Paneer Tikka Masala {Straightforward and Wholesome Indian Recipe} –

For a wholesome vegetarian dinner, do that Paneer Tikka Masala recipe. That includes a creamy, warmly spiced curry, this paneer tikka masala with contemporary greens is a flavorful escape to India you may make in your individual kitchen.


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I spent a month after school touring by way of India, a rustic whose colours, folks, and delicacies nonetheless captivate my reminiscence and creativeness.

Paneer tikka masala is one dish I nonetheless crave often (together with Potato Curry).

Since I can’t pop again over to India any time my craving strikes, I’ve to attempt to carry the flavors of India to life in my kitchen.

I don’t have quick access to a mega-market of Indian spices (or the time to toast and grind the entire spices like in an genuine paneer tikka masala recipe), so that is my adaption.

That stated, it’s DELISH and is about as shut because it will get to a paneer masala restaurant type at dwelling.

It stays true to the genuine recipe’s spirit and core taste profiles (as does this Immediate Pot Lentil Curry) however with elements simply present in most supermarkets.

Healthy Paneer Tikka Masala with greek yogurt in a skillet

5 Star Evaluate

“Closest recipe I’ve discovered to our favourite Indian restaurant we not reside near.”

— Melinda —

For those who’re new to Indian meals, it’s a pleasant, enriching delicacies to discover.

This straightforward paneer tikka masala is the best place to begin (observe up with this Immediate Pot Butter Rooster).

Paneer tikka masala shouldn’t be spicy within the sense of “sizzling.”

Typically, Indian delicacies is deeply spiced, nevertheless it’s not essentially “spicy” in a manner that may depart you panting. Some dishes will be, however this paneer tikka masala shouldn’t be one in all them.

vegetarian paneer tikka masala with vegetables in a pot

What Does Paneer Tikka Masala Imply?

Earlier than we discuss find out how to make paneer tikka masala step-by-step, let’s discuss precisely what this dish is:

What’s Paneer?

Paneer is a agency, gentle, and nice cheese, much like a curd you’d discover in cottage cheese. EXCEPT (and that is vital), it tastes manner, WAY higher than that description sounds.

It’s a bit like a block of feta (or Grilled Halloumi Cheese) however is firmer and much much less briny. It’s straightforward to cook dinner, moderately cheap, and excessive in protein.

  • I nearly really feel just like the title “cheese” doesn’t apply right here as a result of paneer doesn’t style tacky.
  • Like tofu (as seen on this Tofu Curry), paneer takes on the flavour of no matter you cook dinner it with, making it perfect for including to wealthy, flavorful sauces like masalas and curries.

Dishes made with paneer are normally vegetarian. Nevertheless, vegans can’t eat paneer as a result of it’s a dairy product.

What Does “Tikka” Imply?

Tikka means “bits” and “items.” We have now bits and items of paneer. Straightforward!

Tikka dishes are usually baked at a excessive temperature or cooked over sizzling coals. For max at-home ease, we’re going the oven-baked route.

What Does “Masala” Imply?

Masala is a broad time period that basically means a mixture of spices. Right now’s recipe boasts double the masala motion.

There’s a mix of spices coating the paneer earlier than it’s baked, then a second hit is used to make a wealthy masala gravy (a.okay.a. sauce).

Keep in mind, I stated we have been making a simple, at-home model of Indian paneer tikka masala (like this Tofu Tikka Masala). Due to this fact, a premixed spice mix is the place it’s at! This recipe requires garam masala.

a close up of restaurant style paneer tikka masala with tomato sauce and peas

Make Paneer Tikka Masala

Masalas are like all well-loved recipe that will get handed down by way of the generations. Everybody has their model…and other people are inclined to assume their model is the very best.

Thus, you shouldn’t be shocked once I say that is the BEST paneer tikka masala you may make at dwelling.

The Components

  • Paneer. I do know paneer is a particular merchandise to hunt out, and I’d by no means ask you to do this if I didn’t assume it was 100% price it. Paneer tikka masala actually is!
  • Garam Masala. Garam masala is a singular mix of heat spices, equivalent to cinnamon, cardamom, coriander, and extra. It gives huge time taste in each teaspoon. Many grocery shops carry it, and yow will discover it on-line right here. (Curry powder is one other in style spice mix, nevertheless it tastes completely different than garam masala.)
  • Crushed Tomatoes. To create a sturdy and flavorful masala sauce base.

