously.
  • Keep whisking till it achieves the consistent texture.
  • There should be no lump in the whisked yogurt.
  • You can beat the yogurt with the whisker.

Chop the Paneer:

  • Take the paneer from the fridge.
  • Defrost and wait till it attains the room temperature.
  • When Paneer has become soft, wrap it with the wet cloth.
  • After some time, unwrap it from the cheesecloth.
  • Keep the paneer block over the chopping board.
  • Dry it with the paper napkin or towel.
  • Then cut the whole paneer block into half.
  • Place the two pieces above each other.
  • Then take a knife and evenly keep the cut
  • Like this, cut the whole paneer into small tiny cubes.
  • Chop the paneer into equal size.

Marinate the Paneer:

  • Take the fresh creamy curd or thick yogurt in a large bowl.
  • Gently whisk it till it becomes smooth.
  • Now mix the ginger-garlic paste into the whisked curd.
  • Also, add the corn starch paste.
  • Sprinkle the spice powders.
  • Season the mixture with salt.
  • Mix well until the ingredients blend.
  • Let everything mix with each other.
  • Combine the paste of curd and gram flour.
  • Now add the chopped bell peppers.
  • Also, add largely chopped onions.
  • Finally, mix the equal-sized cubical pieces of paneer into this mixture.
  • Coat the paneer, onions, and the bell peppers evenly.
  • Apply the mixture over paneer properly with the gentle hands.
  • Cover the large bowl and keep it in the refrigerator to marinate.

You can either keep overnight or for more than 1 hour.

Cook the Paneer Cubes:

There are two methods by which you can cook the paneer. You can either grill the paneer or fry it in the pan. Both these methods are different from each other. You can choose any of the mentioned method as per your choice.

Grill the Paneer:

This method infuses the charcoal flavor and smoky taste in paneer cubes.

  • Preheat the microwave-oven to 200 degrees C or 390 degrees F.
  • It will take 10-15 minutes for the oven to be heated before you can keep the tray.
  • Take the baking tray and evenly spread the aluminum foil over the tray.
  • Now, in the metal skewer, thread in the paneer cubes.
  • Thread paneer with the chopped onion pieces and the bell peppers.
  • Evenly brush the oil over the paneer and the colored bell peppers.
  • Keep the tray in the oven and let the paneer grill for about 20-25 minutes.
  • Wait till it gets grilled evenly and becomes brown from the edges.
  • Keep your eyes on paneer while it is in the oven so that you can grill it properly without letting it burn.

Note: The time in which paneer gets grilled can vary depending upon the kind of oven you are using. It may take 30 minutes as well but be cautious that paneer does not get overcooked or burned.

Fry the Paneer in Pan:

  • Heat oil or ghee in the nonstick pan.
  • Keep the flame low and wait for the oil to heat.
  • Wait till the oil becomes hot and starts to crackle.
  • Place skewer with the threaded paneer, onion and bell peppers on the pan.
  • Shallow fry the paneer until its edges turn brown.
  • Flip the side gently when the one side is properly cooked.
  • Rotate again when the side has become brown in color.
  • Flip the paneer as soon you see it has got the crispy texture.
  • Keep rotating and shallow fry till the Paneer change the color.
  • Add few drops of oil, if you think it is required.
  • Keep the all the fried paneer tikka aside.
  • Repeat the process till every threaded paneer is cooked evenly.

Note: Frying the paneer cubes is optional. You can sauté the paneer pieces until golden brown it’s optional. While you do that, be cautious to not overcook otherwise they will become stiff and will not remain soft.

