Paneer Tikka Masala | Restaurant Style Paneer Tikka Masala is a glorious treat of flavors to your palate that you wouldn’t be able to resist.
It is a spicy, aromatic, and delicious Indian Curry made by either grilling paneer on the grill or simply on Tawa and later cooked in onion tomato gravy. Paneer is also known as cottage cheese, so basically marinated paneer cubes are simmered in masala gravy to bring out the best flavors in the sabzi. This Paneer Tikka Masala is one of the most famous Indian paneer curry that is a favorite of many.
Follow the step-by-step pictures and a detailed recipe is given below.
Firstly, to make this paneer curry, paneer cubes, onion, and capsicum are marinated in Greek or hung yogurt along with spices and later grilled in an oven, Tawa, or griddle grill pan.
Secondly, The gravy is made with onions and tomatoes along with spices, and to balance the sourness from the tomatoes, tad honey is added to the gravy. However, you can substitute honey with sugar as well.
Check more Paner Curries here:
1. Why is it called the Favorite Indian Curry?
Paneer Tikka Masala is the most delicious and preferred Indian curry that is cooked at home and also ordered in any Indian Restaurant. One just can not resist ordering this Indian Curry with Naan or Tandoor Roti. Moreover, the restaurant version tastes really delicious as the paneer cubes are cooked in the tandoor and the level of smokiness enhances the taste here. However, cooking at home is equally delicious and brings a lip-smacking taste if you marinate the paneer cubes properly with spices and grill them thoroughly. Please do follow the suggestions and recipes given below.
2. What is the difference between Paneer Tikka Masala and Paneer Butter Masala?
Paneer Tikka Masala is spicy, with earthy flavors prepared with marinated paneer cubes grilled in a tandoor or a grill and cooked in aromatic onion-tomato gravy. The gravy is brownish-red in color and tastes spicy.
Whereas Paneer Butter Masala is a creamy gravy with lots of butter, cashew nuts, and spices. Paneer cubes are not marinated here but simply added into the rich gravy. The gravy is more of an orangish-red color and a little less spicy.
3. What is tikka masala spice made of?
Tikka masala is prepared with coriander seeds, Kashmiri red chili powder, cloves, cinnamon, cumin seeds. All the spices are dry roasted to bring out the maximum flavors and later ground into a fine powder and stored in an air-tight container. Home-made Tikka Masala is always better and tastes fresh and brings out the best flavors.
4. Can we store Tikka Masala for further use?
Yes, prepare tikka masala in bulk and store it in an air-tight container, and freeze it for further use. You can double the number of spices and roast them all together. This will save time and make the cooking process much faster the next time.
5. What is Paneer Tikka called in English?
Tikka means grilled chunks of food and Paneer is termed as Indian Cottage Cheese. So basically when Paneer or Indian Cottage Cheese Cubes are marinated and grilled in a Tandoor, oven, or a grill pan then it is termed Paneer Tikka.
Similarly, when you marinate Chicken and grill it, it is called Chicken Tikka.
6. What is the difference between Tikki and Tikka?
Tikki is when potatoes or any mixed vegetable stuffing are mixed with spices, formed into a patty form, and are shallow or deep-fried. There is no need to marinate the vegetables.
Whereas, Tikka is a chunk of paneer, vegetable or chicken, or meat that is marinated in yogurt and spices for few hours. Further, they are cooked in a Tandoor, oven, or grill and given a smoky flavor.
7. How to make Chicken Tikka Masala?
Paneer Tikka Masala is a vegetarian alternative to Chicken Tikka Masala that is very popular worldwide. You need to follow the same recipe that is shown here, however, marinated Paneer | cottage cheese cubes are substituted by Chicken pieces. They are also marinated and grilled in a similar way to Paneer and later added into the onion tomato gravy.
8. Can we make Paneer Tikka Curry Vegan?
Yes, you can skip Fresh cream in this recipe. Also instead of yogurt, you can use Dairy-free yogurt, replace paneer cubes with Tofu cubes, and use only oil for this curry.
9. How to prepare Dhaba Style Paneer Tikka Masala at home?
For making it Dhaba style, you need to give a smoky flavor by using the Dhungar method. This will give nice smokiness to marinated paneer cubes and it will taste very good. For this Ghungar method use a charcoal piece and heat it on direct flame till red hot. Keep that piece in a small bowl. and place it in the center of the curry in the pan. Now pour 1 tbsp hot ghee on that heated charcoal and close the lid immediately, You will see the smoke being released in the curry. Open the lid after 10 minutes and remove the bowl. The smoky flavor Dhaba Style Paneer Tikka Masala is ready to serve. All you need is to stir it once before serving, put some fresh cream on the top and garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves.
10. Can we Marinate Paneer Cubes in advance?
Yes, you can marinate and keep it overnight in the refrigerator. So while preparing Paneer Tikka Masala you can grill the paneer cubes into the oven or grill.
