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Paneer Tikka Masala Recipe – Indian Paneer Curry

by Adina 02/03/2019 5 comments

paneer curry masala

Tender paneer tikka in a spicy masala sauce, a super delicious vegetarian Indian paneer curry.

PANEER TIKKA WITH SPICY MASALA SAUCE

Even if you are not familiar with Indian food you might have heard of chicken tikka masala. It is probably the best known and loved Indian dish in the West. 2001 it was even declared as a “true British national dish”.

Apparently, chicken tikka masala is not even an authentic Indian dish, it seems to have been first cooked by Bangladeshi migrant chefs during the 1960’s in Britain. Or by a Pakistani restaurant owner living in Glasgow in the 1970’s, nobody is quite certain about the origins.

 

paneer tikka masala recipe 14 Paneer Tikka Masala Recipe – Indian Paneer Curry

 

I’ve had chicken tikka masala for the first time in Britain as well, it was a common dish to take away in an Indian restaurant close to our house. I have even cooked it myself a few times over the years and loved it every time.

Why using paneer instead of chicken this time? We were expecting vegetarian friends for dinner and I happened to have a block of Indian paneer cheese in the refrigerator. So, I thought about combining an old and successful recipe with some less common ingredient like paneer.

And I am telling you, if paneer was a rather uncommon ingredient in my kitchen until now, it will not be anymore. It is delicious!!! And this paneer tikka masala recipe is amazing, no matter if you are a vegetarian or not!

 

paneer tikka masala recipe 15 Paneer Tikka Masala Recipe – Indian Paneer Curry

 

WHAT IS PANEER?

Paneer is a fresh unsalted cheese widely produced and consumed in the Indian subcontinent, mostly in North India, but also Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal and Bangladesh.

Paneer is made by curdling hot milk with the help of food acid, like lemon juice, vinegar, buttermilk, yogurt or citric acid. It is made without using rennet and that makes super for vegetarians as well.

After curdling the milk, the solid parts and the whey are separated by giving the solids into a muslin cloth, draining them well and then pressing them into a rather firm block of cheese.

Paneer is not a fermented or aged kind of cheese, it can be eaten immediately after making. And that’s great news as well, paneer is very easy to make at home, and if you don’t have to leave it ferment either, you can definitely decide on cooking a paneer dish on a whim, so to say.

And not only this paneer tikka recipe, I definitely want to have palak paneer (paneer with spinach) again, not to mention trying this amazing looking paneer butter masala recipe. Oh, I think any Indian paneer curry should be delicious.

 

paneer tikka masala recipe 13 Paneer Tikka Masala Recipe – Indian Paneer Curry

 

WHAT IS TIKKA MASALA?

The word tikka means bits or pieces, so in cooking the word refers to a small pieces of meat or cutlets.

The marinade used to marinate these pieces of meat or paneer in today’s paneer tikka recipe is also called tikka. The marinated meat or paneer cubes are then baked, grilled or cooked in the pan and are served in a spicy and comforting masala sauce.

Masala is a blend of spices. For this paneer tikka masala recipe, the masala sauce is made with tomatoes and a spice mix containing cardamom, cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, chili powder, coriander, fenugreek and paprika.

 

paneer tikka masala recipe 11 Paneer Tikka Masala Recipe – Indian Paneer Curry

 

HOW TO MAKE PANEER TIKKA MASALA?

Marinating the cheese for the Indian paneer curry:

Make the marinade by mixing the Greek yogurt with ginger, garlic (or ginger garlic paste, if you happen to have any) and spices like garam masala, turmeric, chili powder, cumin, coriander, salt and lemon juice. All these spices, my mouth is watering just thinking about this paneer tikka masala recipe!

Cut the paneer into rather large cubes, about 3 cm/ 1.2 inches and give them to the marinade. Add some large cubes of green or red bell pepper and onions cut into larger chunks as well. Cut the onion into chunks, but make sure to separate the onion layers before giving them to the marinade.