Steps to Make the Paneer Tikka Masala Gravy:

  • Heat the pan or Kadai over the medium flame.
  • And add butter or oil. (You may even mix both of them using half of each).
  • Let the oil heat properly. (or let the butter melt.)
  • Once the oil starts to crackle, it means it is heated.
  • At this time, mix in the smooth onion paste and stir well.
  • Saute till the mixture becomes translucent.
  • Wait till the onion paste turns into the golden-brown texture.
  • Saute the paste till it becomes translucent.
  • Keep stirring the onion paste at regular intervals.
  • After a while, the oil will start to release from the onion paste.
  • Now, add the ginger-garlic paste in the pan and stir again.
  • After mixing in the ginger-garlic paste, sauté for 2 minutes.
  • Stir and cook until the raw smell of the ginger and garlic goes away.
  • At this step, add the smooth tomato puree in the pan.
  • Cook this mixture for more than 5 minutes till oil begins to separate.
  • Sauté properly and scrape from the sides of the pan as well.
  • Sprinkle all the dry spice powders you are using for the paneer tikka gravy.
  • Add red chili powder, cinnamon powder, turmeric powder and the cumin powder.
  • Also, add the fresh coriander powder. (Learn to make Dhania Powder.)
  • Then sprinkle little bit of the homemade garam masala powder.
  • Season the gravy with a pinch of salt. Stir the gravy and check the taste.
  • Stir well so that the spice powders get mixed evenly.
  • Take the pan down from the flame, mix in the beaten curd and stir well.
  • Keep stirring and check the seasoning. Add salt and stir again.
  • Simmer until you find that the gravy has reached its desired consistency.
  • Then when gravy gets thick add cream and stir continuously.
  • Sprinkle some Kasuri Methi and little bit of the Garam masala powder.
  • When you feel it is completely mixed, then add the cashew paste.
  • If you want minor sweetness, sprinkle a little bit of sugar.
  • Stir well and simmer for few more minutes.
  • Check the taste and add if something is less or adjust the taste.
  • After 2 minutes add the paneer tikka along with the onions and bell peppers.
  • Stir the paneer tikka gravy once again and cook for a while.
  • When it’s cooked, turn off the flame and let the curry settle.
  • Garnish the curry with the chopped coriander leaves.

And the rich, creamy, tasty Paneer Tikka Masala is ready! Transfer the paneer Tikka Masala from the pan to the serving bowl.

Note: Do not keep the flame on for a long time after adding paneer tikka as they will become hard. If you the like thin curry, then add more water.

Additional Information:

  • Calories: 210 calories
  • Total Time: PT30M
  • Serves: 4
  • Date Published:

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For all the paneer lovers, this is the gravy you should not miss! You can get started with its making if you have paneer, fresh yogurt, low fat cream, ripe tomatoes and onions in your kitchen. The sprinkle of spice powders and other Indian condiments in this gravy is to balance and flavors and taste of each ingredient used. The tomatoes may be too tangy or the yogurt may be too sour, so to adjust the flavors you need to use the Masala Powders which can cover up for the taste. It is always advisable to use ripe tomatoes which are less tangy and fresh yogurt which is not sour.

The dish may be simple to make but it is time-consuming and needs a lot of work to be done before hand it’s cooking. The mixture for the marinating of the paneer, onion, and capsicum takes more than an hour. To reduce the length of the work, you may prepare one night before and let it refrigerate overnight. The grilling of Tikka is essential for this recipe which you can do by any of the below-mentioned methods. The versatile way of grilling the Tikka has no effect on its taste and texture.

The rich in flavors and heavy to eat curry requires no cooking expertise. It is consist of marinating paneer, grilling the paneer and mixing it to the spicy, creamy and delicious masala gravy. The below-mentioned step by step instructions with the detailed explanation will help the beginners make paneer tikka masala recipe at home with ease. It is a two-step recipe where the first step is grilling the paneer and then making the curry. You can try this delicious Punjabi dish today and make a healthy meal which your kids will love.


  • The paneer tikka masala recipe gets cooked in approximately 30 minutes. But the preparation for this recipe might take an hour.
  • This recipe can be doubled or triple. Increase the proportion of ingredients accordingly.
  • You can also be flexible with using more paneer in comparison to onions and bell peppers. Similarly, if you like bell peppers, you more of them and less of paneer.
  • Always use the ripe tomatoes and the fresh yogurt, otherwise, your gravy will turn out to be sour in taste.
  • The substitute of cashew paste can be the almond paste, Magaz paste, well-beaten yogurt, low fat cream, or the corn flour.
  • If you have coconut milk, then you can replace it with the cream.
  • If you have trouble finding the Kasuri Methi, then you can substitute it with the Celery Leaves.
  • If you are calorie conscious, then always go for the grilling paneer in the oven.
  • If you are vegan, you can use tofu. Also, you can substitute paneer with tofu whenever the paneer is not available.
  • For the restaurant style red dark color, add Kashmiri red chilies or use food color essence.


