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Paneer Tikka Masala Restaurant Style

The Indian dish Paneer Tikka Masala Restaurant Style consists of barbecuing paneer (cottage cheese) and simmering it in a masala sauce.

In Indian cuisine, paneer refers to cottage cheese, tikka refers to a grilled piece of food or a spicy gravy, and masala refers to the spices used in the dish as gravy. As a result, paneer tikka masala is simply chunks of Indian cheese grilled in spicy gravy.

Those who like vegan & vegetarian recipes can join my Facebook group World Best Vegetarian & Vegan Recipes. 

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You can make this restaurant-style paneer tikka masala at home in 30 minutes. Indian cheese is grilled and simmered in a spicy sauce. Using simple pantry staples, it’s delicious, creamy, and easy to prepare. It’s worth a shot!

Some other Paneer recipes you would like on my blog – Palak paneer paratha (Spinach Cottage Cheese Paratha), Tandoori Paneer Samosa (Best Samosa Recipe), Paneer Capsicum In Tomato Gravy. 

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Paneer Tikka Masala Restaurant Style 
The Indian dish Paneer Tikka Masala Restaurant Style consists of barbecuing paneer (cottage cheese) and simmering it in a masala sauce.

Unlike the world-famous chicken tikka masala, the vegetarian cottage cheese tikka masala is an equally delicious dish. Usually found on the menus of Indian restaurants, this dish is vegetarian. The dish is commonly served with butter naan, tandoori roti, parathas, basmati rice, or jeera rice.

Since paneer is grilled in Tandoors, clay ovens that impart the best smoky flavors, restaurant paneer tikka masala is amazingly aromatic & delicious.

For the first step, yogurt, spices & herbs are marinated with paneer. Secondly, With bell peppers and onions it is then grilled in a tandoor.

Secondly, we prepare a delicious and spicy onion tomato gravy. To that is added grilled paneer, then cream is drizzled over the top.

Our household does not have a tandoori oven so we’ll have to grill the paneer in an oven or on a griddle or air fry them.

About Paneer Tikka Masala Restaurant Style Recipe

As you must be familiar with chicken tikka masala, paneer tikka masala is its vegetarian counterpart. You will find this dish on the menus of all Indian restaurants.

Making paneer tikka masala the way restaurants do it takes only 30 minutes when you have these pantry staples. Delicious, creamy, and full of incredible flavors!

Cooked in a rich onion tomato gravy, the paneer cubes are marinated, grilled, and then steamed. You should serve it with garlic naan, lachha paratha, and some pickled onions on the side. Spice-marinated paneer or meat and vegetables are referred to as tikkas in Indian cooking.

The word “masala” refers to spice pastes or powders that are blended with other spices. The dish Paneer tikka masala is made from marinated paneer pieces that are simmered in a rich tomato sauce.

I make a vegetarian version of this recipe by using paneer (cottage cheese) instead of chicken. Paneer tikka masala is easy to make despite the fact that it uses many spices. A lovely flavorful crust covers the outside of the paneer, which pairs perfectly with the masala sauce.

You can always replace paneer with extra firm tofu if you are vegan. Also, use vegan cream instead of normal cream.

Two steps are involved in this recipe

  1. Cook paneer tikka
  2. Cook the gravy

Furthermore, I would like to share a tip for achieving a smoky taste in your curry similar to that of a restaurant. Continue reading.

Paneer Tikka Masala Restaurant Style
Paneer Tikka Masala Restaurant Style

Ingredients 

For paneer marination:

  • 1 – Green bell pepper cut into cubes
  • 1 – Red bell pepper cut into cubes optional
  • 1 – Medium onion cut into cubes 
  • 600 gms – paneer cut into cubes
  • 5 tbsp – thick yogurt
  • 2 tsp – ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp – Chickpea flour or besan
  • 1 tsp – Kashmiri red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp – salt or to taste
  • 2 tbsp – lime juice
  • 1 tbsp – Kasuri methi
  • 1/2 tsp – garam masala spice mix
  • 2  tsp – mustard oil

    For the gravy: 

  • 2 tbsp – vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp – ghee
  • 2to3 – cloves
  • 5to6 – whole black peppercorns
  • 2 – whole black cardamom
  • 1-inch – whole cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup – grated onion
  • 2 tsp – ginger garlic paste
  • 1 cup – grated tomato
  • 1/4 cup – tomato puree (or 2 tablespoon tomato paste)
  • 2 tsp – Kashmiri red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp – turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp – cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp – garam masala powder
  • 1/2 tsp – coriander powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp – honey
  • 1/4 cup – heavy cream
  • 1 tsp lime juice

Paneer – Homemade paneer is prone to crumble and may not withstand grilling for the entire cooking time. This recipe calls for packaged paneer, so I recommend using it. Nearly all Indian grocery stores carry paneer. 

