Paneer Tikka is a popular Indian-style skewer made with marinated cottage cheese (paneer), bell pepper, tomato, and onion. This is the best restaurant-style paneer tikka recipe made at home. It is flavorsome, gluten-free, vegetarian, and perfect for the grilling season. Be sure to watch the video!
About Paneer Tikka
Paneer Tikka is one of the most popular vegetarian Indian snacks. You will find it on the menu of Indian restaurants worldwide.
The soft cubes of paneer (cottage cheese) along with colorful vegetables – onion, bell peppers, tomato, are marinated in a spicy, gluten-free rub.
Later, skewered and grilled to perfection. ‘Tikka’ is a Persian word, meaning ‘bits’ and ‘pieces’. Hence, the bite-size grilled pieces of chicken, meat, or paneer are called tikka.
Reason To LOVE Paneer Tikka
easy to cook
BIG on flavors
best finger food
vegetarian & gluten-free
perfect for BBQ and potluck
Do you need more reasons to bookmark this paneer tikka recipe?
The secret tip of my delicious achari paneer tikka recipe is the marinade.
The Indian pickles in Hindi are called ‘achaar‘. And the spice mix used in making the pickles is known as achaar masala. The word ‘achaari’ is used to describe any dish with the taste/flavor or aroma of a pickling spice mix.
I use a mix of – curd, ginger-garlic paste, salt, spices, mustard oil, fenugreek leaves, and the homemade pickle (achaar) masala to make a marinade for the tikka.
If you do not have pickle masala in hand, follow my video to make flavorsome achari paneer tikka.
Skip pickle masala and you have a basic versatile marinade to which you can add – coriander paste to make Hariyali Paneer Tikka, saffron to make Zafrani Paneer Tikka, or Cream to make Malai Paneer Tikka. The possibilities are endless.
The longer paneer (cottage cheese) and vegetables sit in the marinade, the more flavorsome, and juicy they will taste.
I usually prefer overnight time or at least 1 – 2 hours to rest the marinated cottage cheese and vegetables.
Watch Tawa Paneer Tikka Recipe Video
It is usually served on the skewers as finger food or a BBQ snack. Hence, you can serve it with a pasta salad, or green leafy salad along with
Store the leftover grilled paneer tikka in airtight containers in the refrigerator. Use them for stuffing sandwiches, tacos, and wraps.
I use leftover marinated paneer and vegetables to make lip-smacking, flavorsome, Biryani style – paneer tikka pulao. It is probably the best use of marinated paneer and veggies.
FAQ’s Related To Paneer Tikka
Can I make paneer tikka in the oven?
Follow the marination steps as suggested in the paneer tikka recipe. Skewer the paneer and the vegetables. Grill in a preheated oven at 200-degree celsius till the edges of the paneer and the vegetables start turning crisp and brown. Flip, and brush with oil after 10 – 15 minutes.
How to make Paneer Tikka in a BBQ Grill?
Fire up the charcoal and prepare the barbecue grill. Brush the barbecue grill with little mustard oil. Place the paneer tikka skewers over the grill and cook evenly from both sides. Once the paneer tikka starts turning charred and crisp from the edges remove it from the grill.
How to make vegan tikka?
To make vegan tikka, use tofu cubes instead of paneer (cottage cheese). For a vegan marinade for the tikka, skip curd and replace it with vegan yogurt or coconut cream.
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Achari Paneer Tikka Recipe
- Grill Pan
- 1 Cup paneer cubes, cottage cheese
- 1 Cup capsicum, cut into cubes
- 1 Cup tomato, discard pulp
- 1 Cup onion, cut into cubes
Ingredients For Marinade
- 1/4 Cup mustard oil
- 1 teaspoon kalonji (nigella seeds)
- 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (methi dana)
- 1/4 teaspoon carom seeds (ajwain)
- 1 Cup thick or hung curd (yogurt)
- 2 tablespoon roasted gram flour (besan)
- 1 tablespoon coriander powder
- 1 tablespoon roasted cumin powder
- 1 tablespoon ginger – garlic paste
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 tablespoon Kashmiri red chili powder
- 1 tablespoon Kasuri Methi (dry fenugreek leaves)
- 1 teaspoon pickle spice mix, (optional) ( see recipe )
Ingredinets For Smoked Flavor:
- 2 – 3 hot coal pieces
- 1 tablespoon ghee or butter, hot
Prep Work For Paneer Tikka
- Cut the paneer and the vegetables. keep them aside in a bowl.
- In a frying pan or tadka pan, smoke mustard oil over the gas flame. Add nigella seeds, fenugreek seeds, and carom seeds. Turn off the heat immediately. Swirl and allow the oil to cool down. Set aside.
- Combine thick curd, gram flour, spices, salt in a bowl and whisk to form a smooth, lump free mixture.
- Now add the cooled down, smoked mustard oil. Whisk the marinade nicely once again to combine all the ingredients. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
- Add the paneer cubes and vegetables to the marinade. Mix to coat each piece with the marinade. You can marinade the tikka overnight or at least for 1 – 2 hours. While marinating keep tikka in the refrigerator.
Adding Smoked Flavor:
- In the bowl of marinated tikka, place a small stainless steel bowl in the center. Add hot live pieces of coal to the small bowl. Immediately drizzle hot ghee or butter over the coal pieces to create smoke. Cover the big bowl with a lid. Let the smoke engulf the entore bowl of marinated paneer tikka for 5 – 6 minutes. Watch the recipe video for this step.
Grilling Paneer Tikka
- Skew the marinated paneer and vegetables in metal or bamboo skewers.
- Now you can cook the tikka on a bbq grill, direct flame, oven, or over the gas stove on a grill pan. Either ways it does not take more than 15 – 20 minutes to get ready.
- Drizzle lemon juice on tikka before serving.
- Serve Achari Paneer Tikka with green chutney.
- Plain Greek yogurt is perfect for making the marinade.
- Do not use non roasted gram flour for the marinade. If readymade roasted gram flour is not available, dry roast regular gram flour for 1 minute in a frying pan.
- To get the bright red color use only Kashmiri Red Chili Powder.
- Gently crush the Kasuri methi in between palms to help release its flavor and aroma.
- Do not add hot mustard oil to the marinade. Allow it to cool down before adding to the marinade.
- Adding pickle spice mix is optional in this paneer tikka recipe. If you do not have pickle masala, add a teaspoon of mango pickle, mix vegetable pickle, or red chili pickle. Make sure to chop the pickle nicely.
- While grilling, once the paneer and the vegetables turn little brown from the edges they are ready to serve.
- Leftover marinated paneer tikka can be used for sandwich/wrap stuffing or to make tawa pulao (see recipe here).
- Calories shared are for one skewer of paneer tikka.