Paneer Tikka is a delicious tandoori snack where the paneer (cubes of Indian cottage cheese) is marinated in a marinade made from spicy yogurt, laid out on skewers and toasted in the oven.
If you don’t have an oven, instead of broiling in the oven, you can cook it on a stovetop or on a tawa.
In this article, I share these two methods and you can either recipe.
- Baked Paneer Tikka – Restaurant Style
- Paneer Tikka made on Tawa or on the Stovetop – Easy fool proof recipe.
About this Tandoori Paneer Tikka made in Oven
Tikka basically means anything that is marinated and then baked or broiled or fried and paneer tikka is a popular vegetarian tikka dish. This tasty homemade version is similar to the dish served in restaurants, but I would say it’s better!
Indian spice powders mixed with yogurt (curd) result in a flavorful marinade which is absorbed by the porous paneer cubes. Grilling the skewers then produces a nice crisp lightly on the paneer.
You can easily use this paneer tikka recipe to make the very popular Paneer Tikka Masala curry dish.
What is tandoori-style cooking?
For those new to Indian cooking, tandoori-style cooking occurs when pickled ingredients or Indian flatbreads, in this case paneer cubes, have been threaded onto a skewer and grilled in a tandoor, which is a cylindrical oven. in clay.
It produces a subtle charcoal flavor and is a popular way of cooking in Indian restaurants. In this homemade version, we grill the paneer skewers in the oven, also you can even bake them. Most of the time, for tikka recipes, yogurt marinade is prepared, which is unique to tandoori style grilling.
Some other variations of tikka
- Paneer Malai Tikka – cream is added, and the dish has milder flavors than regular paneer tikka.
- Achari Paneer Tikka – this version is flavored with marinade spices.
- Hariyali Paneer Tikka – made with the addition of fresh green herbs.
This restaurant-style Paneer Tikka can be easily prepared at home. In this delicious recipe, paneer cubes are marinated in a spicy yogurt-based marinade, laid out on skewers and grilled or baked.
This spicy snack is a dry dish, which means it is not in a gravy sauce, but the paneer cubes themselves are juicy and moist.
In this recipe, peppers (capsicum) and onions have been added to the skewers. Vegetables add flavor and nutrition and you can add as many as you want. This vegetarian dish is an excellent appetizer or side dish.
Ingredients in this Paneer Tikka
- Paneer (Indian cottage cheese): This is the main ingredient of the dish and it is important to use a good quality paneer. In fact, as with all of my paneer recipes, I recommend using Homemade Paneer. This maintains freshness and avoids hidden ingredients and preservatives found in store-bought paneer.
- Marinade: Homemade curd or hanging yogurt is used as the base for the marinade. You can even use Greek yogurt. Indian spice powders are then added to balance the taste of the sour yogurt and add a touch of flavor to the dish.
- Veggies: Here I used peppers (capsicum) and onions. You can use any veg you want, including corn, mushrooms, cauliflower, tomatoes, broccoli, and more.
Tips for making paneer tikka
- Barbecue: You can also make the paneer tikka on the barbecue grill.
- Broil: In the broiler for 15 to 20 minutes at 230 or 240 degrees Celsius with only the top heating element on. Basically here we grill the dish.
- Marinating time: It is good to marinate the paneer cubes for 2 hours or more. You can also store the marinated paneer overnight in the refrigerator. Since making the tikka paneer for dinner, I have marinated the paneer and vegetables for 2 hours in the fridge. The longer it marinates, the better the flavors infused into the paneer and vegetables.
- Vegetables: The vegetables can be of your choice. In the step by step photos I used onions and green pepper (capsicum). You can use corn, mushrooms, cauliflower, tomatoes, broccoli, etc. For the cauliflower, blanch them before marinating them.
- Adding Oil: While baking or baking, paneer cubes and vegetables may become dry. Oil is added to the paneer and vegetable mixture to prevent this from happening. The paneer cubes and vegetables are also brushed with oil to prevent them from drying out.
- Overcooking: do not overcook the paneer as it becomes rubbery, dry and hard. The paneer should be soft, well cooked but also moist.
- Marinade: Leftover marinade can be applied or brushed onto the tikka paneer before grilling. If you are making tikka masala paneer sauce, you can use the additional marinade in the sauce.
- Vegan options: Use seitan, tempeh, or tofu instead of paneer. In place of dairy yogurt, use a vegan yogurt like almond or cashew yogurt.
Serve this delicious paneer tikka with a mint chutney. This chutney is the traditional sauce to accompany all tandoori dishes. Lemon wedges and onion slices are also traditionally served with this appetizer dish.
Also Read: Pav Bhaji – Spicy Mashed Vegetable Sauce
How to make paneer tikka in the oven
1. Peel, rinse and dice 1 medium onion into 1 to 1.5 inch square pieces. Rinse and slice 1 small to medium-sized bell pepper (green pepper) into 1 to 1.5 inch pieces. You will need ½ cup each of bell pepper and onions. Set aside. You can also use tomatoes if you want.
2. Crush 1.5 inches of ginger and 6-7 small to medium garlic into a fine paste in a pestle mortar. You will need 1 tablespoon of crushed ginger-garlic paste.