After removing the paneer brick from the packaging, make sure to wash it. Also, soak the paneer pieces in warm water for 5 minutes. This will make them soft and not chewy.

In order to marinate: This recipe calls for a mixture of yogurt (or Greek yogurt), ginger garlic paste, Kashmiri red chili powder, salt, lime juice, garam masala, and mustard oil to marinate the paneer.

If you marinate with mustard oil, it will have a distinct flavor that can’t be matched by regular vegetable oil. You can, however, use an oil that you have on hand if the mustard oil you prefer is unavailable.

You should use Kashmiri red chili powder in your tikka since it gives it a beautiful color without being too spicy.

You need to strain the yogurt through a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl in order to make thick yogurt. For an hour, place the bowl with a strainer in the refrigerator. During the straining process, you will get thick yogurt as the excess liquid drips into the bowl.

You need to strain the yogurt through a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl in order to make thick yogurt. The strainer must be kept in the refrigerator for an hour. In the strainer, thick yogurt will form after the excess liquid from the yogurt drips down into the bowl.

To make the gravy:

Along with onions and tomatoes, you will need oil, ghee, cloves, black peppercorns, black cardamoms, cinnamon sticks, ginger garlic paste, Kashmiri red chili powder, turmeric powder, salt, honey, heavy cream, and Kasuri methi.

It can be made with either oil or ghee or even butter, rather than a combination of the two. Creamy gravy is made with heavy cream, which adds a rich taste.

Tomatoes are also balanced by it, but you can also avoid the acidity by using cashew paste or almond paste. You should also add Kasuri Methi since it changes the taste of the curry completely.

To add some sweetness, honey is used. Sugar can also be used.

How To Make Paneer Tikka Masala Restaurant Style Step By Step With Photo:

  1. The first step is to make thick yogurt. Let the liquid from the 14% plain yogurt drip down for 30 minutes through a fine-mesh strainer. Two tablespoons of thick yogurt can be obtained from it. To accelerate the process, Greek yogurt can be used. In a large mixing bowl, combine thick yogurt, ginger garlic paste, lime juice, chickpea flour, Kashmiri red chili powder, salt to taste, Kasuri methi garam masala spice mix, and mustard oil. Stir everything together well.
  2. Wipe a 600 g paneer block dry with a kitchen towel after washing it with water. Make cubes of paneer with 2-inch squares. Remove the peel from one large onion and cut it into cubes of 2 inches. The green bell pepper or red bell pepper should also be washed and cut into cubes of 2 inches. Mix the paneer cubes, green bell pepper cubes, and onion cubes gently so all the ingredients are coated with the marinade. The bowl should be covered and refrigerated for at least 2 hours.
  3. Take out after 1 hour from the fridge.|
  4. A large skillet over medium-high heat should be heated with 2 tbsp vegetable oil and 2 tbsp of ghee. Ghee tastes delicious and is not too heavy, so I like to combine oil and ghee. It is possible to use either oil or ghee. Cook the paneer cubes along with the onion and capsicum in the wide pan (the grill pan works best). Make a single layer of paneer and vegetables. On high heat, brown and slightly char all sides of the paneer and veggies. Take out when done keep aside. Keep a little marination aside to be used in the gravy.
  5. Take another pan heat it up with oil and ghee again. It is possible to use either oil or ghee. After the oil is hot, add cloves, black peppercorns, whole black cardamoms, and a cinnamon stick. Cook and stir for a few seconds. Add grated onion to the skillet and fry on medium heat until it is slightly browned. Stir regularly. AIt takes between six and eight minutes to complete.
  6. Once onions are translucent, add ginger garlic paste. If the onions are burning at the bottom of the pan, add a splash of water. To obtain the right consistency, the onions must be fried for 8-10 minutes. Stir in tomato puree or paste after the onions have been slightly translucent in color Simmer for 2-3 minutes. You may substitute tomato paste for tomato puree if you don’t have any.
  7. Now add spices like Kashmiri red chili powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder, and salt to taste.
  8. Now add the leftover paneer marination paste into this along with heavy cream and mix well. 
  9. Pour half a cup of water into the skillet along with the paneer and vegetables. You are done cooking when the oil separates from the sides of the pan after 3-4 minutes.
  10. Lastly add honey, lime juice, and  Kasuri methi to the pan and mix well  let it simmer for a minute.
  11. Serve hot with naan or roti or chapati or rice.
    Paneer Tikka Masala Restaurant Style
    Paneer Tikka Masala Restaurant Style

    For paneer grilling:

Oven Method: Using metal skewers, thread the marinated paneer, onion, and capsicum. A preheated oven should be set at 430 degrees (222 degrees C). Place the skewers on a baking tray and bake for about 8-10 minutes or until the paneer pieces are light brown. Once the paneer is slightly charred, turn the oven to broil and broil for about 4-5 minutes longer.

