Paneer Tikka, How to make Paneer Tikka (Oven or Tawa or Pan)


Paneer Tikka is a popular and delicious tandoori snack where paneer (Indian cottage cheese cubes) are marinated in a spiced yogurt-based marinade, arranged on skewers and grilled in the oven.

If you don’t have an oven, then instead of grilling in oven, you can make it on stovetop or tawa.

two grilled paneer tikka skewers kept on a black slate board with a bowl of cilantro dip on top right, one lemon wedge below the bowl and a few onion rounds near the lemon wedge

In this post I am sharing both these methods and you can either of the recipe.

  • Paneer Tikka made in Oven – Restaurant Style
  • Paneer Tikka made on Tawa or Stovetop – Easy Fool Proof Recipe.

About this Tandoori Paneer Tikka made in Oven

Tikka basically means anything that is marinated and then baked or grilled or fried and paneer tikka is a popular vegetarian tikka dish. This tasty homemade version is similar to the dish served in restaurants, but I would say actually tastes better!

The Indian spice powders mixed with the yogurt (curd) make a flavorful marinade that is soaked up by the porous paneer cubes. Grilling the skewers then produces a nice slightly crispiness on the paneer.

You can easily use this recipe of paneer tikka to make the very popular curry based dish of Paneer Tikka Masala.

What is Tandoori Style Cooking?

For newbies to Indian food, tandoori style cooking is when marinated ingredients or Indian flatbreads, in this case paneer cubes, have been threaded on a skewer and grilled in a tandoor, which is a cylindrical clay oven.

This produces a subtle charcoal flavor and is a popular way of cooking in Indian restaurants. In this homemade version we grill the paneer skewers in the oven, although you can even bake them. Most of the times for tikka recipes, the yogurt-based marinade is made which is unique to the tandoori style grilling.

Some more tikka variations

This Restaurant Style Paneer Tikka can be easily made at home. In this delicious recipe, paneer cubes are marinated in a spiced yogurt-based marinade, arranged on skewers and grilled or baked in the oven.

This spicy snack is a dry dish, meaning it is not in a gravy sauce, but the paneer cubes themselves are juicy and succulent.

Bell peppers (capsicum) and onions have been added to the skewers in this recipe. The veggies add flavor and nutrition and you can add as many as you like. This vegetarian dish makes a great appetizer or side.

Ingredients in this Paneer Tikka

  1. Paneer (Indian cottage cheese): This is the main ingredient in the dish and it is important to use a good quality paneer. In fact, as with all my paneer recipes, I recommend using Homemade Paneer. This ensures freshness and avoids any hidden ingredients and preservatives found in store-bought paneer.
  2. Marinade: Homemade Hung Curd or Hung Yogurt is used as the base of the marinade. You can even use greek yogurt. Indian spice powders are then added to balance out the sour yogurt taste and give a flavor kick to the dish.
  3. Veggies: Here I have used bell peppers (capsicum) and onions. You can use veggies of your choice, including baby corn, mushrooms, cauliflower, tomatoes, broccoli and more.

two grilled paneer tikka skewers kept on a black slate board with a bowl of cilantro dip on top right, two lemon wedges below the bowl and some slices onion rounds near the lemon wedges

Tips for making paneer tikka

  1. Barbecue: You can also cook the paneer tikka on barbecue grill.
  2. Grilling in the oven: In the oven grill for 15 to 20 minutes at 230 or 240 degree celsius with only the top heating element on. Basically here we are broiling the dish.
  3. Marination Time: It is best to marinate the paneer cubes for 2 hours or more. You can also keep the marinated paneer overnight in the fridge. Since I made the paneer tikka for dinner, I marinated the paneer and veggies for 2 hours in the refrigerator. The longer it marinates, the better flavors get infused into the paneer and veggies.
  4. Vegetables: The veggies used can be of your choice. In the step by step photos, I have used onions and green bell pepper (capsicum). In the video I have used red, yellow and green bell pepper with onions. You can use baby corn, mushrooms, cauliflower, tomatoes, broccoli etc. For cauliflower blanch them before marinating.
  5. Adding Oil: While grilling or baking, the paneer cubes and veggies can become dry. Oil is added to paneer and veggie mixture to prevent this from happening. The paneer cubes and veggies are also brushed with some oil to avoid them from becoming dry.
  6. Overcooking: Don’t overcook the paneer as they then become rubbery, dry and hard. The paneer should be soft, well cooked but also succulent.
  7. Marinade: The leftover marinade can be applied or brushed on the paneer tikka before grilling them. If you are making paneer tikka masala gravy, you can use the extra marinade in the gravy.
  8. Vegan Options: Use tofu, seitan or tempeh in place of paneer. Use a vegan yogurt like almond or cashew yogurt in place of dairy yogurt.

