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Paneer Tikka Masala – Rules The Heart!

DinnerLunchMain CourseIndian

Buttery Soft Paneer, crunchy onions, masaledar (spicy) gravy – just one word comes to my mouth – Ahhaaahahaa 😀

This recipe is truly a show-stealer. Make it in any celebration, serve it to your guests at the house parties, or just prepare on a regular weekend, this not just steals the heart but satisfies you deep within. After having it, you will end up with a fulfilled stomach and a big smile on your face. Guaranteed!

STORY TIME

Let me confess something first. I am not a fan of paneer. I only like Matar Paneer and that’s it. Please don’t hate me because my husband compensates for this with his overlove for paneer. He can have paneer all day, every day. Literally. But since I am the home chef, I don’t make different recipes of panner at home.

Once he ordered Paneer Tikka Masala from a restaurant. He was very excited to have it. The order arrived and with a big smile on his face, he served himself. His happiness & excitement were totally gone when he saw just 4 pieces of paneer in the Dabba. Thankfully, I ordered something else for myself so he didn’t need to share those 4 pieces. But I felt bad for him. I have a good heart you know 😀

Then I decided to make this recipe for him. Happiness and excitement are back again in his life.

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STEPS TO MAKE THE RECIPE

1 – MARINATION

Delicious marination is the soul of this recipe. But just seasoning panner and other veggies with different spices and curd is not enough. You need to coat them and let them rest to develop more flavors. The acidic ingredient (curd or yogurt) is very important in marination because it makes the way for all the flavors to seep into the veggies and paneer. You need patience. But we will do anything for a tempting meal. Right?

2 – DRY ROASTING

There are many ways to cook or dry roast the marinated pieces. Traditionally, it is done in a clay oven or tandoor. You get a nice earthy flavor in that. But who has that in our modern homes? I don’t. But I have my favorite grill sandwich maker which opens to 180 degrees and is perfect to make paneer tikkas. I put the marinated pieces on a skewer and roast them on it. It doesn’t stick and comes out well roasted.

You can even do the same thing on a pan. Just place all the marinated pieces on a greased pan or tawa and roast them from all sides. It is very easy. You can even put all pieces on a skewer and directly cook them on the gas flame. It gives a nice charred flavor too. But just be careful with this. Cover the area around the gas burner with a foil because when you roast, the juice of the veggies and marination drips and it may ruin your gas stove. Covering also means less cleaning which we all need in our life.

3 – GRAVY

The gravy of paneer tikka masala is made of onion tomato. It is creamy and spicy too. But you can make the gravy as you like it. In this recipe, I added curd for creaminess and a hint of tanginess. I balanced that with a pinch of sugar. It tastes delicious. You can even make the gravy with cashew paste or milk cream. You can make it without onion. Gravy with just the tomatoes also tastes good.

One important flavor enhancer of the gravy is Kasuri methi. It is literally a game-changer in any kind of gravy. I even add it in dal makhani, and Pindi chole. You must try these recipes too.

CAN WE MAKE IT VEGAN?

Yes. Of course.

In the same recipe, just replace the paneer with firm tofu. Instead of dairy curd, you can use vegan curd.

You can make a creamy gravy using cashew paste, coconut milk or coconut cream, or any vegan curd too. Don’t be afraid to experiment.

If you want more vegan recipe suggestions, try our Thai green curry, vegan banana walnut muffins, mini mango cheesecake.

Thai Green Curry
Vegan Thai Green Curry
mango cheesecake
Vegan Mango Cheesecake

HOW TO SERVE?

To have the best experience, serve it hot. It tastes best with any kind of Indian bread – chapati, paratha, naan, or tandoori roti. We also serve it with some jeera rice or simple steamed rice. For the salad, we like it with some pickled onion. Or if you don’t have that, just serve it with some thinly sliced onions.

I always make it a little extra because the next day it gets more delicious. Overnight, all the flavors marry and mingle with each other and make the gravy even more flavorful. Try that and thank me later.

