Paneer Tikka Masala
Main Courses,  Vegetarian

Paneer Tikka Masala

By far the most famous Indian dish there is. I don’t know if I’ve ever been to a restaurant where Chicken Tikka Masala and Paneer Tikka Masala haven’t been on the menu.

It’s a crowd pleaser and for good cause. Traditionally the paneer is made in a tandoor giving it an amazing clay oven taste and then it’s cooked in a rich, savory, and slightly sweet gravy. All in all paneer tikka masala is amazing.

I absolutely love this dish. I traditionally like my curry with meat but the rich creaminess of the paneer really makes this dish fabulous. It’s one of the things that I love about Indian food. There are so many amazing vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free dishes, that you really don’t feel like you’re missing out.

Not the easiest dish to make, given that you have to make the paneer first and then the curry. However, if there’s store bought paneer you like, you can always cut down your prep time by half and go that way.

I love serving this with paranthas, keema, cucumber raita, and kufli for dinner. But you could easily pair this with any sabji or meat dish.

Fun fact #92: People think/say/pretend this is an Indiand/Punjabi dish…it’s not, it’s British, and was a way to use older paneer :p

Paneer Tikka Masala

0 from 0 votes
Course: Main Courses, VegetarianDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time








  • For Marinade:
  • 2 lbs paneer, cubed

  • 1 1/2 cup plain yogurt

  • 8 cloves garlic, minced

  • 5 tbsp ginger, minced

  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

  • 1 tbsp garam masala, ground

  • 1 tsp haldi (turmeric)

  • 3 tbsp whole jeera (cumin seed), ground

  • 1 tbsp salt

  • 2 tbsp cayenne pepper

  • For Gravy:
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil

  • 2 tbsp butter

  • 1 1/4 large onion, finely diced

  • 4 cloves garlic, pureed

  • 2 tbsp ginger, pureed

  • 1 chili pepper, finely minced

  • 6 tomatoes, pureed

  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper

  • 2 cups heavy cream

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 tbsp whole jeera (cumin seed), ground

  • 1 tsp haldi (turmeric)

  • 2 tbsp dhaniye de beej (coriander seed), ground

  • 2 tbsp whole garam masala, ground

  • 1 tej patta (Indian bay leaf)

  • 1 tsp chili flakes

  • 2 whole dried chili peppers

  • 1 tsp sugar

  • Salt, to taste

  • Cilantro for garnish


  • Marinade:
  • Make paneer the day before.
  • In a medium sized mixing bowl whisk yogurt till smooth.
  • Add in garlic, ginger, lemon juice, garam masala, turmeric, cumin, salt, and cayenne pepper.
  • Mix in paneer and coat evenly.
  • Refrigerate a minimum of 2 hours.
  • Cooking Paneer:
  • Preheat the broiler and position a rack about 8 inches from the heat.
  • Remove the paneer from the marinade.
  • Place the pieces of paneer on a baking sheet.
  • Broil the paneer, turning over from time to time to ensure even cooking, for approximately 5-10 minutes or until the outside has brown/crispy spots.
  • Making the Gravy:
  • Heat oil and butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  • Saute onions until deep brown, approximately 15 minutes. Make sure to continue stirring to avoid burning.
  • Add in garlic and ginger, saute till fragrant, approximately 2 minutes.
  • Add in chili pepper, chili flakes, whole dried chili, and Indian bay leaf. Saute till fragrant, approximately 1 minute.
  • Add in garam masala, cumin, turmeric, and ground coriander seeds. Cook till fragrant, approximately 1 minute.
  • Stir in water.
  • Pour in pureed tomatoes and cayenne pepper. Let simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens and turns deep brownish red.
  • Stir in cream and sugar. Cook for 10 minutes.
  • At this point the sauce should be thick and bubbling. If it’s too thick add in water.
  • Add in paneer and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add in salt.
  • Garnish with cilantro and serve with fresh roti.

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Ingredients I like for this recipe:

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