Paneer tikka is a quintessential and much-loved Indian starter or appetizer. Thick chunks of paneer or cottage cheese are marinated in a spicy marinade and grilled on tawa or Air fryer for an absolutely delightful treat.
This is a delicious recipe which is high-protein and super healthy. Vegetables like onions, peppers and tomatoes are also grilled with paneer.
These tikkas are had as appetizers or as a meal by making a wrap with chutneys and salad.
If you are vegan, you can use tofu in place of paneer.
What is Paneer Tikka?
Paneer is Indian cottage cheese which is made by curdling whole milk with lemon juice. It is supremely tasty and is a staple in Indian vegetarian diet.
These paneer cubes are marinated in a tasty tandoori marinade along with veggies and airfried or grilled on skewers till they are gorgeous brown.
These are then served with garnishes and a chutney. Perfect starters!
Paneer tikka is traditionally made in large tandoors or clay ovens for that heavenly char and smoky taste.
But you can make the same at home by broiling in an oven or in an Airfryer. You can make it easily on stove top too.
Do try it as it is a very simple recipe and really a crowd pleaser.
Tips for Making the Softest Paneer Tikka:
Paneer is bland in taste hence the marinade needs to be spicy. Also make the marinade thick by using Greek yogurt or thick curd.
That way it will stick to the paneer and veggies.
Paneer just like meats must not be overcooked because then it goes from soft to chewy which is not nice.
While some people love to use tomato as well, I avoid it as it gets mushy and soggy.
Use veggies like onion layers and peppers which stay crunchy along with paneer and have a similar cooking time.
Trust me the veggies taste delightful.
How to Serve Paneer Tikka?
Paneer tikka is always served sprinkled with lemon juice and garnished with chaat masala.
Also a lovely green chutney and some onion rings are perfect accompaniments.
Try my mint chutney recipe here.
Or try this recipe of Paneer wrap or Paneer tikka roll:
How to Make Paneer Tikka Roll or Wrap
Paneer tikka roll is a delicious wrap made with roti or tortilla, paneer tikka, chutney and a salad of chopped onion, green pepper and tomatoes.
Take wholewheat flour roti/paratha or tortilla. Apply mint chutney on it. In the centre, put a few cooked paneer tikka pieces.
Add a sliced veggie salad of onion, tomato and capsicum spiced with chaat masala, chilli powder, salt and lemon juice.
Wrap the sides to form a roll. Enjoy as a hearty snack or meal.
Here’s how to make paneer tikka at home:
Take paneer and cut into thick cubes. If you cut them into small cubes then they may not thread into skewers properly.
Cut bell peppers and Onion into squarish layers.
Assemble ingredients of marinade in a shallow bowl.
Use thick Greek yogurt or Indian curd from which most of the whey has been drained. This is usually done by hanging in a cheesecloth.
Mix the ingredients of the marinade to form a thick marinade.
Add paneer, bell pepper and onion cubes to the marinade and mix well till they are well coated.
Now using wooden skewers, skewer your paneer cubes along with bell pepper and onion cubes, alternating them.
Make sure that you soak the wooden skewers in water for about 15 minutes to prevent them from burning.
Air frying Instructions:
Preheat your Airfryer to 400 F or 200 C for 5 minutes.
Now spray or brush with oil.
Place the skewers in the Air fryer, ensuring that they are not overcrowded. I used parchment paper to line air fryer basket to prevent a mess.
Now Airfry at 400 F for about 8 minutes. Flip the skewers once in the middle of the air frying time.
You can airfry for a 2 minutes more for a nice char.
The paneer tikka is done when everything has a nice golden brown colour.
Preheat oven for 15 minutes at 450 F. Place tikkas in a tray that is lined with parchment paper.
Cook for about 15-20 minutes in the oven. Then broil at 450 F for 2-3 minutes till they get a nice char. Your paneer tikka is ready to serve.
Use a stove-top grill or a skillet. Oil it and cook till the paneer and veggies get a good char.
It takes about 5-7 minutes. Make sure to keep turning your tikka skewers and also spray them with oil.
Here's the recipe card:
📖 Recipe Card
Easy Paneer Tikka Recipe
- 1 cup paneer or cottage cheese or 200 gm. cut into large cubes
- 1 onion cut into cubes
- 1 bell pepper cut into cubes
- 2 tsp. butter or oil
- Cut paneer into thick cubes so that they can be skewered easily. Cut onions and bell peppers into thick squares.
- Assemble together thick Greek yogurt or Indian curd (from which most of the whey has been drained by hanging in cheesecloth).
- Also assemble ginger garlic paste, paprika or Kashmiri chilli powder, kasuri methi or oregano, salt, pepper, tandoori masala or garam masala, lemon juice and oil.
- Mix all the ingredients of the marinade together in a bowl to make a thick paste.
- Now add paneer, bell pepper and onion cubes to the marinade and mix well till they are well coated.
- You can marinate for 30 minutes or cook it right away.
Air frying instructions:
- Preheat your Airfryer to 400 F or 200 C for 5 minutes.
- Skewer your paneer cubes along with bell pepper and onion cubes, alternating them. Now spray or brush with oil. Place them in the Airfryer, ensuring that they are not overcrowded.
- Airfry at 400 F or 200 C for about 8 minutes. Flip once in the middle.
- You can airfry for a 2 minutes more for a nice char. The paneer tikka is done when everything has a nice golden brown colour.
- Preheat oven for 15 minutes at 450 F. Place tikka skewers in a tray that is lined with parchment paper. Cook for about 15-20 minutes in the oven. Then broil at 450 F for 2-3 minutes till they get a nice char. Your paneer tikka is ready to serve.
- Use a stove-top grill or a skillet. Oil it and cook till the paneer and veggies get a good char. It takes about 5-7 minutes. Make sure to keep turning your tikka skewers and also spray them with oil.
2. You can also cook this in the oven or on the stove stop as mentioned above.
3. Adjust the marinade for spice. This makes for a spicy paneer tikka recipe. 4. Air frying time can vary depending upon the type of your oven and the size of your paneer cubes. So keep an eye on the Air fryer or oven if you are baking. 5. Vegans can use tofu in place of paneer cubes.
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Do also try out these Indian Air fryer recipes.