Paneer Tikka Recipe (How to make BEST paneer tikka recipe) (2024)

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Everyone loves this paneer tikka as a starter! Paneer cubes, onions and peppers are marinated in a creamy yogurt marinade that’s rich in spices and full of flavors. Then it’s arranged on the skewers and grilled into the oven (or stovetop) to lend that perfect crave-able smokey flavor.

Paneer Tikka Recipe (How to make BEST paneer tikka recipe) (1)
Jump to:
  • ❤️ About This Paneer Tikka Recipe
  • 🧾 Ingredient Notes
  • 👩‍🍳 Marinating Paneer Tikka (Stepwise Pics)
  • 👩‍🍳 Grilling Paneer Tikka In Oven (Pics)
  • 👩‍🍳 Cooking Paneer Tikka On Tawa (StoveTop)
  • 🍽 Serving Ideas For Paneer Tikka
  • 💭 Expert Tips For BEST Paneer Tikka Recipe
  • Recipe Card
  • Reviews

❤️ About This Paneer Tikka Recipe

Paneer tikka is one of the popular North Indian starters (appetizers) that you’ll find in any Indian restaurant.

In the restaurants, these skewers are grilled into the tandoor (clay oven), hence the original name is tandoori paneer tikka.

But at home, we can get the same charred flavor by broiling in the oven. Yes, we are not compromising in flavor at all. Try it out and you’ll see.

Plus, I am also sharing the method to make paneer tikka on tawa (skillet).

Whether you choose the oven method or stovetop, the marination has to be perfect and flavorful. All the flavors come from good marinade.

🧾 Ingredient Notes

Here is the pic of the ingredients used in making the best paneer tikka at home. Plus, you’ll also need a cooking oil spray and skewers (wooden or steel) The list looks long but all the spice powders are basic and easily available. Don’t forget to check out the few notes mentioned below.

Paneer Tikka Recipe (How to make BEST paneer tikka recipe) (2)
  • Greek yogurt: Traditionally the hung curd is used. For that, you need to take regular yogurt, tie into a muslin cloth and let the excess whey drip for 3-4 hours and you’ll get the thick hung curd. But here we are taking a short cut and using a greek yogurt which is already thick.
  • Onions and Peppers: Make sure to cut the cubes of the same size, so all looks even and cook at the same time.
  • Mustard oil: It adds a nice smokey and pungent flavor. Adding oil in the marinade helps to enhance the color of the spices like turmeric and red chili powder.
    • Here in the USA, mustard oil is banned. So whatever you find in Indian grocery stores labeled as ‘external use only’. But don’t worry that is safe to consume.
  • Besan (gram flour): It thickens the marinade and helps the marinade to stick to the paneer and veggie cubes. When it is roasted, it adds a nice crisp texture to the tikka.
  • The color of the marinade: In the restaurant, they add a few drops of food color to get the bright red color. Even if you add Kashmiri red chili powder at home, you won’t get that bright red color because we are adding all other spices as well. So at first as you mix, you don’t see a nice color. But as it is rested for marination, it picks up its color. But still not bright red like restaurants have.
  • Cooking oil spray: We are spraying the oil on all the sides of paneer tikka skewers right before roasting in the oven. It helps to avoid drying the paneer in the oven. Plus, oil prevents the chewy texture of the paneer. Instead, you can use the pastry brush to baste with oil. But I noticed that some of the marinades will be wiped our while using a brush.
  • Skewers: You can use wooden or steel skewers. I do not prefer steel skewers for paneer tikka because paneer and veggies are delicate and they may fall apart while arranging on steel skewers. The steel ones are best for meat, as the meat gets cooked from the center as steel can retain the heat better.
    • So I prefer to use wooden skewers. And don’t forget to soak them in water for 30 minutes. So it doesn’t burn while cooking.

👩‍🍳 Marinating Paneer Tikka (Stepwise Pics)

1) Take greek yogurt, mustard oil, besan, ginger and garlic in a large bowl.

2) Whisk really well and make sure that there are no lumps of besan.

3) Now add all the spice powders and salt.

4) Mix everything well.

5) Add paneer, onion and pepper cubes.

6) Mix well so the marinade is coated to every piece. Cover it with plastic wrap and let it rest for 1 hour to 4 hours or even overnight (if prepping ahead of time).

