Paneer Tikka Masala

Paneer Tikka masala- Instant pot- Garammasalakitchen.comPaneer Tikka Masala is the king of vegetarian dishes in the north-Indian cuisine. It’s hard to find an Indian restaurant around the world, which doesn’t feature this or a variation of this classic. As the name suggests, it is the vegetarian alternative to ‘Chicken Tikka Masala‘, only more delicious!!

There are many variations of this recipe. Dishes like Butter Paneer, Paneer Makhani, Paneer Pasanda, Paneer Lababdar and so on are all variations of this recipe.

This popular Punjabi delicacy is made by simmering paneer cubes (Indian cottage cheese), in a tomato puree and onion gravy with aromatic garam masala, and is finished by adding heavy cream to give it that velvety smooth texture. Some restaurants go an extra step and marinate and grill the paneer cubes. Having eaten and made this dish all my life, I personally prefer when the paneer cubes are added as-is, they absorb the tikka masala flavors and the dish comes together like a match made in food heaven!

Paneer Tikka masala- Instant pot- Garammasalakitchen.comThis is such an easy dish to make, perfect for treating yourself on a weeknight too! I have made this recipe in my electric pressure cooker- the Instant Pot, but Paneer Tikka masala can be made on the stove-top too. Simply follow all steps and simmer the gravy on medium heat for 20 minutes covered. Blend the gravy in to a smooth texture, add paneer and simmer for another 1-2 minutes. Ready to serve!  Paneer Tikka masala goes best with Naan or Jeera Rice.

For a dairy free version, substitute butter with olive oil, heavy cream with full-fat coconut cream and paneer cubes with extra-firm tofu!

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Paneer Tikka Masala

Print Recipe
Serves: 4 Cooking Time: 30 minutes (total)


  • 10 oz Paneer block, cubed in to 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4-5 medium tomatoes, pureed, OR 1 14oz can of diced/crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste (1/2 inch ginger + 3 cloves garlic, crushed)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 2 teaspoon Coriander Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red Chili Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cardamom Powder (optional)
  • 2 teaspoon Kasoori Methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoons chopped cilantro for garnish



Prep: Chop onions, crush ginger-garlic, puree tomatoes, cube paneer.


Turn on Instant Pot on sauté. Wait 30seconds and add butter. Add onions and sauté one minute. Add ginger-garlic paste, sauté 30 seconds.


Add tomato puree, 1/4 cup water and all spices. Stir well. Add kasoori methi and half of the heavy cream, 1/4 cup. Save the remaining 1/4 cup for later. Stir. Close lid. Set valve to "sealing'. Cook on Manual (high) for 3 minutes, Natural Pressure Release (NPR) for 5 minutes.


Open lid. Using a hand blender or a blender jar, blend the curry into a smooth texture. Turn on sauté. Add paneer cubes, the remaining heavy cream and simmer for 1-2 minutes.


Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve with Naan or Jeera rice.


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