If you are a vegetarian and you love paneer, you have probably indulged in paneer tikkas when you eat out. This succulent appetiser is a favourite of most people who enjoy North Indian, and especially tandoori, cuisine. It is made of cubes of paneer or cottage cheese, marinated in curd and spices, and prepared in a tandoor or on stove-top on skewers.While many prefer to order this dish when they go out to eat or order tandoori food in, it is surprisingly easy to prepare at home, too. An easy paneer tikka recipe does not require too many ingredients. The dish can be prepared using a few simple items, usually found in any Indian kitchen, and is best served with mint chutney.Ingredients of Paneer TikkaSimple ingredients easily found in any kitchen can make the best paneer tikka recipe. Even if you do not do Indian cooking, these ingredients are easy to find.Here are all the ingredients one needs:PaneerWhen making tikkas, fresh paneer makes all the difference. If you cannot make it at home, freshly bought paneer should do. It should not taste sour, or the tikkas will not taste very good.MarinadeThe marinade comprises hung curd, ginger-garlic paste and a mix of spices such as salt, haldi (turmeric), coriander powder and red chilli powder. Kashmiri red chilli powder or Deghi mirch, can be used to give a rich colour.VegetablesVegetables such as red, yellow and green bell peppers, as well as onions go well on the skewers with the paneer, when making tikkas.Nutritional Value of Paneer TikkaPaneer tikkas, if made in minimal oil, can be a healthy and nutritious part of the meal. The best paneer tikka recipe is one that can be used easily at home, and is packed with nutrition.Paneer is an excellent source of protein, magnesium, potassium and many other nutrients. Its saturated fat content is much lower than that of many other foods, enabling people with diabetes to consume it frequently. It is also low in carbohydrates.Paneer tikka is made of curd, which has many health benefits. Vegetables such as bell peppers, onion and tomatoes make this dish a wholesome one.Paneer tikkas can easily be cooked in very little oil. They can be baked in the oven, grilled in the tandoor or cooked on a tawa (or griddle).How to Make Paneer Tikka Restaurant StyleTo make mouth-watering paneer tikkas in the same style as restaurants make them, simply follow the steps below.PaneerIt is always best to use home-made paneer. If that is not possible, try and get fresh paneer from the store to ensure the tikkas turn out soft and juicy. Paneer should be cut into cubes.VegetablesDice onions and red, yellow and green bell peppers into small cubes and keep aside.MarinadeYou need hung curd for the marinade. If it is not strained of all its water, the marinade will be watery. To make the marinade, add spices such as salt, turmeric, red chilli powder and coriander powder. Also add cumin powder, garam masala powder and amchur (dry mango powder). Mix in some ginger-garlic paste and whisk the mixture till the ingredients are well-combined. Add some lemon juice and stir.While red chilli powder gives a spicy flavour to the tikkas, you can also make them low in spice by using Kashmiri red chilli powder or Deghi mirch powder. These lend a lovey red colour to the dish, while keeping the spice level low.Once you have prepared the marinade, dip the paneer and vegetable pieces into it. Mix it all well and keep in the refrigerator for at least two hours.Grilling the TikkasPreheat the oven to 230-240 degrees Celsius.Rinse the skewers well before using them. Start by putting the paneer and vegetables on the skewers. Once threaded, place them on a baking tray lined with aluminium foil or baking sheets. Brush oil over all the paneer and vegetables.Push the tray into the oven, towards the top. Grill for about 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven, turn the skewers once and grill for another 5-7 minutes, or till the tikkas look slightly charred.Remove from the oven and serve hot with mint chutney.How to Make Paneer Tikka on TawaPaneer tikka is a dish that can be enjoyed by anyone. It is easy to make at home and does not require very fancy ingredients or cooking. Even if one does not have a tandoor or oven at home, this appetiser can be made on the tawa.Prepare the paneer and its marinade as per the instructions given above. No special ingredients are required when changing the mode of cooking