3. Cut the 200-250 gram block or paneer into cubes or squares and set aside. Your best bet is to use homemade paneer.
Making the Hung Curd marinade
4. Put 200 grams of hanging curd (Greek yogurt) in a bowl. With a whisk, lightly beat the curds until smooth.
5. Now add 1 tablespoon of ginger and garlic paste or 1 tablespoon of crushed ginger and garlic to the curd. Also add all the dry spice powders. Below are the following Indian spice powders clockwise:
- 2 teaspoons of Kashmiri red pepper powder
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon garam masala powder
- 1 teaspoon of cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon of dry mango powder (amchour)
- 1 teaspoon of ajwain (carambola seeds)
- 1 teaspoon of chaat masala
- ½ teaspoon black pepper powder (optional)
Kashmiri red chili powder gives food a nice red color but is not spicy and hot. Instead of Kashmiri red chili powder, you can add 2 teaspoons of sweet paprika or ½ to 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
6. Add ½ teaspoon of black salt and regular salt to taste. If you don’t have black salt, skip it.
7. Add ½ tablespoon (1.5 teaspoon) of lemon juice.
8. Then add 1 tablespoon of mustard oil. If you don’t have mustard oil, use an oil with a neutral taste.
9. Mix very well. Check the taste and add more seasonings if necessary.
Paneer and pickled vegetables
10. Add the onions, peppers and paneer to the marinade.
11. Mix them slowly and gently with the marinade. Cover and store marinated paneer and vegetables in the refrigerator for 2 hours or more.
12. After 2 hours, this is how they look.
Thread Paneer and Veggies
13. Begin to thread the vegetables and the paneer alternately on bamboo skewers. Before you start to preheat the oven at 230 or 240 degrees Celsius or 464 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 to 20 minutes. Use only the top heating element during preheating and broiling. Soak or rinse the bamboo skewers before putting them on.
14. Place them on a tray lined with foil or parchment paper.
15. Brush with a little oil all over.
Prepare a grilled Paneer Tikka
16. Place the platter on the upper rack and grill in the preheated oven for 7-10 minutes first at 230-240 degrees Celsius or 464 degrees Fahrenheit.
17. Then remove the tray from the oven and rotate the paneer tikka skewers.
18. Again stand on the top rack of the oven and continue toasting until the edges of the paneer and vegetables are golden or lightly charred, about 3 to 5 minutes. Do not toast for a long time as the paneer becomes hard. Since temperatures vary from oven to oven, stay in control. You can decrease or increase the time as needed. 15 to 20 minutes will be the total cooking time.
19. Remove when finished. Serve the paneer tikka sprinkled with a little chaat masala and lemon juice. Also serve the mint chutney, onion slices and lemon wedges on the side.
For Paneer Tikka on Tawa or Stove
This is an easy and foolproof recipe for a delicious paneer tikka on the tawa or stove or griddle or pan.
I had had a lot of comments on how to make paneer tikka on tawa. So I decided to share this simple method. Since not everyone has an oven. If you don’t have tava, you can also make this tikka recipe in a pan.
A few years ago, I didn’t have a baking oven. We had a microwave oven, but its only function was to heat or cook food with microwave energy.
Those days I was doing paneer tikka on tava. When I first made the tikkas, the paneer squares were sticking to the tawa and were lightly burnt. So here the tawa was at fault. I used tawa which was used to make roti without fat (ghee or oil) and therefore not seasoned.
Later, by frying them on non-stick tawa, the paneer pieces did not get stuck. I also experimented with adding besan / gram flour to the marinade and found it gave the tikka a good crunch and taste. The besan would also help the paneer not to get stuck to the tawa.
Tips for making Paneer Tikka on Tawa
- When making the tikka paneer on the stovetop, use a ceramic or non-stick pan or use a well-seasoned tawa or griddle. Even the tawas that you do dosas on also work well.
- I have used nonstick tawa and iron and both work great. For the iron tawa, just remember that the tawa needs to be very well seasoned. if you make rotis or chapatis on this tawa, the paneer cubes will get stuck.
- For this paneer tikka recipe, I used fresh homemade curd. The yogurt was quite thick so I didn’t strain it or hang it up. The addition of besan also contributes to a slight thickening of the marinade. If using homemade or store-bought yogurt, make sure the curd is thick. There shouldn’t be a lot of whey. In case there is whey, strain the yogurt through cheesecloth for a few hours in the refrigerator, until you get a thick yogurt.
How to season the tawa or the griddle
- Basically, seasoning means preparing the tawa or hotplate for frying / roasting, in which you heat the hotplate and then apply oil. Let the oil heat up then turn off the hotplate. Wipe off the oil. Reapply oil and allow the griddle to cool. store the tawa with the oil on it. you can repeat the first step two or three times. When you are going to cook, heat the tawa and wipe off the oil. Then continue with the recipe.
- She was kind enough to give her grandmother’s advice on seasoning the tawa before making dosas. For many years, they have been using this technique. This method is also useful for people who don’t eat onions (to let you know, onions are used to season the tawa. Half of an onion is soaked in oil and then smeared over the tava before to make dosas).
- The method is as follows: on the tawa, heat the oil. add a teaspoon of sesame oil. add ½ to 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds. wait until the mustard starts to stutter. spread everything on the tava and remove the oil and seeds. The tawa is ready to be used.
These paneer tikka can be served as a starter or as a snack with chopped onions, lime and mint chutney. They even go well as a side dish. You can even have the tikka paneer with rotis, naan, or bread.