11. Is it necessary to use Kasuri Methi?
Yes, you can add crushed Kasuri methi to the gravy for extra flavor. For doing this you need to roast the Kasuri Methi in a small Kadai for a minute. Allow it to cool for some time and later crush into a fine powder by rubbing it between your palm. This will release much more flavor.
Step-by-Step Recipe of Paneer Tikka Masala
For Basic Onion Tomato Gravy:
1 tsp Ginger Garlic paste
1/2 tsp Cooking Oil
1 cup Onion Paste approximately 2-3 medium onion
1 cup tomato puree
1/2 tsp turmeric paste
2 tsp red chili powder
2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp garam masala
2 tsp honey or sugar
How to make Onion-Tomato Gravy?
1. Firstly, heat oil in a Kadai and add ginger garlic paste, saute it for few seconds and add onion paste.
2. Saute it for 2 minutes till onion paste turn brown and the raw smell goes.
3. Now add red chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, salt, and mix well till the spices are blended well.
4. Finally, add tomato puree, honey, and let the gravy cook on a medium flame till 2 minutes stirring occasionally.
5. Lastly, switch off the flame, cover it with a lid, and keep it aside.
How to make paneer tikkas?
6. Firstly, take a bowl and add hung yogurt to it.
7. Now add turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, garam masala, and salt to it.
8. Mix all the spices well in the yogurt till it is smooth.
9. Now cut paneer, onion, and capsicum into cubes and keep all the cubes ready in a tray.
10. Add all the above ingredients to the prepared marination and leave it aside for 30 minutes.
11. Once everything is properly marinated heat a non-stick griddle or a Tawa, add oil and paneer cubes in the Tawa.
12. Let it cook for a few seconds on a medium flame, then flip the paneer cubes.
13. Roast paneer cubes on all the sides till dark brown and keep it ready on a plate.
14. Repeat the same procedure with onion and capsicum too.
How to Proceed?
15. Heat butter in a pan, add gravy, paneer tikkas, roasted onion, and capsicum too in the gravy. Mix it well and let it cook for a further 2 -3 minutes. Switch off the flame, add fresh cream and garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
- Use fresh paneer cubes for this recipe as you will need to marinate them properly.
- For marination, use hung curd or Greek Yogurt only.
- Adding onion and capsicum is preferred in this recipe as it gives a nice crunch. However, you can skip it if you want it only with Paneer.
- Serve paneer tikka masala gravy with butter roti, garlic naan, rice, or pulao along with raita and salad.
- You can freeze this gravy without the fresh cream in an air-tight container. This will stay fresh for 1 month.
Paneer Tikka Masala
For Basic Onion Tomato Gravy:
- ½ tsp Cooking Oil
- 1 cup Onion Paste approximately 2-3 medium onion
- 1 cup tomato puree
- ½ tsp turmeric paste
- 2 tsp red chili powder
- 2 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 2 tsp honey or sugar
- 1 tbsp Fresh cream
For Marinating paneer, onions, and capsicum
- ½ cup hung Yogurt
- 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
- 1 tsp Kashmiri red chili powder
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- ½ tsp coriander powder
- 1 tbsp Kasuri Methi
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 16-18 cubes of paneer
- 1 medium-size onion diced into cubes
- 1 medium-size capsicum diced into cubes
- 2 tbsp cooking oil
- Salt as per taste
How to make Onion Tomato Gravy
- Firstly, heat oil in a Kadai and add ginger garlic paste, saute it for few seconds and add onion paste.
- Saute it for 2 minutes till onion paste turn brown and the raw smell goes.
- Now add red chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, salt, and mix well till the spices are blended well.
- Finally, add tomato puree, honey, and let the gravy cook on a medium flame till 2 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Lastly, switch off the flame, cover it with a lid, and keep it aside.
How to make paneer tikkas
- Firstly, take a bowl and add hung yogurt to it.
- Now add turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, garam masala, and salt to it.
- Mix all the spices well in the yogurt till it is smooth.
- Now cut paneer, onion, and capsicum into cubes and keep all the cubes ready in a tray.
- Add all the above ingredients to the prepared marination and leave it aside for 30 minutes.
- Once everything is properly marinated heat a non-stick griddle or a Tawa, add oil and paneer cubes in the Tawa.
- Let it cook for a few seconds on a medium flame, then flip the paneer cubes.
- Roast paneer cubes on all the sides till dark brown and keep it ready on a plate.
- Repeat the same procedure with onion and capsicum too.
How to make Paneer Tikka Masala Gravy
- Heat butter in a pan, add gravy, paneer tikkas, roasted onion, and capsicum too in the gravy. Mix it well and let it cook for a further 2 -3 minutes. Switch off the flame, add fresh cream and garnish with fresh coriander leaves.