Paneer Tikka Masala is one of the popular dishes you can find in most of the Indian restaurant menu. This is one of those dishes that I always prefer to order when I go out. This is a restaurant style recipe which will definitely satisfy all the paneer lovers. Part of this recipe is adapted from Chef Harpal Sokhi and I tweaked it a bit with my style of cooking. In this dish paneer is marinated in a yogurt mixture and then cooked in a spicy and creamy sauce. It is a big hit in my house and I am sure you will enjoy this dish. Make it for a party or a family get together and win everyone’s heart.
Preparation and resting time: 1 hr and 20 mins
Cooking time: 60 minutes
No. of servings: 5
Spice level: 3.5 out of 5
- Fresh paneer cubes – 250 gram
- Green bell peppers or capsicum – 1 cup (diced into big cubes)
- Onion diced into big pieces – 1/2 cup
- One tomato diced into big pieces
- Oil – 2 tsp
- Butter – 1 tbsp
- Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
- Half mace or javetri (or a small piece)
- Chopped onion – 1 to 1 1/4 cups (or one big onion)
- Roma tomatoes – 3 (medium size)
- Ginger garlic paste – 1 tbsp
- Red chili powder – 1 tsp
- Coriander powder – 2 tsp
- Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
- Garam masala – 1/2 tsp
- Kasoori methi or dried fenugreek leaves – 1 tsp
- Heavy cream – 3/4 cup (or 1 cup of half and half)
- Salt to taste
- Few chopped cilantro for garnishing
- Thick yogurt – 1/3 cup
- Mustard oil – 2 tbsp
- Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
- Red chili powder – 1 tsp (preferably Kashmiri red chili powder)
- Coriander powder – 1/2 tsp
- Garam masala – 1/2 tsp
- Ginger garlic paste – 1 tsp
- Lemon juice – 2 tsp
- Besan or gram flour or roasted chickpea flour or kadalai mavu – 2 tbsp
- Butter – 1 tbsp
- Carom seeds or ajwain or omam – 1/4 tsp
- Salt – 3/4 tsp
Method of Preparation:
Marination of paneer and vegetables:
- Heat 1 tbsp of butter in a pan and add ajwain or carom seeds.
- When it splutters add besan or gram flour and stir constantly with a whisker until a smooth paste is formed. Remove from heat.
- Add a tablespoon of this mixture in a bowl followed by yogurt, chili powder, coriander powder, garam masala, ginger garlic paste, lemon juice and salt. Mix well.
- Clean the used pan and heat mustard oil, remove from heat and add turmeric powder to it. Add this to the yogurt mixture and mix well. Marinade is ready.
- Add paneer cubes and other vegetables to the marinade and mix well so that everything is coated well.
- Leave it for an hour.
Preparation of the gravy:
- Heat oil and butter in a pan and cumin seeds and javetri or mace. When cumin splutters add onion and saute until it becomes soft.
- Add ginger garlic paste and saute for a minute and then add chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, garam masala. Saute for a couple of minutes.
- Add finely chopped tomatoes and cook till it is mashed. Remove from heat and let it cool. Grind it to a coarse paste not so fine.
- Add it back to the pan over medium heat and add crushed kasoori methi and mix well (you can crush it between your palms before adding).
- When the onion tomato gravy starts boiling add heavy cream and simmer the heat and let it cook until a thick gravy is obtained. This may take around 15 minutes. Stir every 5 minutes to avoid burning the bottom of the pan.
- Heat a wide pan or a griddle or an electric griddle and spread the marinated paneer and vegetables and cook both the sides until golden brown. You can use a tandoor oven if you have one.
- There will some remaining marinade mix at the bottom of the bowl, you can add it to the cooking gravy.
- Now add the paneer and vegetables to the gravy along with a cup and half of water. Cover and cook for 10 minutes over medium heat stirring every 5 minutes.
- A nice gravy is obtained with the right consistency. Cook a little longer if the gravy is too thin.
- Transfer it to a serving bowl and garnish with chopped cilantro.
- Serve hot with roti or paratha.
Mustard oil gives a nice flavor to the dish. If you don’t have mustard oil and don’t want to buy just for this dish, then heat 2 tbsp of cooking oil in a pan and add 1 tbsp of powdered mustard seeds or mustard paste and remove from heat and add turmeric powder. Add this to the marinade.