Paneer Tikka Recipe (How to make BEST paneer tikka recipe) (3)

👩‍🍳 Grilling Paneer Tikka In Oven (Pics)

Preheat the oven to 450°F (or 230°C) for at least 10 minutes. Prepare the baking tray with a rack on top. You can line the bottom tray with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

1) Arrange the paneer and veggies on the skewer. The order does not matter, but keep each veggie pieces between two paneer pieces. It will look good and everyone will get equal portion of veggie and paneer (not like some get more paneer while some get less)

2) Arrange the ready skewers on the prepared rack.

3) Spray generously with the cooking oil spray. Turn the skewers and spray again, so all the sides are coated with the oil.

4) Roast in the oven (in the middle rack) for 10 minutes. Then turn the broiler on, transfer the tray on top rack and grill for 3-4 minutes or until it gets charred flavor. During the broiling process, halfway through remove the tray, flip the skewers and broil. So it gets charred from all sides.

Paneer Tikka Recipe (How to make BEST paneer tikka recipe) (4)

👩‍🍳 Cooking Paneer Tikka On Tawa (StoveTop)

Here I have used the non-stick pan (the pics shot in 2012). Now I have tried with grilled pan (like I have used in this Bombay sandwich) and it works best.

1) Season the pan with oil. Place the skewers.

2) Once the bottom side is golden brown then flip and cook another side. Similarly, cook all four sides.

To get the smokey, charred flavor, slightly roast directly on the flame (like we roast the urad papad or make roti). For this step, be sure to open the windows and door, you’ll get some real smoke.

Paneer Tikka Recipe (How to make BEST paneer tikka recipe) (5)

🍽 Serving Ideas For Paneer Tikka

  • Serve the hot paneer tikka with lemon wedges and mint chutney. So, remove the tikka from the skewers, drizzle some fresh lemon juice, dip into the chutney and enjoy.
  • You can use this paneer tikka as a filling for wrap, kathi roll or frankie.
  • You can add into the pulao to make paneer tikka pulao.
  • Use them as a pizza topping to make fusion paneer pizza.
  • You can add this tikka into the creamy, rich gravy and make paneer tikka masala.

💭 Expert Tips For BEST Paneer Tikka Recipe

  • Use greek yogurt or hung curd. Do not use regular yogurt. Otherwise, the whey makes the marinade runny and instead of sticking to the paneer cubes, they sit at the bottom of the bowl.
  • Marination time: At least 1 hour is recommended. Above that, you can go up to overnight. More the marination time, flavors get infused more and more.
  • Avoid overcooking: Please roast them in the oven for only 10 mins and then broil for 3-4 mins only. Please do not cook for more than the mentioned time otherwise it gets chewy and dry.
  • Veggies: Just like the restaurants, I have used onions and peppers. You can skip if you don’t like it. You can add other vegetables like broccoli, mushroom, baby corn, tomato, etc.
  • Extra marinade: If you have any leftover marinade mixture, you can apply over tikka skewers before cooking. Or if you are going to make paneer tikka masala then add into the gravy.
Paneer Tikka Recipe (How to make BEST paneer tikka recipe) (6)

Check Out Other Paneer Recipes (Starters)

  • Paneer 65
  • Paneer manchurian
  • Chilli paneer
  • Tawa paneer

PS Tried this recipe? Please leave a star rating in the recipe card below and/or a review in the comment section. I always appreciate your feedback! Plus, Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for all the latest updates.

Note: This recipe was originally published in Jan 2012, I have learned so much over the years and now it is modified slightly to make it even better in May 2023.

Recipe Card

Step by Step Photos AboveWant to make it perfect first time? Don't forget to check out Step-by-Step photo instructions and helpful Tips & Tricks !!

Paneer Tikka Recipe (How to make BEST paneer tikka recipe) (7)

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Paneer Tikka Recipe (Oven & Stovetop)

4.84 from 6 votes

Tried this recipe? Leave a comment and/or give ★ ratings

Everyone loves this paneer tikka as a starter! Make this at home with the same charred flavor you get in the restaurants.

