Paneer Tikka Masala

Browned and spiced cheese in a creamy tomato sauce.

Paneer Tikka Masala

Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Servings 1 (each preparation makes 6 cups)


Paneer ingredients by volume:

  • 2 inch fresh ginger (1 tbsp after grating)
  • 3 clove garlic
  • 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • .5 tsp ground cumin
  • .5 tsp ground coriander
  • .25 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 16 oz paneer

Sauce ingredients by volume:

  • 1 yellow onion
  • 3 clove garlic
  • 1.5 inch fresh ginger (2 tsp after grating)
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 28 oz canned crushed or diced tomatoes
  • 2 tsp agave
  • .5 tsp salt
  • .25 cup heavy cream

Paneer ingredients by weight:

  • 25 g fresh ginger
  • 15 g garlic
  • 245 g plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 27 g vegetable oil
  • 1 g ground cumin
  • .8 g ground coriander
  • .6 g cayenne pepper
  • 6 g salt
  • 450 g paneer

Sauce ingredients by weight:

  • 200 g yellow onion
  • 15 g garlic
  • 15 g fresh ginger
  • 41 g vegetable oil
  • 18 g tomato paste
  • 6 g garam masala
  • 800 g canned crushed or diced tomatoes
  • 14 g agave
  • 3 g salt
  • 60 g heavy cream


Paneer instructions:

  • Peel and grate the ginger. Mince or press the garlic. Mix the ginger, garlic, whole-milk yogurt, vegetable oil, cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper, and salt.
  • Turn on the oven's broiler.
  • Cut the paneer into 1-centimeter cubes. Spread the paneer in a single layer on a baking pan, and pour the yogurt mixture over top. Broil for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and stir. Return to oven for 4-10 minutes, depending on how hot your oven runs. You can judge whether to reduce the interval time by looking at the color of the cheese - aim for golden with no dark brown or burnt bits. Continue to broil/stir in 4-10 minute intervals until the paneer is golden brown on all sides and the yogurt sauce has cooked off, about 40 minutes.

Sauce instructions:

  • While the paneer grills, dice the onion or slice it into crescents. If you intend to use an immersion blender on the sauce in Step 5, then you can chop the onion coarsely instead. Mince/press the garlic, and grate the ginger.
  • Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat, then add the onion and stir occasionally and cook until light golden, about 8-10 minutes.
  • Add garlic, ginger, tomato paste and garam masala to the onion. Stir constantly until well-combined and fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Add crushed tomatoes, agave, and salt, then bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove the pot from heat. Stir in the cream. If you prefer a smoother sauce, use an immersion blender until you like the consistency. Cover the pot to keep it warm.
  • Once the paneer is done, stir it into the sauce.