Go Back
A step by step guide to making Paneer Tikka Masala recipe, a gorgeous Indian dish made with thick paneer cheese, yogurt, peppers and colorful spices.
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Paneer Tikka Masala

Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Author: Samantha Ferraro


Paneer Marinade:

  • 16 oz. paneer cut into 1” cubes (if you can’t find paneer, you can make your own or use extra firm tofu).
  • 1 small green bell pepper cut into 1” cubes
  • 1 small red bell pepper cut into 1” cubes
  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 ½ tsp. tandoori spice powder
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil


  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 medium yellow onion finely diced
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger + 1 tbsp minced garlic blended into a paste with oil
  • 2 tsp all-purpose flour
  • 3 plum tomatoes stem removed, and pureed in a blender
  • 2-3 cups water
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp tandoori spice powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder optional
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • Cilantro and lime for garnish


  • Combine all marinade ingredients in a bowl and marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour. You can do shorter but the paneer won’t have the same flavor.
  • After the paneer has marinated, coat the bottom of a large saute pan with vegetable oil. Heat until shimmering then add the marinated paneer and peppers. Allow to cook on one side for 3-4 minutes then flip and continue cooking until deep golden brown on all sides, about 10 minutes total. Set aside.
  • In a separate large pan, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil until shimmering. Add the cumin seeds.
  • When the cumin seeds start sizzling, add the onions and a pinch of salt. Saute until the onions are golden brown, 5-6 minutes.
  • Add the ginger-garlic paste and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
  • Add the pureed tomatoes and mix to incorporate, scraping the bits off the bottom of the pan.
  • After about 5 minutes once the tomatoes have darkened slightly, add the coriander powder, tandoori spice powder, and turmeric.
  • Stir to combine and cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes have turned into a paste and you see a bit of oil oozing out, 10-15 minutes. Don’t rush this step!
  • Add enough water to make a sauce. It was 2-3 cups for me but you can make it as thin or thick as you like. Stir to combine and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add the garam masala and the reserved panner and peppers. Simmer for another 5 minutes.
  • Add the heavy cream, a sprinkle of cilantro, a squeeze of lime, and you’re ready to eat!
  • Serve with naan bread or rice.