Course: Appetizer

Cuisine: Indian

Calories: 234kcal

Servings 4

Prep Time 20 minutes minutes

Cook Time 15 minutes minutes

Marination Time 1 hour hour

Total Time 1 hour hour 35 minutes minutes

US measuring cups are used (1 cup = 240 ml) See details

Ingredients

  • 6 oz (170) grams Paneer cut into cubes
  • ½ cup Red onion cut into big 1 inch pieces
  • ½ cup Capsicum (Green bell pepper) cut into cubes
  • ½ cup Red pepper cut into cubes
  • ½ cup Greek Yogurt or hung curd (1 cup plain yogurt makes ½ cup hung curd)
  • 2 tablespoons Mustard oil
  • 1 teaspoon Ginger paste or freshly grated or crushed
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic paste or freshly grated
  • 1 tablespoon Besan (gram flour)
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon Roasted cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon Coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon Garam masala
  • ¼ teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon Chaat masala
  • 1 teaspoon Amchur powder (dried mango powder)
  • ¼ teaspoon Black pepper powder
  • 1 teaspoon Kasoori methi (Dried fenugreek leaves) (crushed between your palm before adding)
  • Salt to taste
  • Cooking oil spray
  • Skewers
  • Few Lemon wedges for serving
  • 1 batch Mint chutney for serving

Instructions

Marinating Paneer:

  • Take greek yogurt, mustard oil, besan, ginger and garlic in a large bowl. Whisk really well and make sure that there are no lumps of besan.

  • Now add all the spice powders and salt. Mix everything well.

  • Add paneer, onion and pepper cubes. Mix well so the marinade is coated to every piece.

  • Cover it with plastic wrap and let it rest for 1 hour to 4 hours or even overnight (if prepping ahead of time).

Grilling In The Oven:

  • Preheat the oven to 450°F (or 230°C) for at least 10 minutes.

  • Prepare the baking tray with a rack on top. You can line the bottom tray with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

  • If using wooden skewers then make sure to soak ahead of time for at least 30 minutes.

  • Arrange the paneer and veggies on the skewer.

  • Spray generously with the cooking oil spray. Turn the skewers and spray again, so all the sides are coated with the oil.

  • Roast in the oven (in the middle rack) for 10 minutes.

  • Then turn the broiler on, transfer the tray on top rack and grill for 3-4 minutes or until it gets charred flavor. During the broiling process, halfway through remove the tray, flip the skewers and broil. So it gets charred from all sides.

Cooking On Tawa (Stovetop):

  • Use the nonstick pan or grill pan.

  • Heat the pan on medium heat, season the pan with oil. Place the skewers.

  • Once the bottom side is golden brown then flip and cook another side. Similarly, cook all four sides.

  • To get the smokey, charred flavor, slightly roast directly on the flame (like we roast the urad papad or make roti). For this step, be sure to open the windows and door, you’ll get some real smoke. It is good idea to turn off the fire alarm for sometime.

Notes

  • Use greek yogurt or hung curd. Do not use regular yogurt. Otherwise, the whey makes the marinade runny and instead of sticking to the paneer cubes, they sit at the bottom of the bowl.
  • Marination time: At least 1 hour is recommended. Above that, you can go up to overnight. More the marination time, flavors get infused more and more.
  • The color of the marinade: In the restaurant, they add a few drops of food color to get the bright red color. Even if you add Kashmiri red chili powder at home, you won’t get that bright red color because we are adding all other spices as well. So at first as you mix, you don’t see a nice color. But as it is rested for marination, it picks up its color. But still not bright red like restaurants have.
  • Avoid overcooking: Please roast them in the oven for only 10 mins and then broil for 3-4 mins only. Please do not cook for more than the mentioned time otherwise it gets chewy and dry.
  • Veggies: Just like the restaurants, I have used onions and peppers. You can skip if you don’t like it. You can add other vegetables like broccoli, mushroom, baby corn, tomato, etc.
  • Extra marinade: If you have any leftover marinade mixture, you can apply over tikka skewers before cooking. Or if you are going to make paneer tikka masala then add into the gravy.

Nutrition

Calories: 234kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 29mg | Sodium: 36mg | Potassium: 162mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 800IU | Vitamin C: 40mg | Calcium: 240mg | Iron: 1mg

*Nutrition information is a rough estimate for 1 serving

Did you make this recipe?Snap a pic, mention @spice.up.the.curry or tag #spiceupthecurry. I would love to see.

Paneer Tikka Recipe (How to make BEST paneer tikka recipe) (2024)

FAQs

Should I soak paneer before marinating? ›

Cut the paneer into cubes, about 1.5 cm x 1.5 cm. Soak the cubes in a bowl of boiling hot water (skip this step if using homemade paneer) whilst you make prepare the rest of the vegetables for the tikka and make the marinade.