Serving Suggestions

Serve this delicious paneer tikka with Mint Chutney. This chutney is the traditional sauce to be served with all tandoori dishes. Onion slices and lemon wedges are also traditionally served with this appetizer dish.

Paneer Tikka Recipe Video

How to make paneer tikka in oven


1. Peel, rinse and dice 1 medium-sized onion in square shaped 1 to 1.5 inches pieces. Rinse and slice 1 small to medium sized capsicum (green bell pepper) in 1 to 1.5 inches pieces. You will need ½ cup each of onions and capsicum. Keep aside. You can also use tomatoes if you want.

chopped onions and capsicum

2. Crush 1.5 inches ginger and 6 to 7 small to medium sized garlic to a fine paste in a mortar-pestle. You will need 1 tablespoon of crushed ginger-garlic or 1 tablespoon of ready ginger-garlic paste.

crushing ginger & garlic in mortar-pestle

3. Slice 200 to 250 grams block or paneer into cubes or squares and keep aside. Best is to use homemade paneer.

paneer chopped in cubes

Making Hung Curd Marination

4. Put 200 grams hung curd (greek yogurt) in a bowl. With a whisk beat the curd lightly till smooth.

hung curd (greek yogurt) in a bowl

5. Now add 1 tablespoons ginger garlic paste or 1 tablespoon crushed ginger garlic to the curd. Also add all the dry spice powders. Below you see the following Indian spice powders in clockwise order:

  • 2 teaspoons kashmiri red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon dry mango powder (amchur)
  • 1 teaspoon ajwain (carom seeds)
  • 1 teaspoon chaat masala
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper powder (optional)

Kashmiri red chili powder gives a nice red color to the food but is not spicy and hot. Instead of kashmiri red chilli powder, you can add 2 teaspoons of sweet paprika or ½ to 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.

spice powders and ginger-garlic paste added to hung curd

6. Add ½ teaspoon black salt and regular salt as per taste. If you do not have black salt, then skip it.

black salt and regular salt added

7. Add ½ tablespoon (1.5 teaspoons) lemon juice.

lemon juice being added

8. Next add 1 tablespoon mustard oil. If you do not have mustard oil, then use a neutral tasting oil.

mustard oil being added

9. Mix very well. Check the taste and add more seasonings if required.

hung curd marination mixture mixed very well

Marinating Paneer and Veggies

10. Add the onions, capsicum and paneer to the marinade.

added paneer, chopped onions and capsicum to marination

11. Slowly and gently mix them with the marinade. Cover and keep the marinated paneer and veggies in the refrigerator for 2 hours or more.

paneer, onions and capsicum marinated well

12. This is how they look after 2 hours.

marinated paneer after being kept for 2 hours in the refrigerator

Threading Paneer and Veggies

13. Begin to thread the veggies and paneer alternately on bamboo skewers. Before you begin to thread preheat oven at 230 or 240 degrees Celsius or 464 degree Fahrenheit for 15 to 20 minutes. Use only the top heating element while preheating as well as grilling. Soak or rinse the bamboo skewers before threading.

marinated paneer, onions and capsicum being threaded in bamboo skewers

14. Place them on a tray lined with aluminium foil or parchment paper.

skewers with threaded paneer, onions and capsicum kept on parchment paper on a baking tray

