Here’s my version of the classic Paneer Tikka Masala! It’s classic, simple and oh-so-flavorful!
A good paneer recipe can make my heart skip a beat. Among most Indian-food lovers – especially the vegetarian ones – Paneer is revered because it is the one ingredients that can made into whatever their heart desires… Kind of like an avocado. 😉
I experiment with Paneer quite often. This is my absolute favorite recipe for a Paneer Tikka Masala. It is classic, simple, zingy, flavorful and oh-so-spicy! This is the kind of recipe that Indian food dreams are made of! Admittedly, this recipe does involve a few steps that may not be an impatient guy’s cuppa tea. However, the recipe steps are quite easy and absolutely doable by any home-cook!
Indian restaurants make big bucks selling paneer tikka masala to Indian food enthusiasts. While a good curry in the restaurant is definitely worth the buck, you’d be better off if and when you make it at home – knowing fully well what goes into the gravy and well in control of the spices, salt and oil. And of course, a homemade dish is always going to leave you feeling satisfied. So without further ado, here’s how I like to make Paneer Tikka Masala.
Paneer Tikka Masala – Printable Recipe
- 250 grams Fresh Paneer
- 1 Medium Bell Pepper / Capsicum (optional)
- 4-5 Tablespoons of thick Curd (plain Yogurt)
- ½ teaspoon Salt (adjust per taste)
- a pinch of Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Ginger paste
- 1 teaspoon Garlic paste
- ¼ teaspoon Turmeric Powder (Haldi)
- 1 teaspoon Garam Masala Powder (homemade or store bought)
- 1 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder (mirchi powder) - adjust per spice required
- 1 teaspoon Dhania powder (Coriander Seeds Powder)
- ¼ teaspoon Nutmeg powder, freshly grated
- ½ teaspoon Cornstarch / All purpose Flour
- 2-3 teaspoons Vegetable Oil
- Freshly chopped coriander or cilantro leaves for garnish
- 2 Medium Onions, chopped finely
- 2-3 Medium Tomatoes, chopped (adjust per tartness you like - 2 should be ideal)
- 1 Tablespoon Garam Masala Powder
- 1 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
- 1 teaspoon Dhania Powder (coriander seeds powder)
- a pinch of Dry Fenugreek Leaves (Kasoori Methi)
- ¼ to ½ cup Water or Vegetable Stock
- Fresh Coriander or Cilantro leaves, for garnish
- Preferably use store bought Paneer / Cottage Cheese, for it holds shape better
- You can use capsicum along with paneer to make the tikka and add to the gravy or make it without as well.
- Cut Paneer and Bell Peppers (if using) into 1 inch cubes.
- Mix all ingredients mentioned under "for paneer tikka" except oil, paneer and bell peppers with the yogurt. Taste and adjust for seasoning if required
- Add the paneer and capsicum cubes and mix to coat the mixture. Make sure you are gentle and don't break the paneer cubes.
- Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour (you can also do this overnight)
- If you have an oven or grill pan, pass the paneer and capsicum cubes through a skewer, brish with oil and grill until the paneer is golden brown. It will take around 12-20 minutes depending on the oven you're using.
- If you don't have an oven / grill pan - heat the oil and add the pieces separately into the oil and fry on each side for 4-5 minutes until they are golden brown. Remove and set aside.
- In the same pan (if you are frying the paneer), add the oil and ginger garlic paste and fry for a minute.
- Add onions and tomatoes and fry on medium heat for 8-10 minutes until the raw smell of th veggies disappear and you have a mushy mixture
- Add all the spices and mix well. Keep sauteing for another 5-6 minutes on medium heat or until the raw smell of spices disappear and the oil starts to come out of the sides of the gravy.
- Add a splash of water or stock and mix well.
- Add the paneer & bell pepper pieces and the leftover spiced yogurt mixture (if any) and mix well. Let the mixture come to a boil.
- Garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves and serve
- Naan , Roti, Pulao, Jeera Rice, Biryaani, Kulcha, Parathe, Poori, Bread etc.
Paneer Tikka Masala Recipe – Step by Step Pictures
Mix the spices and ginger-garlic paste with plain curd (yogurt).
Add the paneer pieces and gently mix so that each paneer cube is coated well with the yogurt mixture. DO not mix rapidly or you’ll end up breaking the paneer. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour to let the flavors sink in.
You can either pass the paneer cubes through a skewer and grill them or place the cubes of a grill pan. Since I didn’t have either, I simply sauteed the cubes in some oil.
Heat oil in a pan and add both chopped onions and tomatoes. Saute until they turn into a mush. Add the spices and saute again.
Keep frying until you start to see oil coming out from the sides of the gravy. Add a splash of water or vegetable stock and mix.
Add the sauteed / grilled paneer cubes. Also add the remaining spiced yogurt from the bowl (don’t waste any!) and gently let the mixture come to a boil on medium low heat.
Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with your favorite bread / tortilla / flatbreads.
For all you Paneer Lovers, here are a few more recipes –