Stove Top Method: Cook the marinated paneer cubes with onion, capers, and 1 tablespoon oil in a wide pan (a grill pan is best). Make a single layer of paneer and vegetables. On high heat, brown and slightly char all sides.

Air fry method: Prepare the air fryer by preheating it to 400 degrees F. You can air fry the paneer, onion, and capsicum for 10 minutes with the marinated ingredients.

Important Suggestion To Keep In Mind

  • While grilling, homemade paneer tends to crumble because of its softness. Store-bought paneer works best for this recipe.
  • Reserve the marinade leftovers. The gravy will be made later with it.
  • Bamboo skewers should be soaked for 30 minutes in water to prevent them from burning while grilling.
  • Immediately after grilling the paneer and veggies, remove them from the skewers and keep them aside. You can remove the paneer, onion, and capsicum cubes from the skewers by using a fork.
  • Use a kitchen towel to pat dry the paneer block if you use a store-bought paneer. Once it is soft, you can soak it in warm water for 5 minutes.
  • It helps if the paneer is marinated for at least two hours or even longer, so it will absorb the flavor really well.
  • The cubes of paneer should only be marinated in thick yogurt. You cannot use regular yogurt because it will not stick to paneer and the results won’t be good.
  • Several restaurants use orange food color in their gravy to make it bright orange. If you would like the same color, then you can add it. However, I wouldn’t recommend it.
  • It gives a nice rich color to the gravy without being too spicy by substituting Kashmiri red chili powder for regular chili powder.
  • Curry made with Kasuri Methi has a fabulous taste. It cannot be skipped. The best outcome will come if Kasuri Methi is prepared at home.

Serving Suggestions

Served with curly Indian bread like masala paratha, mooli paratha, garlic naan, or even roti, this slightly sweet and spicy gravy is excellent. Steamed rice, jeera rice, or peas pulao are also great side dishes.

Additionally, you can serve this dish alongside brown rice, couscous, cauliflower rice, quinoa, or broken wheat for a healthier alternative.

Storage Suggestions

A tightly sealed container of marinated paneer tikka masala will last in the refrigerator for a couple of days when stored in the refrigerator. Reheat it in the microwave or pan, then serve it again.

The gravy and marinated paneer can be frozen separately. Cook paneer and vegetables in a marinade. For up to 3-4 days, freeze them in ziplock bags. You can freeze the gravy separately for 2-3 months in a freezer-safe bag or container.

The paneer and gravy need to be thawed to room temperature (3-4 hours) before serving. The paneer and vegetables are grilled, the gravy is heated, and then the two are mixed together.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a vegan way to make this?

If you want to make vegan tikka masala, you can substitute paneer for tofu.

If you want to try out a vegan curry, you can use cashew or coconut cream and any vegan butter of your choice. The taste won’t differ.

The paneer can be marinated ahead of time?

The paneer can certainly be marinated 12-15 hours ahead of time. Until you are ready to grill, store it in the refrigerator.

How can you make the flavor smoky?

Paneer tikka masala served at dhabas or restaurants has a smoky flavor compared to a recipe made at home. The smoky flavor of paneer comes from grilling it in a clay oven or tandoor oven, which is common in Indian restaurants. Don’t worry, though. Even your homemade curry can have that smokey flavor. In India, this process is called dhungar.

Alternatively, you can heat a whole cinnamon stick (or a piece of charcoal) ver stovetop until it is red hot to create a dhungar. An oven can also be used in case you don’t have direct heat. You can keep this piece of red hot charcoal in a small bowl over the ready curry. A teaspoon of ghee should be poured over the charcoal and the lid should be immediately closed.

For 10-12 minutes, allow the curry to absorb the smoke. Put the lid back on the bowl and give the curry a gentle mix. A smoky tandoori flavor is formed in the curry.

Choosing between Paneer Butter Masala and Tikka Masala?

These paneer curries are both rich tomato-onion curry dishes that are popular in North India. They differ greatly, however.

Paneer tikka masala consists of marinated, grilled paneer with green peppers and onions added into the curry, but paneer butter masala only uses paneer that has been fried or raw. I have a delicious recipe for paneer butter masala here.