Which milk is best for paneer? ›

Typically in India, buffalo milk is used to make paneer—it has a higher fat content than cow's milk and a richer flavor. If you can get your hands on whole buffalo milk, then do use it, but you can still get great results using regular cow's milk.

How to keep paneer soft in paneer tikka? ›

Soaking: Do not soak the paneer for more than 10 minutes, or it will break down and lose its taste and texture. Boiling: Soaking the paneer in cool water after boiling keeps it soft during cooking. Otherwise, it will turn hard and rubbery.

How do you keep paneer from falling apart? ›

Make sure you do not put too much weight as it will dry out the paneer making it very crumbly. If you do not have time to wait for the water to drain out, you can continue to gently squeeze out all the water and then knead and shape it while still in muslin cloth.

Why do people soak paneer in water before? ›

Top tip: If you find your paneer can get a bit dry or chewy when fried or cooked, you can soak it in water for 10 minutes so it retains more moisture while cooking.

How long does paneer take to cook? ›

On a low flame cook covered just for 1 to 3 minutes. Cooking for longer can make the paneer harder. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons cream and stir. You should get this thick creamy texture as you see in the picture below.

Which vinegar is best for paneer? ›

Add about 2 to 3 teaspoons of white vinegar or apple cider vinegar in 1 litre milk. With vinegar the milk curdles faster and quicker. Curd or yogurt: Fresh curd will give you more softer and moist paneer. You could add about 3 to 4 tablespoons of fresh curd or yogurt when making paneer recipe with 1 litre milk.

Which is the tastiest paneer? ›

Which paneer is best? The paneer made from fresh cow or buffalo milk is best. While Cow milk paneer is softer because of the reduced calcium concentration, buffalo milk paneer is more creamy in texture.

Why does paneer become hard after cooking? ›

Heating dries up the moisture content in the paneer and it makes it hard and rubbery. Hence after frying paneer in oil or ghee, always soak it in warm water for five to ten minutes. Then add the soaked paneer to any gravy of your choice.

How do you keep paneer from being rubbery? ›

A simple trick to avoid this. - After frying the paneer, dip it into water with a pinch. of salt. - Remove it after a couple of minutes and that's it.

How to make paneer chewy? ›

In the restaurants usually they fry the paneer cubes in some amount of oil, which makes it chewy. I usually prepare a large block of paneer and store it in the refrigerator. And whenever i have to use it, i soak it in hot water for some time and it comes out as freshly prepared. and use it to press the paneer.

What is the liquid left after making paneer? ›

'Paneer ka pani' also known as whey water is a byproduct of the paneer making process. Generally, people discard this water after extracting paneer from it but it contains good amounts of protein and is not worth wasting.

How to prevent homemade paneer from breaking? ›

Ensure there is no excess whey in the milk solids before you keep it for setting. To ensure this I always hang the paneer for 30 min to drain it completely else the paneer can break in your sauce.

Why paneer is kept in water after frying? ›

After frying, if the paneer becomes hard, let the raw paneer soak in normal water for 10 minutes. This is because cooking extracts the paneer moisture making it hard or rubbery to eat. On the other hand, putting the paneer in water keeps it soft and gives the necessary moisture (if lost while cooking).

Does paneer absorb marinade? ›

Marinating the paneer prior to cooking, helps the paneer absorb salt and other flavors. Using oil in the marinade acts as a second layer of protection against sticking on the grill.

Should you soak paneer before adding to curry? ›

Usually store bought paneer with added starch becomes rubbery the minute it hits the hot curry. It is a good idea to refresh your store bought paneer by soaking in hot water for 15 to 20 mins. This step prevents rubbery paneer.

Should you marinate paneer in fridge or room temperature? ›

Marinate Paneer for at least 1-2 hours in the refrigerator. that will result in soft & juicy Paneer tikkas. Before adding Paneer in skewers (if using bamboo ones) soak the skewers in water. That way, the skewers will not get burned.

How to get paneer to absorb flavor? ›

2 possible ways: you can add flavor to the buttermilk before making it into cheese. You could infuse it with herbs, or other aromatics. Second way is to marinate the finished cheese. I like to dissolve some curry paste in oil, then marinate the paneer cubes for a couple hours, prior to frying them or adding to a curry.

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