Paneer Tikka

Dry paneer tikka is a popular vegetarian appetizer in which melt in your mouth paneer and pieces of crunchy and sweet bell pepper/capsicum and onions are tossed in a spiced Greek yogurt marinade. Tradtionally, paneer tikka is made in a tandoori clay oven which gives it a charcoal flavor like grilled paneer. In this easy recipe you can make it stovetop, in a tawa, oven or even grill it.
Grilled paneer tikka on skewers on a metal tray with chaat masala, green chutney and lemon to the side.
  • Easy to make and always a crowd pleaser!
  • Can be prepped ahead of time for parties
  • Vegetarian and Jain-friendly if you omit the garlic and onion
  • Versatile and can be even made as a taco!

Table of Contents

About

First things first, paneer is made of milk which is curdled with either lemon juice or vinegar.

What is paneer tikka? In English, it means pieces/chunks (tikka) of Indian cottage cheese (paneer). Marinated cubes of paneer, bell peppers, onions and other vegetables of choice are cooked traditionally in a tandoori clay oven. Paneer tikka dry is commonly served as an appetizer whereas paneer tikka masala is served with gravy as a main course dish.

Grilled paneer tikka on skewers

Ingredient Substitutions / Notes

  • Yogurt – Ensure you use Greek yogurt or a hung curd/yogurt. A thicker yogurt enables better coating.
  • Green chutney – Serve with Mint Chutney or Cilantro Chutney
  • Chaat masala – this is needed in the marinade and can also be sprinkled on top when serving.
  • Besan – this is optional but gives a great restaurant type flavor and also helps bind the marinade.
  • Chilli powders – Red chilli powder gives heat, Kashmiri chilli gives it the color. If you don’t have Kashmiri chilli powder you can skip it.

Tools

Gas Stove Top Flame, Grill or Oven

  • Steel skewers: If you are making this on a gas stove top flame, grilling or in oven, using steel skewer sticks is recommended.

Tawa or Oven

  • Paneer tikka without skewers: you can make it without skewers on a tawa on the stove or in the oven in a baking sheet. Note, in the oven you have to flip the paneer/veggies to cook on sides so using skewers is easier and less time consuming.
Red onions, bell peppers (capsicum) and paneer cut into cubes.

Paneer Tikka Marination

  • Marination: Mix yogurt with spices
  • Add paneer and vegetables: Ensure pieces are coated well
  • Time to marinate: Recommend 40 minutes to 1 hour at least. You can also marinate and put in fridge overnight to cook next day. The more time you have, the more the flavors will soak in.

Tip: Make sure to cut the paneer and vegetable approximately the same size and shape! This will help you when cooking to ensure all are more evenly cooked/grilled.

Making the dish – get cooking!

  1. Cut paneer and vegetables into roughly equal size
  2. Mix yogurt with spices
  3. Toss paneer and vegetables in marinade to coat – cover and set aside 40 minutes
  4. Skewer in pattern (for example bell pepper, onion, paneer then repeat)
  5. Grill directly on gas flame on stovetop. OR place on baking sheet in pre-heated oven OR do not skewer and cook pieces on all sides on a tawa or non-stick pan on medium heat on stove. (dependent on which way you are cooking)

Tip: If yogurt marinade seems too thick add 1 tablespoon of water and mix. Check consistency. It should be spreadable but not too runny. I have found using Fage 5% yogurt I need to add 2 tablespoons of water.

What to Serve With Paneer Tikka

The three things typically served with this dish are:

Skewered tikka on a white tray with chutney, lemon and chaat masala on the sides.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you freeze paneer tikka? Yes, you can freeze paneer tikka. Make sure to take it out of the freezer with ample to defrost and thaw completely before cooking. If freezing a cooked version, let it thaw completely then reheat with a little oil on the stove in a pan or tawa. I also find microwaving it works well too.

Making it without besan? Yes, you can skip the besan, however, I think it is what gives the dish its restaurant flavor and also helps the marinade stick better onto the paneer and vegetables.

Try It? Leave A Review, Love To Hear Feedback! Or Tag Me On Instagram @some_indian_girl

Grilled paneer tikka on skewers on a metal tray with chaat masala, green chutney and lemon to the side.

Paneer Tikka

Shilpa Joshi
Dry paneer tikka is a popular vegetarian appetizer in which melt in your mouth paneer and pieces of crunchy and sweet bell pepper/capsicum and onions are tossed in a spiced Greek yogurt marinade. Tradtionally, paneer tikka is made in a tandoori clay oven which gives it a charcoal flavor like grilled paneer. In this easy recipe you can make it stovetop, in a tawa, oven or even grill it.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Indian
Servings 8 servings
Calories 160 kcal

Equipment

  • Skewers

Ingredients
  

  • 14 oz paneer 396g, cubed 16 pieces
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt 120g (or hung curd)
  • bell pepper/capsicum cubed 16 pieces, 165g
  • ½ red onion cubed 16 pieces, 55g

Paneer Tikka Yogurt Marinade

  • ½ tsp garlic 1 clove crushed
  • ½ tsp ginger crushed
  • tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp chaat masala
  • 1 tsp kasuri methi
  • 1 tsp dhana jeeru cumin coriander blend
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder lal mirch
  • 1 tsp kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp besan
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

Instructions
 

  • Cut paneer and vegetables into roughly equal size. I cut 16 pieces of each.
    Red onions, bell peppers (capsicum) and paneer cut into cubes.
  • Add yogurt, spices, garlic, ginger and besan to mixing bowl.
    Greek yogurt and masalas in a steel bowl.
  • Mix yogurt with spices.
    Paneer marinade being whisked in a bowl.
  • Toss paneer and vegetables in marinade to coat – cover and set aside 40 minutes.
    Paneer, bell peppers and onions tossed in the marinade.

Cooking on tawa

  • Heat pan on stove and put a little mustard oil. Cook paneer tikka pieces on all sides on medium heat until browned.
    Stovetop paneer tikka

Grill on gas stove flame or barbeque

  • Skewer in pattern (for example bell pepper, onion, paneer then repeat)
    Paneer , bell peppers and onions on a steel skewer.
  • If using gas stove, turn on high and grill directly on flame. Turn to char all sides.
    Grilling paneer tikka on stovetop flame on gas stove.
  • Serve with chaat masala, lemon juice and green chutney. Green chutney recipe linked below.
    Grilled paneer tikka on skewers on a metal tray with chaat masala, green chutney and lemon to the side.

In oven

  • Preheat oven to 425F. Put paneer and vegetables on skewer. Bake for 12 minutes. Turn paneer skewers. Turn on broil to high and broil for 1-2 minutes. Keep watching to ensure it does not burn. Turn again and broil 1 more minute until it is cooked to desired level.

Notes

Mint Chutney
Cilantro Chutney
 
Note: if making in oven ensure skewers are all metal and do not have wooden handles.

Nutrition

Calories: 160kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 9gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 163mgPotassium: 41mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 3IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 256mgIron: 1mg
Keyword dry paneer tikka, paneer tikka in oven, paneer tikka on stovetop, paneer tikka on tawa, panner tikka grilled
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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