Substitution Tip

If tomatoes are in peak season, you may make a superb paneer tikka masala with frivolously peeled and pureed contemporary tomatoes as a substitute of canned crushed tomatoes.

indian paneer tikka masala with naan in a bowl
  • Contemporary Ginger and Contemporary Garlic. Don’t skimp on these. Contemporary is greatest in Indian based mostly dishes.
  • Greek Yogurt. Whereas paneer tikka masala with coconut milk could also be conventional, I choose to make this wholesome paneer tikka masala with Greek yogurt. (It’s additionally my secret to this wholesome Curry Rooster Salad.)
  • Contemporary Greens. I wish to make my paneer tikka masala with greens equivalent to crimson bell peppers, peas, and a complete head of nutritious cauliflower to make it actually an all-in-one meal (like my favourite Curried Chickpea Hash with Broccoli and Spinach).

Market Swap

Be at liberty so as to add or swap different greens you get pleasure from into this paneer tikka masala recipe. Cubed russet potatoes or sliced carrots are particularly good right here.

The Instructions

cubes of panner in a bowl with masala powder and spices
  1. Mix the paneer with the marinade elements.
a mixture of marinating paneer, Greek yogurt, and spices
  1. Marinate the paneer.


For greatest outcomes, let the paneer hang around for at the least 20 minutes or in a single day for max taste.

cubes of marinated paneer cheese on a foil-lined sheet pan ready to bake
  1. Organize the paneer on a foil-lined baking sheet.
a sheet pan of baked paneer cheese for paneer tikka masala without coconut milk
  1. Bake till frivolously golden on the edges. Take away and put aside.
a skillet of sautéed cauliflower and bell peppers
  1. Saute the greens and aromatics over medium-low warmth till tender.


Don’t let the onion brown—if it begins to show brown, cut back the warmth and proceed cooking till delicate.

curry and garam masala powder spinkled over a skillet of sautéed vegetables
  1. Add the tomato paste and spices to the greens.
a skillet of Indian-spiced vegetables for paneer tikka masala with vegetables
  1. Stir to mix and cook dinner till tender.
paneer tikka masala with fire roasted tomatoes in a skillet
  1. When aromatic, add the crushed tomatoes.
adding baked paneer cheese and frozen peas to a skillet of paneer tikka masala with tomato sauce
  1. Stir within the cooked paneer and peas.
a skillet of greek yogurt with paneer tikka masala without cream
  1. Take away from warmth, stir within the remaining yogurt, and season with salt and pepper, to style. Prime with cilantro and serve with naan or steamed brown rice. ENJOY!

Serving Solutions

Paneer tikka masala is marvelously saucy and begs for one thing to combine with it. Decide your automobile of selection:

  • Naan. Fluffy, scrumptious Indian bread is prime for mopping up all that tasty masala gravy. You’ll love this straightforward Home made Naan recipe.
  • Brown Rice. Easy and at all times a tasty choice (as is that this Turmeric Rice). Immediate Pot Brown Rice is a simple strategy to make it.
  • Cauliflower Rice. For those who’d wish to make this tikka masala low carb. Keep in mind, the recipe already requires cauliflower, so that you’d be doubling up.
  • Quinoa. A excessive protein choice.

Storage Suggestions

  • To Retailer. Leftover paneer tikka masala will be saved within the fridge for 3 to five days. 
  • To Reheat. Gently heat paneer tikka masala on the stovetop over low warmth till heated by way of. Don’t heat too rapidly, or the sauce might separate.
  • To Freeze. Saved in a freezer-safe container, paneer tikka masala will be frozen for as much as 3 months. Thaw in a single day within the fridge earlier than warming.

What to Serve with Paneer Tikka Masala

Really helpful Instruments to Make this Recipe

  • Mixing Bowls. This set is the very best for candy bakes and savory dishes alike.
  • Sheet Pan. These sheet pans have been a longtime favourite in my kitchen for years.
  • Skillet. This high-quality forged iron skillet is effectively well worth the funding. Right here is one other extra reasonably priced choice I additionally love.

The Greatest Sheet Pans

These baking sheet pans are made with sturdy aluminum, and are appropriate with parchment paper or silicone baking mats as you want.

a bowl of Paneer masala restaurant style with greek yogurt and bell peppers

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Let me know what you thought!

Depart a ranking beneath within the feedback and let me understand how you appreciated the recipe.

paneer tikka masala with naan and rice in a bowl topped with cilantro

Breathe new life and pleasure into your weekly dinner routine with a bit style of India. (Then do that Rooster Tikka Masala subsequent!)

Ceaselessly Requested Questions

The place Can I Purchase Paneer?

For as wildly frequent and in style as paneer is in India, up till not too long ago, it has been considerably troublesome to search out in the USA. Fortunately, it’s turning into extra available. I’ve heard from a number of of you that Costco sells it, and in case you don’t have entry to Costco, a fast google search will level you to your nearest Indian market.

