This is the best Tandoori Paneer Tikka in the oven you'll ever make at home! Same restaurant style taste, but grilled in a home oven.
Making tandoori paneer tikka in the oven at home is serious business guys. And I've made sure this recipe is fool proof before I decided to share it here. Because you guys deserve only the best and nothing else!
Honestly, I was a little nervous because tandoori paneer tikka has quite the God like status in our house. We are picky about our tikkas and we don't like to mess around. They have to be light, the paneer has to be soft, each piece of tikka has to be flavored just right and marinated well and there should be char to lend that smokiness we love so much.
But obviously I don't have a full fledged tandoor at home, so I decided to try out hacks. One hack after another and I think I've finally settled on this one. Which IMHO makes the best tandoori paneer tikka in the oven. It's really as easy as this:
How to make Tandoori Paneer Tikka in the Oven at home?
Step 1: Marinate the paneer
Step 2: Skewer it
Step 3: Place a cooling rack on a baking sheet so that its slightly raised. Place the paneer tikka skewers on the baking sheet like this ???? You can check out these skewers, cooling rack and roasting pan if you don't already have one.
Step 4: Bake/ roast for the best restaurant style tandoori paneer tikka in the oven!
We are talking about a fiery red marinade for this paneer tikka but without any added color because we are against food coloring mostly. You don't need those chemicals unless you are making a red velvet lava cake (coming up!). But you do need Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder which has all the color but no heat.
Doesn't this look simple enough? But I want to make this super fool proof so that this becomes a no fail tandoori paneer tikka in the oven. Here are some potential questions you may need answers to:
What is paneer (cheese) made of? How do I make it at home?
Paneer is literally a two ingredient cheese. You just need some full fat milk and a souring agent like lemon juice or vinegar to curdle it. I have an easy peasy, step by step tutorial to make paneer at home.
What is Tandoori Paneer Tikka?
Just in case you aren't familiar with our favorite appetizer, tandoori paneer tikka is marinated skewers of paneer which are grilled in a super hot tandoor (or traditional clay oven). It's spicy, juicy, light and slightly smoky. Its like a vegetarian alternative to tandoori chicken, fish or prawn tikka if you've tried those.
Can I make Paneer Tikka in a microwave?
I'm sure you can but I've never tried it. I love the slow roasting that an oven gives, and the char on the paneer that a microwave will not be able to achieve. But both Sanjeev Kapoor and Tarla Dalal have recipes for a microwave paneer tikka that you can try.
What do you think of this new question-answer format? It just makes me feel like I'm really talking to you guys. Because every time I check out a food blog, I always have a few potential questions about a recipe and sometimes I can get them answered and sometimes not. And I don't like not knowing everything. Tell me what you think!
BTW this is super approved by Denver. I've made this a couple of times and the last time we had this for dinner, he actually insisted I put it on the blog. That's as big a thumbs up as any in my book.
More Indian Recipes:
- Tandoori Whole Baked Cauliflower
- Restaurant Style Butter Chicken Masala
- Creamy Matar Paneer Curry
- Restaurant Style Paneer Butter Masala
Watch Tandoori Paneer Tikka Recipe Video (Oven and Stove top)
This recipe was first published on Feb 15, 2017 and updated on 12 Nov, 2020 with a new step by step video and minor changes to the recipe
Tandoori Paneer Tikka in the Oven
For the Paneer Tikka
- 400 grams Paneer cut into 1 inch cubes (Cottage Cheese)
- 1 Onion cut into 1 inch cubes (medium sized)
- 1 Capsicum deseeded and cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 Tomato deseeded and cut into cubes (optional)
- Chopped Coriander or Cilantro Lime juice for topping
For the Marinade
- ¼ cup Besan chickpea flour
- 3 tablespoons Mustard Oil
- ½ tablespoon Ginger Garlic Paste
- ½ cup Hung Curd or Greek Yogurt
- 2 teaspoons Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder or Paprika
- 1 tablespoon Coriander Powder
- 1 teaspoon Chaat Masala Powder available at Asian/Indian stores
- ½ teaspoon Garam Masala Powder
- 1 teaspoon kasuri methi crushed
- Salt to taste
- Roast the besan on a low flame for 2-3 minutes till it starts smelling nutty and turns a very light golden brown. Mix all the ingredients under marinade into a bowl and add paneer to it. Toss the paneer in the marinade till the cubes are coated well.
- To add that distinct smoky tandoori flavour, heat a piece of lump coal till red hot. Place it in a steel bowl and place the bowl over the paneer. Add a teaspoon of oil to the coal. As soon as you start seeing smoke, cover the paneer. After five minutes of smoking, remove the coal, and marinate the paneer for half an hour or up to two hours.
- Pre-heat oven to 220 C/ 430 F 10 minutes before ready to cook. Place a cooling rack over a roasting pan and set aside.
- Skewer paneer cubes alternating with onions, capsicum and tomato (if using). This should make about 3-4 skewers.
- Place the skewers on the cooling rack and bake for 15 minutes, turning once half way. After 15 minutes, switch on the broiler (or only the upper element of the oven) and broil for 2-3 minutes till the paneer has a slight char on the surface.
- Carefully remove the roasting pan with the skewers out of the oven (the paneer tends to become really soft so be careful) and place the skewers on your serving platter. Top with chopped coriander and squeeze lime juice on them. Serve immediately with sliced onions.
- Make sure the paneer you are using is firm and not crumbly
- If substituting paprika with Kashmiri Chilli Powder, the colour may be slightly different but the flavour should be the same
- If the curds you are using are not thick enough, hang them in a muslin cloth for half an hour or so to remove whey and then use.
- It is important to use hung curd or thick yogurt as this marinade will stick to the paneer. If the curd is loose, the marinade will not stick on to the paneer.
- If you don't have an oven, you can grill it over a griddle pan as well. However, the taste and texture will not be the same as an oven or tandoor.