Now grab all the ingredients because you are ready to make a lip-smacking paneer tikka masala at home. If you like the recipe, please share the photo on Instagram and tag us too @marriedfriends. We just love to see your recreation of our recipes.

MORE RECIPES TO TRY:

  1. Dhaba-Style Dal Makhani
  2. Punjabi Rajma Masala
  3. Non-Fried Veggie Burger

Happy Cooking.

Love from us.

Richa & Jatin

Recipe

Paneer Tikka Masala – Rules The Heart!

Homemade is the best.

Servings

2

Prep Time

15 min

Cook Time

40 min

Rest Time

33 min

Ingredients

Marination

  • 1 tbsp Mustard Oil
  • 2 tbsp Gram Flour (Besan)
  • 1/4 cup Curd
  • 1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Coriander (Dhania) Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Garam Masala
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp Roasted Cumin Powder
  • 250 - 300 g Paneer (Cottage Cheese) cubed
  • 1 Onion (Petals) medium, diced
  • 1 Tomato medium, diced
  • 1 cup Capsicum diced

Gravy

  • 1 tbsp Cooking Oil
  • 1 Onion large, peeled
  • 2 Tomato large
  • 4 - 6 clove Garlic peeled
  • 1-Inch Piece Ginger
  • 2 tbsp Gram Flour (Besan)
  • 2 tbsp Curd
  • 1/4 tsp Asafoetida (Hing) powdered
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
  • 1 tsp Coriander (Dhania) Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 pinch Sugar
  • 2 tsp Kasuri Methi
  • Coriander Leaves to garnish
  • 500 ml Water

Other

  • Ghee as needed

Steps

Marination

  1. In a bowl, add mustard oil, red chili powder, and besan. Besan may form lumps hence whisk it well.
  2. Add curd and whisk well. Avoid lumps.
  3. Add the rest of the spices and mix everything well. Marination is ready.
  4. In the same bowl, add paneer, onion, tomato, and capsicum. Mix and coat the pieces well with the marination.
    I cut 12 cubes of the paneer. Also, make sure the diced veggies are bigger in size to easily place them on skewers.
  5. Cover the bowl and let it rest in the refrigerator at least for 30 minutes.
  6. After 30 minutes, place the marinated pieces on a skewer. 
  7. Heat a grilled sandwich maker (or any pan), apply some ghee to it. Place the skewers and let them cook or roast from all sides. 
    Apply ghee on the marinated pieces too.
  8. Once all the pieces are well roasted, remove them from the skewers and keep them aside. 
    Don't finish the tikkas. We need them for the gravy :)

Gravy

  1. Make Onion Paste - In a blender, add diced onions, garlic, and ginger. Blend till you get a smooth paste.
    Add water, if needed to blend.
  2. Prepare tomato puree - In a blender, add diced tomatoes and blend till you get a smooth puree.
  3. Heat oil in a pan.
  4. Add asafoetida and cumin seeds. Mix and let them sizzle for 20-30 seconds on medium-low flame. 
    Keep an eye as they may burn.
  5. Add onion paste and mix. Let it cook till all the moisture is evaporated and it looks dry. It takes around 5 minutes.
  6. Add tomato puree. Mix.
  7. Add red chili powder, turmeric powder, and salt. Mix well. Let it cook till all the moisture is evaporated and it starts releasing oil. It takes around 7 to 10 minutes.
    Adding red chili powder & turmeric powder at this stage gives a nice color to the gravy.
  8. Add gram flour and mix for a minute or two. 
  9. Add curd and whisk it well. It may form lumps. Hence, whisk vigorously. 
  10. Add coriander powder, garam masala, Kasuri methi. Mix well. 
  11. Add water and mix everything well. Cover and let it cook till the gravy thickens. It takes around 10-15 minutes.
    Add the leftover marination too at this stage.
  12. Once the gravy thickens, add a pinch of sugar. Mix it well.
  13. Add tikkas and mix. Cover & let it cook for 3 to 5 minutes.
  14. Finish it off with some chopped coriander leaves and ghee. 
  15. Serve Hot. Enjoy your happy meal :)
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