How Do I Make Paneer from Scratch?

For those who can’t discover paneer, you may go the additional mile and make the very best EVER paneer tikka masala by making your paneer from scratch. Celebrated Indian chef Sanjeev Kapoor has this straightforward paneer recipe.

How is Masala Completely different from Curry?

The definition talked about above of masala might sound much like one other in style time period in Indian delicacies: curry. Like masala, curry can also be a mix of spices. It’s additionally used to explain thick, wealthy sauces. Whereas each are used to make thick, fragrant sauces, they’ve some distinctive variations of their mix of elements that make them distinctive from one another. Typically, masala is extra warming and curry is extra earthy.

For the Paneer Tikka:

  • 12 ounces paneer* reduce into 3/4-inch cubes (see word)
  • 1 tablespoon minced contemporary ginger
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic about 1 giant clove
  • 1 teaspoon floor coriander
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala** (see word)
  • 1 teaspoon floor cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 tablespoons 2% plain Greek yogurt*** (see word)

For the Masala (Sauce):

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or canola oil
  • 1 giant crimson bell pepper cored and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 medium head cauliflower reduce into florets
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion very finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon contemporary ginger minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic about 3 cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon floor black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons  garam masala**
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes (28 ounces)
  • 1 bundle frozen peas (10 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup 2% plain Greek yogurt*** (see word)
  • 1/4 cup contemporary cilantro roughly chopped
  • For serving: Home made Naan or ready brown rice

  • Place the paneer in a bowl and toss with the ginger, garlic, coriander, garam masala, cumin, and salt.

  • Add the 5 tablespoons of yogurt and stir till the paneer items are evenly coated. Let marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes or refrigerate and marinate in a single day. Preheat the oven to 400 levels F.

  • Line a big baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat with nonstick spray. Organize the paneer cubes on prime in a fair layer, discarding any extra marinade.

  • Bake for 12 to fifteen minutes, till the paneer is frivolously golden on the edges. Take away from the oven and put aside.

  • Whereas the paneer bakes, put together the masala. Warmth the coconut oil over medium-low in a big, sturdy skillet. As soon as sizzling, add the bell pepper, cauliflower, onion, ginger, garlic, salt, and pepper. Prepare dinner, stirring often, for 1 minute, then improve the warmth to medium and proceed cooking till the greens are tender and the onion is translucent; about 12 to fifteen minutes. Don’t let the onion brown—if it begins to show brown, cut back the warmth and proceed cooking till delicate.

  • Add the tomato paste, garam masala, turmeric, and cayenne. Prepare dinner and stir continuously for 30 seconds, till very aromatic.

  • Add crushed tomatoes and cook dinner, stirring often, till sizzling, about 2 minutes.

  • Add the paneer and peas, and cook dinner, stirring often, till warmed by way of, about 2 minutes extra.

  • Take away from warmth and let cool for 1 minute. Stir within the 1/2 cup yogurt. Style and add further salt and pepper as desired. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve heat with naan bread or brown rice.

  • *ABOUT PANEER: Paneer is an Indian cheese that’s excessive in protein, gentle in taste, and scrumptious! There aren’t any direct substitutes, so I like to recommend looking for it out. Strive Indian grocery shops or delis or a specialty meals retailer. In any other case, you may substitute diced boneless, skinless rooster, although you will have to regulate the cooking time accordingly. It may additionally work to swap further agency tofu that has as a lot moisture pressed out as attainable, although I’ve not tried both of those swaps myself.
  • **ABOUT GARAM MASALA: Garam masala is an Indian spice mix that may be present in most grocery shops. You may as well buy it on-line right here.
  • ***ABOUT YOGURT: Don’t use nonfat yogurt, as it’s more likely to curdle. Complete milk yogurt is okay. For those who wouldn’t have Greek yogurt, you may as well substitute common yogurt.
  • TO STORE: Leftover paneer tikka masala will be saved for 3-5 days within the fridge. 
  • TO FREEZE: Saved in a freezer-safe container, paneer tikka masala will be frozen for as much as 3 months. Thaw in a single day within the fridge earlier than warming.
  • TO REHEAT: Gently heat paneer tikka masala on the stovetop over low warmth till heated by way of. Don’t heat too rapidly or the sauce might separate.

Serving: 1(of 6), about 1 1/2 cups, with out naan or riceEnergy: 324kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 17gFats: 20gSaturated Fats: 13gPolyunsaturated Fats: 0.4gMonounsaturated Fats: 0.5gTrans Fats: 0.002gLdl cholesterol: 39mgPotassium: 648mgFiber: 7gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 1476IUVitamin C: 86mgCalcium: 368mgIron: 3mg

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