The strong aroma of the Paneer Tikka Masala is very attractive. But with proper and interesting plating, you can make your Paneer Tikka Masala look more appealing to eyes.

  • Keep Paneer Tikka Masala in a nice and fancy serving plate.
  • Ladle the Paneer Tikka Masala in a large serving bowl.
  • Serve the Paneer Tikka Masala in the brass serving kadhai .
  • You can also transfer Paneer Tikka Masala in the fancy oval plate.
  • Pour the Paneer Tikka Masala a nice looking plate.

You can also garnish Paneer Tikka Masala with:

  • Coriander leaves
  • Grated Paneer
  • White Cream
  • Onion Rings

If you want, you can use chopped parsley leaves or cilantro leaves instead of coriander leaves for garnishing.

Serving Suggestion:

There are many possible combinations of eating Paneer Tikka Masala. Check below for the few serving ideas:

  • Serve the paneer tikka hot and warm. Squeeze some lime juice over it.
  • Also before serving, you can sprinkle some chaat masla over it.
  • The usual way to eat the Paneer Tikka Masala is Any kind of paratha.
  • The delicious Punjabi Tikka Masala can also be eaten with Tandoori Roti or Butter Nan.
  • Whenever you wanting to eat light, you can mix paneer pulao with paneer tikka masala.
  • Any one of the chilled Raita, would be the great side complement to your dish.
  • If you serve the glass of chilled Lassi, only then this north Indian dish can be complete.
  • It can be eaten with any type of rice, biryani or pulao of your choice.
  • The Punjabi paneer tikka masala or any other Punjabi gravy is served with some sweet.
  • The roasted or fried papad provides the little crunch while eating Paneer Tikka Masala.
  • Even you can place a plate of salad for the crunch.

All the different subzi made with paneer as core ingredient can be eaten with any kind of Paratha and chutney or pickle as a side accompaniment.

Quick Tip:
  • The hot and spicy Veg Manchow Soup with fried noodles would be a great appetizer or starter option for this dish if you are making it for the party.
  • Lastly, you can sprinkle the Chaat Masala with a squeeze of lime juice over the Paneer Tikka.
  • It is always preferable to make the paneer at home for any vegetable sabzi.
  • If you have cashews, you can use it for the creamier texture and sweetness in the taste of the gravy.
  • If you are using cream, then use you can use low-fat cream.
  • It is not compulsory to blanch. We do it only because it reduces the cooking time.
  • If you don’t have cream you can use milk ½ cup. But remember to stir continuously to avoid curdling.
  • You can balance the tanginess of sour tomatoes by adding extra sugar.
  • The packets of spice mix are readily available in the market. But you can make Garam Masala powder at home in less time and with ease.
  • Instead of cashews, even the soaked peanuts can be added but they may change the taste a little.

Tips to Grill Paneer in Oven:

We keep the aluminum foil over the baking tray just to reduce the cleaning work. Also while the baking, even if you over-cook or it’s burned, the paneer will not stick to the pan. You can use tandoor, tava or griddle to make the tikka.

If you have the simple oven, then keep the tray in the center layer and start on the upper and the bottom layer. For this kind of oven, set the temperature to 180 degrees C or 350 degrees F.

You can also use bamboo skewer if you have that. In case you do not have the skewer, you can fry them individually and separately as they are. Threading on skewer reduces the hand work when you are frying.

How to make the Marinating Paste for the Paneer Tikka?

To make the marinating paste, you would need all the spices you are using. Also the red and green chillies. Firstly, soak the dry red chillies in water. Keep them soaked for half an hour. If you are in hurry, you can alternatively just microwave red chillies in water for a minute. You just have to make the dry red chillies soft, so that they can easily grind.

