Paneer Tikka Masala in Instant Pot

September 25, 2017 (Updated: April 18, 2019) By Aneesha |

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Paneer Tikka Masala is the king of vegetarian dishes in north-Indian cuisine.  Tender pieces of cottage cheese, simmered in an aromatic tomato-onion gravy, seasoned with warm Indian spices.  This delicious dish is finished by adding some heavy cream, which gives this curry a buttery-yummy taste.

Its hard to find an Indian restaurant around the world, which doesn’t feature Paneer Tikka Masala, 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 Masala, Paneer Makhani, Paneer Pasanda, Paneer Lababdar and so on. They are all variations of this recipe and have a similar flavor profile.

How to make Paneer Tikka Masala?

This popular Punjabi delicacy is made by simmering paneer cubes (Indian cottage cheese), in a tomato and onion gravy and seasoned with toasted and ground garam masala.  I finish this dish by adding heavy cream to give it that velvety smooth texture.

Some restaurants go an extra mile 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. I feel they soak up the tikka masala flavors, and the dish comes together like a match made in food heaven!

Paneer cubes simmered in a rich tomato and onion gravy, by Spice Cravings. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #Indian

Easy Weeknight Recipe

This is such an easy dish to make, due to which, it is perfect for treating yourself on a weeknight too!  I made this recipe in my electric pressure cooker-  Instant Pot.  Pressure cooking infuses the flavors of garam masala in the curry in a short amount of time, and gives it a rich, slow-simmered taste.

Stove-Top Recipe

Paneer Tikka masala can be made on the stove-top too. This is how:

  1. Chop onions, crush ginger-garlic, puree tomatoes, cube paneer. Heat a Heavy Bottom Deep Skillet or Wok on medium-high heat. Wait 30 seconds and add butter. Add onions and sauté one minute followed by ginger and garlic paste, and sauté another 30 seconds. Add tomato puree, 1/4 cup water and all spices. Stir well. Reduce the heat to medium, cover with a lid, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. Open the lid. Using a hand blender or a blender jar, blend the curry into a smooth texture. Finally, add kasoori methi, heavy cream, paneer cubes, and simmer on medium heat for about 2-3 minutes. Garnish with fresh cilantro and enjoy!

Dairy-Free version

You can easily customize this recipe to your suit your preferences. For a dairy free version, substitute:

  • butter with olive oil
  • heavy cream with full-fat coconut cream
  • paneer cubes with extra-firm tofu, or soy chunks

Is Paneer Tikka Masala the Same as Paneer Makhani ?

Paneer Tikka masala- Instant pot

This is Paneer Tikka Masala

Instant pot paneer butter masala or paneer makhani is vegetarian variation of Butter Chicken. Start with paneer, Indian cottage cheese, and simmer it in tomato puree, season with toasted and ground garam masala and finished with a touch of heavy cream #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie

And here is Paneer Butter Masala

Paneer Tikka Masala is probably the most popular vegetarian entrée at any Indian restaurant. It is said that this recipe was developed in an Indian restaurant in the UK. It is an adaptation of the original Punjabi recipe for Paneer Makhani.

To me, the big difference that separates the two is the use of onions in Paneer Tikka Masala. To make the Tikka Masala curry, I start by sautéing onions with tomatoes and aromaticsWhereas, I skip the onion when making the Butter Masala or the Makhani curry.

I also add more garam masala in the Tikka Masala curry. As a result, it’s a bit spicier than the Makhani Curry.  So, in conclusion, it all comes down to personal preference, since both these dishes taste amazing!

Serving Suggestion for Paneer Tikka Masala

Paneer Tikka Masala goes great with naanroti and any preparation of basmati rice.  My family prefers to eat this Indian dish with Cumin Rice/Jeera Rice

I like to serve a side of Aloo Gobi with it. I saute potato cubes and cauliflower florets with aromatics, and season it lightly with toasted Indian spices.  Since it tastes so  light and fresh, it compliments the rich and sweet Tikka Masala curry really well. Most of all, my family just loves this combination.

Another preparation of rice that tastes delicious with Paneer Tikka Masala is Spinach Rice.  I saute fresh spinach and nutty basmati rice in butter or ghee, add a hint of cumin. So, the result is creamy, soft and fluffy spinach rice!