Cover the bowl with cling film, place it in the fridge and leave to marinate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

 

paneer tikka masala how to make Paneer Tikka Masala Recipe – Indian Paneer Curry

 

Cooking paneer:

When ready to cook the marinated paneer you have several options. Traditionally, you will stick the paneer cubes on skewers, that’s the proper way to cook the meat or paneer for a tikka masala.

However, as you have to remove the paneer cubes from the skewers before giving them to the masala sauce, I don’t see the point in spending so much time with the “skewering” and “unskewering” of the meat or paneer. Call me lazy, but I just could not bring myself to do it, not once!

I prefer to bake the paneer, this way I make sure I don’t burn it (like I sometimes do under the preheated grill, if I don’t pay enough attention). I give the paneer and vegetable cubes to a baking tray lined with aluminum foil. Most marinade will remain attached to the cubes, leave it there.

Do use aluminum foil, it will make your life easier when cleaning the baking tray, the baked marinade sticking to the pan won’t be easily removed without soaking and scrubbing.

Bake paneer:

Bake the paneer cubes in the preheated oven at 200 degrees Celsius/400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes or until browned at the edges.

 

paneer tikka masala how to make 3 Paneer Tikka Masala Recipe – Indian Paneer Curry

 
Grill paneer:

To cook the paneer under the preheated grill, give the cubes on the baking tray lined with aluminum foil as well (baking paper would catch fire under the grill) and grill for about 15 minutes, checking often and turning the pieces on all sides in order to make sure that the paneer and the marinade don’t burn.

Cook paneer in the pan:

To cook the paneer tikka in the pan, give a little oil to a non-stick pan and cook the paneer and vegetables, turning often on all sides, until nicely browned at the edges. Use tongs to turn the paneer around.

I do recommend the oven method, it makes the least work.

 

paneer tikka masala recipe 10 Paneer Tikka Masala Recipe – Indian Paneer Curry

 

HOW TO MAKE MASALA SAUCE

Heat 2 tablespoons ghee or 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a larger saucepan, large enough to hold the sauce and the paneer cubes as well.

Roast the green cardamom, cinnamon stick and cumin seeds.

Add 1 large chopped onion, ginger and garlic and cook on low heat for about 5 minutes. Add the spices and cook them shortly.

 

paneer tikka masala how to make 1 Paneer Tikka Masala Recipe – Indian Paneer Curry

 

Add the tomatoes (canned are perfect), sugar, salt and some water and simmer the sauce for about 15 minutes.

You can puree the sauce to your liking at this point, I did blend it, but not perfectly so. The sauce is smoother, but you can still feel a few bits here and there. It is really up to you, how smooth you make it.

Give the roasted paneer and vegetables to the sauce, stir very carefully to avoid breaking the cheese. All the paneer and vegetable cubes should be coated in sauce. Leave the pot on very low heat until the paneer is heated through, but don’t let the sauce come to a boil again.

 

paneer tikka masala how to make 2 Paneer Tikka Masala Recipe – Indian Paneer Curry

 

Sprinkle with fresh coriander and serve immediately with naan bread, rotis or rice.

If reheating this Indian paneer curry, do it on low heat and add a little more cream or water if the leftovers seem to dry.

And if you would like to get more curry inspiration, have a look at some of these recipes:

MOONG DAL TADKA RECIPE – INDIAN LENTIL DAL

VEGAN POTATO CURRY RECIPE WITH TOFU, TOMATOES AND PEAS

CHICKEN GREEN CURRY WITH RHUBARB, COCONUT MILK AND RAISINS

VEGAN APPLE AND CHICKPEA CURRY WITH COCONUT MILK

BALTI CHICKEN CURRY

 

paneer tikka masala recipe 9 Paneer Tikka Masala Recipe – Indian Paneer Curry

 

paneer tikka masala recipe 12 150x150 Paneer Tikka Masala Recipe – Indian Paneer Curry

Paneer Tikka Masala Recipe – Indian Paneer Curry

Share this on WhatsAppTender paneer tikka in a spicy masala sauce, a super delicious vegetarian Indian paneer curry. PANEER TIKKA WITH SPICY MASALA SAUCE Even… Asian and Indian Paneer Tikka Masala Recipe – Indian Paneer Curry European Print This
Serves: 4 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 2 voted )

