This recipe shows you how to make tandoori paneer tikka easily at home on a tawa or pan. Learn the secret to getting the bright color and smoky flavor without food coloring or fancy ingredients!
Why you’ll love this tawa paneer recipe
Tandoori paneer tikka is one of the easiest tandoori recipes. One of the best vegetarian starters with paneer, they can be paired with an easy chutney like mint chutney. This paneer tikka is quite versatile. It can be made either in a tawa, oven or grill.
Paneer tikka is nutritious, rich in protein and quite filling. Though paneer is calorie-dense, the trick lies in limiting the salt in the marinade and oil while cooking.
The paneer tikka marinade is made of a few basic spices you might already have in your pantry. Cooking a batch of paneer tikka on tawa takes 10 minutes. So a total of 15 minutes is all it takes to make this tandoori paneer tikka!
Let’s dive right in:
Tawa Paneer tikka ingredients
(You can find the exact measurements and instructions in the printable recipe card at the end of this page.)
- Paneer: Use a good quality paneer. You can use homemade or store-bought paneer.
- Oil: I use 2 types of oil for making tandoori paneer tikka. One is mustard oil which gives characteristic flavor to all tandoori and tikka dishes. The second one is olive oil (or any cooking oil) for brushing on the grill pan.
- Spices: Coriander, cumin, chili powder, garam masala, and chaat masala. They make the paneer tikka and yogurt dressing so awesome.
- Kashmiri chili powder gives flavor and color without heat. You can use paprika as a close substitute. I use smoked paprika sometimes and no one can tell the difference!
- Pink salt: It is more flavorful than regular salt. If it’s unavailable, it is okay to use the regular one.
- Yogurt: You can use store-bought plain yogurt or homemade hung curd. If using homemade yogurt, ensure that it does not have excess moisture.
How to make paneer tikka on tawa: step by step
How to make paneer tikka marinade
Heat mustard oil in a small pan until warm. Add to Kashmiri chili powder and mix.
(Heating the oil gives a deep reddish tint and smoky flavor to the paneer tikka.) This is the hack I use for all my tandoori and tikka recipes.
Once it cools down, add yogurt, spices, salt, and lemon juice.
Mix well until the spices and salt dissolve and you get a uniform consistency. Your tandoori marinade is ready!
How to marinate paneer
Slice the block of paneer into ½-inch thick slabs as shown. If using store-bought fresh paneer, soak the slabs in hot water for 10 minutes.
Place the paneer slabs in a large bowl and add the tikka marinade.
Coat the paneer slabs with the marinade on all sides. Do it gently without breaking the paneer. Let it marinate for 5 to 10 minutes.
How to cook tawa paneer tikka
Brush a tawa, grill pan, or a regular pan with olive oil. Heat the pan and place the marinated paneer slabs without overcrowding the pan.
Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes. Flip and cook the other side for 3-4 minutes. Remove paneer tikka from the tawa.
Let paneer tikka rest for 5 minutes. Sprinkle some chaat masala and lemon juice. Serve tandoori paneer tikka with Indian mint sauce, or healthy avocado chutney.
Tips to make the best tandoori paneer tikka
- Tandoori marinade: If you like some heat in your paneer tikka, add ½ teaspoon of regular chili powder or cayenne pepper. (Kashmiri chili powder gives the flavor and color, without the heat.)
- Excess marinade: Shake off the excess marinade before you cook the paneer.
- Leftover marinade: Dice green and red bell peppers and mix with the leftover marinade. Cook them on the same tawa and serve with paneer tikka.
- Kasuri methi: These are dried fenugreek leaves with a slight bitter, earthy flavor. It is a common ingredient used in most of the paneer dishes. Add ½ teaspoon of it for more depth of flavor.
- To add some richness to the tikka: You can use ghee for basting the paneer tikka while cooking on the tawa.
- Making paneer tikka in oven: The oven-cooking instructions are the same as for hariyali paneer tikka recipe. Add roasted besan/chickpea flour to the marinated paneer and toss before threading the paneer tikka on to skewers.
- Scaling: This recipe can be doubled or tripled to serve more people.
- Make ahead and storing leftovers: Tandoori paneer tikka stays fresh in the fridge for about 2 days. Store in an airtight container or ziplock bag. If you want to store longer, freeze it. Thaw overnight in the fridge before you reheat.
- Reheating hack: Before you reheat paneer tikka in the microwave, sprinkle 1 or 2 teaspoons of hot water on the paneer. Or place a bowl of water next to the container while reheating. This will help the paneer stay moist.
Common questions about tandoori paneer tikka
How many calories does tandoori paneer tikka have?
The amount of calories depend on what fat you use for cooking the tikka. Paneer tikka served at restaurants are usually high in saturated fats.
When you make it at home, you have more control over the ingredients. Each tikka contains roughly about 45 calories. So a serving of 4 pieces would add up to about 180 calories.
If you would like to reduce the calories further, use low fat yogurt for the marinade. Use oil to baste the tikka instead of ghee or butter.
Is paneer tikka a junk food?
Paneer is a nutrient-rich, low-carb food. 100 grams of paneer on average contains 20 grams of fat and protein and less than 2 grams of carbohydrate. It is also rich in calcium, potassium, magnesium and other minerals and vitamins. Tawa paneer tikka made at home can be a healthy snack if you consciously limit oil and fat while cooking. This tandoori paneer tikka is so flavorful that you don’t need much of anything else to make it tastier.
What is the healthiest way to eat paneer?
Cooking methods: Avoid deep-frying paneer, as it adds unnecessary calories. Instead, consider healthier cooking methods like grilling, sautéing, or baking with minimal oil. This helps retain the nutritional value of paneer while reducing the overall fat content.
Control portion sizes: Paneer is high in protein and calcium, but it’s also calorie-dense. To maintain a balanced diet, it’s essential to consume paneer in moderate portions. A serving size of paneer is generally around 50-100 grams.
Pair with vegetables: Combine paneer with a variety of vegetables to enhance its nutritional profile.
Avoid excessive salt: Be mindful of the salt content in paneer-based dishes, as excessive sodium intake can be detrimental to health. For example, chaat masala used in the paneer tikka marinade contains salt, so reduce the salt content accordingly.
Is paneer heavy to digest?
Paneer is easy to digest and light on the stomach. Though it contains fats, they are easily digestible fatty acids.
Paneer is also a rich source of minerals that keep your digestive system healthy and help prevent digestive disorders. However, those who have a history of stomach disorders should avoid consuming uncooked paneer.
Health Benefits of Paneer
- The sphingolipids in paneer and the high amounts of protein help in combating colon and prostate cancer at the initial stages.
- Paneer is a rich source of calcium and Vitamin D and helps build strong bones and teeth.
- Unlike other sources of fat, paneer contains easily digestible fatty acids. Hence, it is an essential component in weight loss programs.
- Paneer is rich in minerals like phosphorus and magnesium, both of which are essential for the smooth functioning of the digestive system.
- Paneer is rich in magnesium that regulates the blood sugar level. Also, low carbs in paneer make it suitable for diabetic patients, too.
- Vitamin B complex present in paneer helps in building a strong immune system.
- It also contains a very high amount of potassium that helps maintain blood pressure levels.
More paneer recipes
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Hi! I’m Sheeba, welcome to Go Healthy ever after!
I have a passion for cooking delicious nourishing food that’s easy to cook with fresh natural ingredients free from additives or preservatives. The easy healthy recipes you find here will inspire you to cook with creativity.