15. Brush with some oil all over.

brushing oil on the paneer cubes, onions and capsicum

Making Grilled Paneer Tikka

16. Place the tray on the top rack and grill in the preheated oven for 7 to 10 minutes first at 230 to 240 degrees Celsius or 464 degrees Fahrenheit.

grilling paneer tikka skewers in the oven

17. Then remove the tray from the oven and turn the paneer tikka skewers.

removing the skewers midway and turning them

18. Again keep back on the top rack in the oven and continue to grill till the edges of paneer and veggies are golden or slightly charred for about 3 to 5 minutes. Do not grill for a long time as then paneer becomes hard. Since temperatures vary from oven to oven do keep a check. You can reduce or increase the time as required. Total grilling time will be 15 to 20 minutes.

paneer tikka grilled to perfection

19. Remove once done. Serve the paneer tikka sprinkled with some chaat masala and lemon juice. Also serve mint chutney, onion slices and lemon wedges as sides.

wo grilled paneer tikka skewers kept on a black slate board with a bowl of cilantro dip on top right, one lemon wedge below the bowl and a few onion rounds near the lemon wedge

A few more Paneer Recipes for You!

  • Palak Paneer – Soft cottage cheese cubes in a mild spiced smooth spinach sauce.
  • Paneer Butter Masala – Rich and creamy dish of paneer made in a makhani gravy.
  • Paneer pakora – tasty paneer (cottage cheese) fritters that are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
  • Paneer Sandwich – crunchy, crispy paneer (cottage cheese) bites that have been breaded and fried.

Note: This recipe post is from the archives and has been republished and updated on 31 May 2020. 

This Restaurant Style Paneer Tikka is a popular and delicious tandoori snack where paneer (Indian cottage cheese cubes) are marinated in a spiced yogurt-based marinade, arranged on skewers and grilled in the oven.

Prep Time 15 mins

Cook Time 15 mins

Marinating Time 2 hrs

Total Time 2 hrs 30 mins

Cuisine North Indian

Course: Snacks, Starters

Servings 3


for paneer tikka marination

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For Making Paneer Tikka on Tawa or Stove Top

This is an easy and foolproof recipe of a delicious paneer tikka on tawa or stove top or griddle or skillet.

I had got many comments on how to make paneer tikka on tawa . So I decided to share this easy method. Since not everyone has an oven. If you don’t have a tava then you can also make this tikka recipe in a frying pan.

Some years back, I did not have a baking oven. We had a microwave oven, but its only function was to heat or cook food with the microwave energies.

Those days, I used to make paneer tikka on tava. When for the first time I made the tikkas, the paneer squares were sticking on the tawa and would get slightly burnt. So here the tawa was at fault. I would use tawa which were used to make roti without any fat (ghee or oil) and so were not seasoned.

Later while frying them on non stick tawa, the paneer pieces would not get stuck. I also experimented with adding besan/gram flour to the marinade and felt it gave a good crispness and taste to the tikka. The besan also would help in the paneer not getting stuck to the tawa.

paneer tikka served on a plate

Tips for making paneer tikka on tawa

  • When you prepare paneer tikka on stovetop, either use a non stick or ceramic pan or use a well seasoned tawa or griddle. Even tawas on which you make dosas also work well.
  • I have used both non stick and iron tawa and both work fine. For iron tawa, just remember that the Tawa has to be seasoned very well. if you make rotis or chapatis on this tawa, then the paneer cubes will get stuck.
  • For this paneer tikka recipe, I have used fresh homemade curd. The yogurt was thick enough and so I did not strain or hung it. Adding besan also helps in slight thickening of the marinade. If you use homemade or store brought yogurt, then ensure that the curd is thick. There should not be much whey in it. In case there is whey, then strain the yogurt in a cheesecloth for a few hours in the refrigerator, till you get thick yogurt.