Instant Pot Aloo-Gobi Pressure Cooker

Aloo Gobi

Jeera Rice or Cumin Rice, is a popular Indian side dish where delicious and aromatic basmati rice is cooked with the nutty and earthy cumin seeds. It is one of the most popular accompaniment with Indian curries. Quick and easy recipe by Spice Cravings. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #indian #basmati #rice

Jeera (Cumin) Rice

This flavorful and hearty spinach rice, palak pulao or pilaf is made by cooking aromatic basmati rice with buttery soft spinach in ghee in an Instant Pot. by Spice Cravings. #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie

Spinach Rice

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Paneer cubes simmered in a rich tomato and onion gravy, by Spice Cravings. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #Indian

Paneer Tikka Masala in an Instant Pot

Paneer Tikka Masala is the king of vegetarian dishes in the north-Indian cuisine. 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.
4.56 from 18 votes
Print Pin Rate Recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 398kcal
Author: Spice Cravings

Ingredients

Instructions

  • 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. Turn off saute.
  • Add tomato puree, 1/2-3/4 cup water (depending on how juicy the tomatoes are, and your cooker size), and all spices.  Stir well as that deglazes the pot after sautéing. Add kasoori methi and half of the heavy cream, 1/4 cup.  Save the remaining 1/4 cup for later.  Stir and close lid.  Set valve to "sealing'. Cook on Manual (high) for 3 minutes, Natural Pressure Release (NPR) for 5 minutes. Release remaining pressure by moving valve to venting position.
  • Open lid after the pin drops. 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, till you reach your desired sauce consistency.
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve with Naan or Jeera rice.

Dairy-free version

  • For a dairy free version, substitute:
    butter with olive oil
    heavy cream with full-fat coconut cream
    paneer cubes with extra-firm tofu, or soy chunks

Stove top recipe

  • Chop onions, crush ginger-garlic, puree tomatoes, cube paneer. Heat a Heavy Bottom Deep Skillet or Wok on medium-high heat.  Wait 30 seconds and add butter.  Add onions and sauté one minute followed by ginger and garlic paste, and sauté another 30 seconds.  Add tomato puree, 1/4 cup water and all spices.  Stir well. Reduce the heat to medium, cover with a lid, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Open the lid. Using a hand blender or a blender jar, blend the curry into a smooth texture.  Finally, add kasoori methi, heavy cream, paneer cubes, and simmer on medium heat for about 2-3 minutes. Garnish with fresh cilantro and enjoy!

Video

Notes

If you are new to the Instant Pot, please read my FAQ on Instant Pot Terminology and Accessories to learn more.
Note: The nutrition facts below are my estimates.  If you are following any diet plan, I recommend cross-checking with your preferred nutrition calculator.

Nutrition

Calories: 398kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Cholesterol: 102mg | Sodium: 626mg | Potassium: 355mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1835IU | Vitamin C: 18.2mg | Calcium: 380mg | Iron: 0.9mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: tofu
Did you try this recipe?Mention @SpiceCravings or tag #spicecravings!

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HEY! NICE TO MEET YOU!

Aneesha holding a glass of white wine Hi, I'm Aneesha, a foodie by birth and the mind, body and soul behind Spice Cravings. Here I share quick, easy & healthy Indian & global recipes that are low in effort and big on taste! A recipe doesn't make it on the blog unless it is tested multiple times and gets a thumbs-up from my taster-in-chief, my husband, and my teen-chefs, my twin girls!

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5 Comments

  • Reply
    Ravi
    April 20, 2019 at 6:52 am

    5 stars
    Thank you! I am going to try this and will update. Need to go out and buy some of the ingredients.

    • Reply
      Aneesha | Spice Cravings
      April 20, 2019 at 12:12 pm

      Hi Ravi, you’re most welcome, I hope you love it! Look forward to your feedback!

      • Reply
        Ravi
        April 26, 2019 at 3:53 pm

        Excellent and yummy! Will start trying your other recipes (:

        • Reply
          Aneesha | Spice Cravings
          April 26, 2019 at 9:06 pm

          Hi Ravi, Thank you so much. I am so glad you enjoyed this recipe. I would love to hear if you try more! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Casey Markee
    April 10, 2019 at 11:33 am

    This looks fantastic, can’t wait to try it!

  • Leave a Reply