Paneer tikka masala is a popular vegetarian dish that features grilled paneer cubes cooked in a flavorful tikka masala curry sauce. Its rich flavor and delicious taste make it an excellent choice for a satisfying meal.
Paneer tikka masala can be enjoyed with naan bread or Basmati rice, making it a satisfying and flavorful meal option for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike.
This dish offers a vegetarian twist on the popular chicken tikka masala, replacing the grilled chicken tikka with grilled paneer. Tikka masala is a well-known Indian curry that involves grilling chunks of meat and simmering them in a zesty sauce.
Why you will love this recipe?
- This paneer tikka masala dish is bursting with flavors, combining the smoky and grilled taste of paneer tikka with a rich and spicy curry sauce.
- As a vegetarian version of the popular chicken tikka masala, this recipe allows vegetarians to enjoy a similar culinary experience.
- The curry sauce can be prepared in advance and refrigerated for up to five days, allowing for efficient meal planning.
Paneer: Use store-bought or homemade paneer.
Yogurt: You can use either plain yogurt or Greek yogurt.
Vegetables: Onion and bell peppers are the most common veggies used in this dish.
Tomato puree: Use either store-bought or homemade tomato puree. Store-bought puree gives a bright red color to the curry sauce.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
Step 1: In a large bowl, add yogurt, besan, ginger garlic paste, tandoori masala, Kashmiri chili powder, olive oil, and salt. Mix well making sure there are no lumps (images 1 and 2).
Step 2: Add the paneer cubes and mix gently, making sure they are well coated. Move them to a side (images 3 and 4).
Step 3: Next, add the onion and peppers to the marination. Mix them well to make sure everything is well coated (images 5 and 6).
Step 4: Thread the paneer and vegetables on a skewer (images 7 and 8).
Step 5: Heat a
Step 6: Flip and cook on both sides until the paneer begins to turn golden. Increase the heat and let it char for 1-2 minutes. Set them aside (image 10).
Step 7: Grind together onion and ginger garlic paste into a smooth paste. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in the grill pan and add onion paste. Saute for 4-5 minutes on medium heat until it begins to brown (image 11).
Step 8: Add tomato puree, chili powder, sugar, salt, and the remaining marinade (image 12).
Step 9: Mix well and let it cook until the oil begins to separate (5-6 minutes). Stir occasionally so that it does not burn (image 13).
Step 10: Once the spices cook, add 1½ cups of water and mix well. Bring it to a boil and let it simmer until the curry thickens slightly (image 14).
Step 11: Add the grilled paneer and mix well. Simmer for 2 minutes (images 15 and 16).
Step 12: Add garam masala, Kasuri methi, and cilantro. Serve hot with naan.
Tandoori masala powder is a spice blend commonly used for grilling. It is easily available in Indian grocery stores. You can substitute it with the tandoori paste in this recipe without any compromise to the taste. Alternatively, use a mix of garam masala, amchur (dried mango powder), and Kashmiri chili powder, although this may alter the taste of the final dish.
Roasted besan (chickpea flour) is an important ingredient in marination and cannot be skipped. It adds thickness to the marinade and helps coat the marination to paneer. It also imparts a nice nutty flavor to the dish.
What to serve with paneer tikka masala?
Accompany with bread: Fresh and warm naan bread is a classic choice to accompany paneer tikka masala. Its soft texture is perfect for dipping into the flavorful sauce.
Butter paneer has a milder curry base and does not use onions. The base of the dish is made with tomatoes and spices. Also, the paneer used to make paneer butter masala is not grilled.
Yes. You can skip the paneer and just use vegetables like potatoes, mushrooms, cauliflower, etc., to make tikka masala.
This recipe is not vegan-friendly as it has paneer and yogurt. To make vegan tikka masala, use tofu or other vegetables like mushrooms or potatoes. Substitute plain yogurt with plant-based yogurt. Follow this recipe to create tofu tikka masala, mushroom tikka masala, etc.
Meal-prepping paneer tikka masala is a convenient way to enjoy homemade meals all week. First, grill the marinated paneer, then prepare the tikka masala sauce. Store them separately in airtight containers in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to three months. Reheat as needed and serve.
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Paneer Tikka Masala
For the paneer tikka:
- 2 cups paneer (16 oz) cut into cubes
- 1 cup onion diced and petals separated
- 1 cup bell peppers diced
- ¾ cup yogurt
- 3 tablespoon besan chickpea flour
- 1 tablespoon tandoori masala
- 2 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
- ½ teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder (or any mild chili powder)
- ¾-1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
For the tikka masala sauce:
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion diced
- ¾ cup tomato puree or passata
- 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
- 1 teaspoon garam masala (use store-bought or homemade garam masala)
- ½-¾ teaspoon chili powder (adjust as per taste)
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt (adjust as per taste)
- 1 tablespoon Kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
- 1 tablespoon cilantro
- 1½ cups water
Making paneer tikka:
- Dry roast the besan for 2-3 minutes, until the raw smell goes.
- In a large bowl, add yogurt, besan, ginger garlic paste, tandoori masala, Kashmiri chili powder, olive oil, and salt. Mix well making sure there are no lumps.
- Add the paneer cubes and mix gently, making sure they are well coated. Move them to one side of the plate.
- Next, add the onion and peppers to the marination. Mix them well to make sure everything is well coated.
- Let the paneer and vegetables marinate for 15-20 minutes.
- Thread the paneer and veggies alternatively into skewers.
- Store any remaining marinade for the curry.
- Heat a frying pan or grill pan and lightly brush it with little oil.
- Place the skewers on it. Let them cook on medium heat.
- Flip and cook on both sides until the paneer begins to turn golden.
- Increase the heat and let it char for 1-2 minutes. Set them aside.
Making the curry:
- Grind together onion and ginger garlic paste into a smooth paste using little water.
- In the same grill pan, add 2 tablespoons of oil.
- Add the onion paste. Saute for 4-5 minutes on medium heat until it begins to brown.
- Add tomato puree, chili powder, sugar, salt, and the remaining marinade.
- Mix well and let it cook until the oil begins to separate (5-6 minutes). Stir occasionally so that it does not burn.
- Once the spices cook, add 1½ cups of water and mix well.
- Bring it to a boil and let it simmer until the curry thickens slightly.
- Add the grilled paneer and mix well. Simmer for 2 minutes.
- Turn off the heat. Add garam masala, Kasuri methi, and cilantro.
- Serve hot with naan or bread of your choice.