How to season the tawa or griddle

  • Basically, seasoning means to prepare the tawa or griddle for frying/roasting, wherein you heat the griddle and then apply oil. Let the oil get heated and then switch off the griddle. Wipe the oil. Again apply oil and let the griddle cool. store the tawa with the oil on it. you can repeat the first step twice or thrice. When you want to cook, heat the tawa and wipe off the oil. Then proceed with the recipe.
  • I am also sharing reader Priya’s tip from the Pesarattu dosa (moong dal dosa) post. She has been kind enough to give her grand mother’s tip on seasoning tawa before making dosas. They have been using this technique for many years. This method is also helpful for folks who do not eat onions (to let you know, onions are used for seasoning tawa. Half of an onion is dipped in oil and then smeared on the tava before making dosas).
  • The method follows: heat oil on the tawa. add a tsp of sesame oil. add ½ to 1 tsp of mustard seeds. wait till the mustard starts spluttering. spread the whole thing on the tava and remove the oil and seeds. The tawa is ready to be used.

These paneer tikka can be served as a starter or a snack with sliced onions, lime and mint chutney. They even go well as a side dish. You can even have the paneer tikka with rotis, naan or bread.

How to make tawa paneer on tikka (or stovetop)

1. First whisk 2.25 cups of curd till smooth in a bowl or pan.

whisked yogurt for paneer tikka recipe

2. Add all the spices and herbs including besan (gram flour) & salt.

  • 4 tbsp besan
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp black pepper powder
  • ½ tsp carom seeds (ajwain)
  • ½ tsp caraway seeds (shahjeera)
  • ½ tsp crushed kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves)
  • 1 tsp coriander powder (ground coriander)
  • 1 tsp cumin powder (ground cumin)
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp dry mango powder
  • 2 tsp Kashmiri red chili powder
  • ¾ tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • ¾ tsp regular salt or rock salt or add as required.

add spices - making paneer tikka

3. Stir and mix well.

paneer tikka yogurt spices mixture

4. Add the diced vegetables – 1 medium to large bell pepper/capsicum, 1 medium to large tomato and 1 medium to large onion. Also add 250 to 300 grams paneer slices.

Add the diced vegetables

5. With your hands mix very well. So that the marinade coats the paneer and veggies evenly.

mix well

6. Cover the bowl & keep the marinade in the fridge for 45 minutes to 3 hours. You can also keep overnight. Below pic is of the marinated paneer and veggies after 1 hour.

marinated paneer for paneer tikka recipe

Making tawa paneer tikka (on pan)

7. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a non stick pan/tawa or a well seasoned griddle. Coat the paneer and veggies with the marinade and place them on the tawa. You can fry at a low flame or medium flame. I fried in 3 batches and overall used about 3 tbsp oil. Another way is to skewer the paneer, veggies and then fry them. I chose to fry them directly as they get fried evenly and the texture is better.

frying paneer for paneer tikka recipe

8. When one side gets browned, gently lift and turn over. The paneer cubes will get cooked faster than the veggies. So remember to remove the paneer cubes as soon as they are golden. You can char or brown the veggies more. For the vegetables, you have to make sure the marinade on them gets cooked. So lightly press them while cooking. If you want you can fry the paneer cubes first and then the marinated vegetables. Pan fry all till they become golden.

pan frying paneer tikka cubes

9. Remove paneer tikka on a plate. I have not removed them on paper tissues, as due to heat and moisture from the paneer cubes, they stick to the paper tissues.

making paneer tikka

10. While still hot, then skewer the fried paneer cubes and veggies on to a wooden skewer or toothpick. You can also have this paneer tikka straight away without skewering. Sprinkle 1 tsp chaat masala & ¾ tsp lemon juice on the paneer cubes while serving.

making paneer tikka

11. Arrange them in a serving plate and Serve the paneer tikka hot or warm with onion lemon salad or mint chutney.

paneer tikka in a serving plate

This Stove Top Paneer tikka is spiced marinated cottage cheese cubes that are pan-fried on a tawa or griddle.

Prep Time 1 hr

Cook Time 20 mins

Total Time 1 hr 20 mins

Cuisine Indian

Course: Snacks

Servings 3 to 4


for paneer tikka marination

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