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paneer tikka masala recipe with step by step photos.

paneer tikka masala is

favorite with many and a popular punjabi dish
this paneer tikka masala recipe is restaurant style and 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. i suggest to use ripe, red and slightly sweet tomatoes and fresh
curd/yogurt. avoid using tomatoes which are too tangy or sour. the same rule
applies with yogurt. use fresh full fat yogurt and not one which has become sour.

paneer tikka masala - marinated grilled paneer cubes in onion-tomato yogurt

based curry.
author: dassana
recipe type: main
cuisine: punjabi, north indian
serves: 4

ingredients (measuring cup used, 1 cup = 250 ml)

for the paneer tikka:

250 to 300 grams paneer, cut into cubes or squares

1 medium green/red/yellow bell pepper, diced
1 medium onion, halved and the layers removed
6 tbsp thick yogurt or hung yogurt/curd
inch ginger + 2 small garlic, crushed to a smooth paste in mortar-pestle,
about tsp ginger-garlic paste
1 tsp lime juice
tsp kashmiri red chili powder or deghi mirch or red chili powder
tsp garam masala powder or tandoori masala powder
tsp turmeric powder
2 to 3 pinches of nutmeg powder or grated nutmeg
a generous pinch of crushed saffron or saffron powder (optional)
1 tbsp corn starch or besan/gram flour
to tsp oil for brushing
tsp salt or as required
for the tikka masala/gravy/sauce/curry:

2 medium onions or 1 large onion, 100 gms, peeled and halved

3 medium tomatoes, 200 gms

3 to 4 garlic cloves + inch ginger - crushed in a mortar-pestle to a paste.
about 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
2 to 2.5 tbsp fresh full fat curd or yogurt- whisked well till smooth
1 tsp coriander powder
tsp cumin powder (optional)
tsp garam masala powder
tsp red chili powder or kashmiri red chili powder or deghi mirch
tsp turmeric powder
tsp crushed kasuri methi or dry fenugreek leaves
cup water or add as required
3 to 4 tbsp low fat cream, 25% to 35% low fat (i used amul cream)
2 tbsp oil or 2 tbsp butter
to 1 tsp sugar (optional)
a few coriander leaves for garnishing
salt as required

how to make the recipe:

making the grilled 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:


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 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 tsp oil evenly on the paneer and bell pepper cubes.
grill the paneer 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 tikka.

pan frying method:


heat about 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.
preparing the tikka masala/gravy/sauce/curry:


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