Dhaba Style Paneer Tikka Masala At Home | ढाबे जैसा पनीर टिक्का मसाला | SindhiZaika.com

Do you love dhaba style paneer tikka masala, the creamy and spicy dish that is a staple of Indian cuisine? Do you want to make it at home, but don’t know how to get that authentic restaurant or dhaba flavor? If this is what you are looking for, then you are on the right page!

In this page, I will share with you my secret recipe for making paneer tikka masala at home, using simple ingredients and easy steps. We will learn how to marinate the paneer, grill it to perfection, and make the rich and aromatic gravy that goes with it. We will also get some tips on how to pair and serve this dish for a complete meal.

So, What is Paneer Tikka Masala?

We all know about it, and have enjoyed it so many times.  Just for someone who is new to Indian cuisine, Paneer tikka masala is a popular Indian dish that consists of grilled or roasted paneer (Indian cottage cheese) cubes in a spicy and creamy tomato-based sauce. It is a vegetarian dish which is very popular in India and worldwide.

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The word “tikka” in this dish refers to the chunks of paneer that are marinated in yogurt and spices, and then grilled or roasted on skewers. The word “masala” means “mixture” or “spice blend” in Hindi, and refers to the sauce that is made with tomatoes, onions, cream, and various spices.

Why is Paneer Tikka Masala so Popular?

Paneer tikka masala is one of the most popular dishes in Indian restaurants and dhabas (roadside eateries) because of its delicious taste and texture. It has a perfect balance of flavors, with the tanginess of tomatoes, the sweetness of cream, the heat of chilies, and the aroma of spices. It also has a rich and creamy texture, with the soft and succulent paneer cubes contrasting with the smooth and thick gravy.

The amazing part of this dish is that it can be enjoyed with various accompaniments. It can be served with roti (flatbread), naan (leavened bread), paratha (layered bread), kulcha (stuffed bread), rice, or pulao (rice pilaf). It can also be paired with other dishes such as dal (lentil soup), raita (yogurt salad), salad, or pickle.

Prep Time

Preperation Time 20 mins
Resting / Marination 20 mins
Cooking Time 30 mins
Total Time 70 mins
Serving 3-4 persons

Super Ingredients for Paneer Tikka Masala

For the Marination

    • Paneer – 250 gms
    • Yogurt – ½  Cup 
    • Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder – 1 Tsp 
    • Garam Masala – 1 Tsp 
    • Turmeric Powder – ½  Tsp 
    • Coriander Powder – ½  Tsp 
    • Cumin Powder – ½  Tsp 
    • Tsp Salt – to taste
S Dhaba Style Paneer Tikka Masala At Home | SindhiZaika.com

For the Spiced Masala Gravy

    • Cooking Oil
    • Dried Red Chilies
    • 1 Medium Onion – 1
    • 10 Cashews – 10
    • Garlic Cloves – 4-5
    • inch Ginger – 1
    • Medium Tomatoes – 2
    • Red Chili Powder – 2 tsp
    • Turmeric Powder – ½ tsp
    • Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
    • Salt to taste
    • Garam Masala – 1 tsp
    • Kasuri Methi – 1 tsp

How to Make Paneer Tikka Masala?

Trust me, this is going to be super easy,  All we have to do is to follow these simple steps to prepare paneer tikka masala at home:

Step 1: Cut and Marinate the Paneer

  1. We will cut the paneer into bite-sized cubes and keep aside.
  2. In a blender or mixer, we will now grind the ginger and garlic into a smooth paste.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the yogurt until smooth.
  4. Add salt, turmeric, red chili powder, garam masala, and kasuri methi to the yogurt and mix well.
  5. Add the paneer cubes to the yogurt mixture and toss gently to coat them well.
  6. Cover the bowl with a cling wrap or a lid and refrigerate for at least an hour or up to overnight.