Ingredients

  • Paneer Tikka:
  • 400 g/ 14 oz paneer
  • 1 green or red bell pepper
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 6 tablespoons Greek yogurt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons fresh ginger, grated (about 2 cm/ 0.8 inches ginger)
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1 ½ teaspoons garam masala
  • ¾ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ – ½ teaspoon chili powder (more or less to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Masala sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons ghee OR 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 green cardamom pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • ½ cm/ 0.2 inches/about 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder (more or less to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/8 teaspoon fenugreek, optional (leave it out if you don't have it)
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika powder
  • 400 g/ 14 oz canned tomatoes
  • 200 ml/ 6.7 fl.oz/ a little less than 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 4-5 tablespoons heavy cream
  • small bunch of fresh coriander

Instructions

Paneer tikka:

Give the yogurt, grated ginger, grated garlic cloves, garam masala, turmeric, chili powder, ground cumin and coriander, lemon juice and salt to a bowl large enough to hold the paneer and vegetables cubes as well.

Cut the paneer into 3 cm/ 1.2 inches.

Cut the bell pepper into cubes about as large as the paneer cubes. Cut the red onion into similar sized chunks and separate the layers of the onions, so that you only have single layer onion pieces.

Give the paneer, peppers and onions to the marinade. Stir well, but carefully, taking care not to break the paneer pieces. All cheese and vegetable pieces should be coated with the marinade.

Cover the bowl with cling film, place it in the fridge and leave to marinate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

When ready to cook the marinated paneer you have several options. Traditionally, you will stick the paneer cubes on skewers. However, I never do that.

Oven:

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius/400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking tray with aluminum foil.

Bake the paneer cubes in the oven for about 20 minutes or until browned at the edges.

Grill:

Preheat the grill.

Give the paneer and vegetable cubes on the baking tray lined with aluminum foil as well (baking paper would catch fire under the grill) and grill for about 15 minutes, checking often to make sure that the paneer and the marinade don't burn. Use tongs to turn the paneer pieces around.

Pan:

To cook the paneer tikka in the pan, give a little oil to a non-stick pan and cook the paneer and vegetables, turning often on all sides, until nicely browned at the edges.

Masala sauce:

Chop the onion finely. Heat the ghee or oil and butter mixture in a large saucepan, large enough to hold the paneer as well later.

Give the green cardamom pods, cinnamon stick and cumin seeds to the pan and cook stirring often for about 2-3 minutes or until fragrant.

Add the chopped onions, grated ginger and garlic and cook on medium low heat, stirring often, for 3-4 minutes or until the onion is softer.

Add the turmeric, chili, ground coriander, fenugreek, sweet paprika and stir for about 2 minutes.

Pour in the chopped tomatoes and their juices, the water, sugar and salt. Stir well. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the sauce loses the raw tomato taste and thickens slightly.

Stir in the heavy cream.

Add the roasted paneer and vegetable pieces to the pan and stir very carefully until they are coated with the masala sauce. Leave the pan on the heat source until heated through, but don't let the sauce come to a boil again.

Sprinkle with coriander and serve immediately with naan bread, rotis or rice.

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5 comments

angiesrecipes 03/03/2019 - 10:06

Looks absolutely mouthwatering! Thumbs up for you making the sauce from the scratch!!

Reply
G 04/03/2019 - 00:51

Oh wow, this looks amazing!!! Wish I could reach through the screen and taste it, lol.. – http://www.domesticgeekgirl.com

Reply
Balvinder 06/03/2019 - 15:43

This looks phenomenal. I can eat spoonfuls of this anytime
Baking the paneer in oven is great but doesn’t it stick to the foil?

Reply
Adina 06/03/2019 - 21:23

No, it didn’t stick.

Reply
kevin joe 07/03/2019 - 13:20

These Food Recipes are awesome …..Looks tasty and with health…..I wish i could have one of these instantly in my hand…..

Reply

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