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Paneer Tikka Masala Restaurant Style

Paneer Tikka Masala Restaurant Style


  • Author: Sanchita Dey
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4 people 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

The Indian dish Paneer Tikka Masala Restaurant Style consists of barbecuing paneer (cottage cheese) and simmering it in a masala sauce


Ingredients

Scale

For paneer marination:


Instructions

  1. The first step is to make thick yogurt. Let the liquid from the 14% plain yogurt drip down for 30 minutes through a fine-mesh strainer. Two tablespoons of thick yogurt can be obtained from it. To accelerate the process, Greek yogurt can be used. In a large mixing bowl, combine thick yogurt, ginger garlic paste, lime juice, chickpea flour, Kashmiri red chili powder, salt to taste, Kasuri methi garam masala spice mix, and mustard oil. Stir everything together well.
  2. Wipe a 600 g paneer block dry with a kitchen towel after washing it with water. Make cubes of paneer with 2-inch squares. Remove the peel from one large onion and cut it into cubes of 2 inches. The green bell pepper or red bell pepper should also be washed and cut into cubes of 2 inches. Mix the paneer cubes, green bell pepper cubes, and onion cubes gently so all the ingredients are coated with the marinade. The bowl should be covered and refrigerated for at least 2 hours.
  3. Take out after 1 hour from the fridge.|
  4. A large skillet over medium-high heat should be heated with 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and 2 tablespoons ghee. Ghee tastes delicious and is not too heavy, so I like to combine oil and ghee. It is possible to use either oil or ghee. Cook the paneer cubes along with the onion and capsicum in the wide pan (the grill pan works best). Make a single layer of paneer and vegetables. On high heat, brown and slightly char all sides of the paneer and veggies. Take out when done keep aside. Keep a little marination aside to be used in the gravy.
  5. Take another pan heat it up with oil and ghee again. It is possible to use either oil or ghee. After the oil is hot, add cloves, black peppercorns, whole black cardamoms, and a cinnamon stick. Cook and stir for a few seconds. Add grated onion to the skillet and fry on medium heat until it is slightly browned. Stir regularly. AIt takes between six and eight minutes to complete.
  6. Once onions are translucent, add ginger garlic paste. If the onions are burning at the bottom of the pan, add a splash of water. To obtain the right consistency, the onions must be fried for 8-10 minutes. Stir in tomato puree or paste after the onions have been slightly translucent in color Simmer for 2-3 minutes. You may substitute tomato paste for tomato puree if you don’t have any.
  7. Now add spices like Kashmiri red chili powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder, and salt to taste.
  8. Now add the leftover paneer marination paste into this along with heavy cream and mix well. 
  9. Pour half a cup of water into the skillet along with the paneer and vegetables. You are done cooking when the oil separates from the sides of the pan after 3-4 minutes.
  10. Lastly add honey, lime juice, and  Kasuri methi to the pan and mix well let it simmer for a minute.
  11. Serve hot with naan or roti or chapati or rice.

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Notes

  • While grilling, homemade paneer tends to crumble because of its softness. Store-bought paneer works best for this recipe.
  • Reserve the marinade leftovers. The gravy will be made later with it.
  • Bamboo skewers should be soaked for 30 minutes in water to prevent them from burning while grilling.
  • Immediately after grilling the paneer and veggies, remove them from the skewers and keep them aside. You can remove the paneer, onion, and capsicum cubes from the skewers by using a fork.
  • Use a kitchen towel to pat dry the paneer block if you use a store-bought paneer. Once it is soft, you can soak it in warm water for 5 minutes.
  • It helps if the paneer is marinated for at least two hours or even longer, so it will absorb the flavor really well.
  • The cubes of paneer should only be marinated in thick yogurt. You cannot use regular yogurt because it will not stick to paneer and the results won’t be good.
  • Several restaurants use orange food color in their gravy to make it bright orange. If you would like the same color, then you can add it. However, I wouldn’t recommend it.
  • It gives a nice rich color to the gravy without being too spicy by substituting Kashmiri red chili powder for regular chili powder.
  • Curry made with Kasuri Methi has a fabulous taste. It cannot be skipped. The best outcome will come if Kasuri Methi is prepared at home.
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Indian

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 4 people
  • Calories: 450Kcal
  • Sugar: 6g
  • Sodium: 54mg
  • Fat: 42g
  • Saturated Fat: 25g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 15g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 15g
  • Cholesterol: 92g

Keywords: Easy paneer tikka masala, Paneer tikka masala recipe step by step with pictures, Paneer tikka masala recipe in Hindi, Easy Tikka paneer

Note: A rough estimate of nutrition is provided.

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