Step 2: Roast the Paneer

  1. In the pan, we will heat about 4-5 tablespoons of oil. Once hot, add the marinated paneer cubes. Flip them upside down once you think they are done, about 1.5 minutes on each side. Ensure enough oil to prevent sticking.
  2. Once done, line a plate with a paper towel and place the paneer cubes on it.
  3. Again in the same pan, add 1 tablespoon of oil. Add cumin seeds, bay leaf, and a small cinnamon stick. Let it sizzle.
S Dhaba Style Paneer Tikka Masala At Home | SindhiZaika.com

Step 3: Make the Gravy

  1. In a blender or mixer, grind the onion, tomato, and cashew nuts into a smooth puree.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet or kadhai over medium-high heat.
  3. Add the onion-tomato puree and bring it to a boil.
  4. We will now lower the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the gravy thickens and leaves oil on the sides.
  5. Add salt, red chili powder, garam masala, and kasuri methi to the gravy and mix well.
  6. Add water as needed to adjust the consistency of the gravy.
  7. Add cream and mix well.
  8. Add the paneer cubes and simmer for another 10 minutes, until they are heated through and absorb some of the gravy.

Step 4: Garnish and Serve

S Dhaba Style Paneer Tikka Masala At Home | SindhiZaika.com

Transfer the paneer tikka masala to a serving dish and garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with roti, naan, paratha, kulcha, rice, or pulao. Enjoy your restaurant/dhaba style paneer tikka masala at home!

Pairing and Serving

Paneer Tikka Masala pairs wonderfully with a variety of side dishes and accompaniments to create a complete and satisfying meal. Here are some popular options:

  • Jeera Rice: Fragrant and flavorful, jeera rice complements the rich and spicy flavors of Paneer Tikka Masala perfectly. The subtle cumin undertones of jeera rice balance the boldness of the masala gravy.
  • Naan: Soft and fluffy naan bread is a classic choice to soak up the delicious gravy of Paneer Tikka Masala. The combination of warm naan and creamy paneer is simply irresistible.
  • Parathas: Whether it’s plain, buttered, or stuffed with potatoes, parathas are a hearty and satisfying accompaniment to Paneer Tikka Masala. The flaky layers of paratha add a delightful texture to the meal.
  • Roti: Simple and wholesome, roti is a staple in Indian households and pairs beautifully with Paneer Tikka Masala. Its mild flavor allows the masala gravy to shine.
  • Steamed Rice: For a lighter option, steamed rice serves as a neutral base to highlight the robust flavors of Paneer Tikka Masala. The soft texture of rice contrasts with the creamy paneer and spicy gravy.
  • Salad: A crisp and refreshing salad of cucumber, tomato, and onion adds a crunchy element to the meal while providing a burst of freshness to balance the richness of Paneer Tikka Masala.
  • Raita: Cool and creamy raita made with yogurt, cucumber, and mint provides a cooling contrast to the spicy heat of Paneer Tikka Masala. Its refreshing flavor helps to cleanse the palate between bites.
  • Papad: Crispy and crunchy papad lends a satisfying texture to the meal and serves as a delightful accompaniment to Paneer Tikka Masala. Its light and airy texture provide a contrast to the creamy curry.

Recipe FAQs

What is the difference between Paneer Tikka and Paneer Tikka Masala?

Paneer Tikka is a dish where marinated paneer cubes are grilled or cooked in a tandoor oven, while Paneer Tikka Masala involves cooking the paneer tikka in a spicy and creamy gravy made from tomatoes, onions, and various spices.

Can I make Paneer Tikka Masala without a grill or tandoor oven?

Yes, we can make Paneer Tikka Masala without a grill or tandoor oven. Simply pan-frying the marinated paneer cubes until they are golden brown works well. Alternatively, we can bake them in the oven.

Can I make Paneer Tikka Masala vegan?

Yes, we can make a vegan version of Paneer Tikka Masala by substituting paneer with tofu and using dairy-free yogurt and cream. Adjust the spices and seasonings accordingly to suit our taste preferences.

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