Now, you have to dry roast whole coriander seeds and the cumin seeds. Take from the pan and allow them to cool for a while. Now, mix the green chillies, red chillies, coriander seeds and cumin seeds in a jar. Crush everything into paste. Add some water if you need. And then your paste is ready to use.

Then, heat oil in pan. Add the spice paste you prepared. Cook the spice paste for a minute over medium flame. Then add chopped coriander leaves along with the fenugreek seeds. Sprinkle little salt and sugar. Add fresh and whipped cream. Once again, mix everything and cook into a smooth paste. Bring it to a boil on medium flame. Then add the chopped paneer cubes and bell peppers into this marinade. Coat the paneer evenly with this marinating paste.

Jain Paneer Tikka Masala Recipe:

For the Jain Version of the Paneer Tikka Masala, you need to skip the use of onion and the ginger-garlic paste. When you do not add these ingredients, it may change the taste of your recipe a bit. So for the taste to remain similar, you can add Asafoetida which is known as Hing in the gravy. It is generally the substitute of Onion in all the curry and it can also be used as an alternative to the garlic.

So when you are making the mixture for marinating, instead of ginger-garlic paste, add the pinch of Asafoetida. You do not have to add onions, simply use paneer or tofu, capsicum and any ingredient you like (You can grill the large chunks of tomato, potato, etc). Similarly, for the gravy of the paneer tikka, you can add the pinch of Asafoetida in the step of ginger-garlic paste and do not add onion paste. Rest of the preparation remains same, only if you want then you can make gravy of the only cream which has no addition of Onions.

For the below mentioned no onion and no garlic recipe of Paneer Tikka Masala.

Ingredients for Jain Paneer Tikka Masala:

Marinating Paneer:

  • Cottage Cheese (Paneer) – 150 grams
  • Curd – ½ tbsp.
  • Red Chilli Powder – ½ tsp.
  • Dhania Powder – ½ tsp.
  • Jeera Powder – ½ tsp.
  • Garam Masala Powder – ¼ tsp.
  • Oil ½ tbsp.
  • Mixed Peppers Cubes – ½ cup
  • Fresh Cream – 1 tbsp.
  • Asafoetida – a pinch
  • Coriander Leaves – few leaves
  • Kasuri Methi (Dried Fenugreek Leaves) – 1 tsp.
  • Salt – as per taste

 Jain Paneer Tikka Masala Gravy:

  • 4 large tomatoes – 2 cups
  • Cashew Nuts – 4 to 5 pieces
  • Cumin Seeds – ½ tbsp.
  • Red Chilli Powder – 1 tsp.
  • Coriander Powder – 1 tsp.
  • Cumin Powder – 1 tsp.
  • Punjabi Masala – 1 tsp.
  • Garam Masala – ¼ tsp.
  • Corn Flour – 2 tbsp.
  • Asafoetida – a pinch
  • Sugar – 1 tsp.
  • Bay Leaf – 1 or 2 leaves
  • Oil – as required
  • Salt – as per taste.

Note: You can easily make the Punjabi masala at home with few whole spices.

Steps to make the Jain Version of Paneer Tikka Masala Recipe:

  • Clean and chop the veggies.
  • Prepare the cashew paste.
  • Prepare the tomato puree.
  • Make cornstarch paste.
  • Clean and Cut the paneer cubes.
  • Mix all the ingredients for marinating paneer (except for oil).
  • Mix well and keep aside for an hour.
  • Heat oil in a griddle.
  • Keep the marinated mixture in it.
  • Sauté it properly to cook paneer.
  • Wait till the paneer turns light golden brown.
  • Switch off the flame and keep aside.
  • Heat oil in another pan.
  • Add the whole spices and herbs.
  • Add the tomato purée.
  • Mix the cashew paste.
  • Sprinkle the spice powders.
  • Season the mixture with sugar.
  • Stir everything and cook.
  • Add the cornstarch paste and mix well.
  • Then add the marinated paneer pieces.
  • Cook for few minutes and saute everything.
  • Garnish it with coriander leaves. Serve hot.

Note: You can use powdered cashews as well.