these tikkas.An Indian kitchen usually has a griddle or tawa. In case your kitchen does not have one, simply use a flat bottom pan, preferably a heavy-bottom one. A kitchen where rotis and parathas are cooked regularly is one that uses a tawa on a daily basis.In order to make paneer tikka on the tawa, place the tawa on the stove and turn on the gas. Add about one tablespoon of oil to the tawa. When the tawa turns hot, place the skewers in the centre, and turn the flame to medium.Cook for about 8-10 minutes or till the tikkas start to turn golden-brown. Then turn the skewers over to cook the other side.Keep a wired rack, made of steel, directly over the flame. Carefully place the skewers over this rack, one by one, and cook the tikkas till they look slightly charred. Again, do not overcook or the paneer will become hard.Remove the tikkas from the fire, place them on a serving dish and squeeze lemon juice over them. Serve them hot with mint chutney.Expert Tips for Making Tasty Paneer TikkasA few expert tips will ensure they turn out extremely flavourful and succulent.Make Paneer at HomeThe best paneer is the one made freshly at home. You need to boil and curdle full-fat milk, and add lemon juice or vinegar to it once it starts boiling. Keep stirring till the whey separates. Press it down to make firm and home-made paneer is ready!MarinationMarination is an important step in making paneer tikkas. It ensures the flavours get infused well into the paneer. You can marinate the paneer for either a couple of hours or even overnight.CurdThe curd used for marination should be quite thick. Hung curd is used to ensure the marinade does not become watery. This will make the mixture runny while cooking and the tikkas will not turn out well.Rubbing OilOil is essential for the tikkas. If they are not brushed with oil, they can become very dry.Variations of Paneer TikkaPaneer tikkas are easy to prepare and use very basic ingredients. You can cook them in the tandoor, in an oven or on a tawa.You can also vary the vegetables you use with the paneer. Onions, bell peppers and tomatoes are the vegetables used most commonly with tikkas. However, you can also vary them as per your taste and use baby corn, broccoli, cauliflower or mushrooms.Some other variations of paneer tikkas are as follows.Hariyali Paneer TikkasAdd a cup each of mint and coriander leaves, ground to a paste, to the marinade. The green colour makes the tikkas 'hariyali.Achari Paneer TikkaTo the marinade, add 1-2 tablespoons of pickle or achar and a teaspoon of mustard powder. Marinade as usual.Notes on Making Paneer TikkasA few simple reminders will ensure that the paneer tikkas you make at home always turn out soft, juicy and delicious.How to Make Hung CurdYou can use Greek yoghourt for the recipe. You can also make your own hung curd. Take around one and a half cups of yoghourt. Put it in a muslin cloth and squeeze out excess whey from it. Then tie the cloth and leave it hanging on a hook or over a strainer for at least one hour. What you have left is thick curd with no whey remaining. Runny curd will make the marinade watery and not cook the tikkas properly.Besan for bindingBesan or gram flour, is an excellent ingredient to help bind the marinade, especially when cooking on a tawa. Simply add a tablespoon of besan while preparing the marinade. You can keep some roasted besan in your kitchen and use it for such recipes.ConclusionPaneer tikkas are easy to prepare and can be enjoyed for a simple family meal or a party at home. By keeping a few basic ingredients ready at home, you can dish out this flavourful appetiser very quickly.Tikkas taste best when served with a green mint chutney. You can either buy some from the store or prepare it at home. Simply blend together fresh mint leaves along with some coriander, ginger, green chilies and lemon juice to prepare the chutney.FAQsIs paneer tikka good for health?Paneer tikka is made of paneer or cottage cheese, which is a great source of protein and other nutrients. When cooked in very little oil and with lots of vegetables, paneer tikkas can be a healthy meal option.What is paneer made of?Paneer is made of cows milk. It is made by curdling the milk.What is the difference between paneer tikka and other paneer preparations in curry or masala?Paneer tikka is grilled. Other paneer preparations in curry are made by cooking in a wok or pan, over the gas.