Paneer Tikka – a delicious and popular starter made with Indian cottage cheese. The soft and chewy paneer cubes and veggies are marinated in a yoghurt based marinade, flavoured with an array of spices, threaded in skewers and grilled to perfection.
Traditionally, Paneer Tikka is made by marinating the paneer in yoghurt based marinade, arranged in skewers and grilled in a tandoor. A tandoor is a traditional oven made of cylindrical clay that uses charcoal or wood fire to generate the heat. The Paneer tikka made in Indian restaurants are mostly cooked in tandoor that imparts a smoky & authentic charcoal based flavour.
The taste of the Paneer Tikka made from a traditional tandoor oven is of course irresistible with a smoky and rustic flavour with charred edges. At home, we can make a near perfection restaurant style Paneer Tikka by grilling the marinated panner cubes using
- Stove top using grilling pan.
For today’s recipe, I have grilled the paneer cubes in the oven.
|Paneer ( cut into medium size cubes)||1 to 1/2 cup (around 300 gms)|
|Onion, Green and red bell pepper (cut into 1 inch cubes)||around 150 gms in total|
|Thick yoghurt||250 gms (1 cup heaped)|
|Ginger garlic paste||1 teaspoon|
|Coriander powder||1 1/2 teaspoon|
|Turmeric powder||1 teaspoon|
|Kashmiri chilli powder||1 to 1 1/2 teaspoon (adjust to taste)|
|Garam masala||1/2 teaspoon|
|Chaat masala||1/2 teaspoon|
|Kastoori methi (crushed)/dry methi leaves (optional)||1 teaspoon|
|Saffron (optional)||3 or 4 small strands|
|Lime or lemon juice||1 tablespoon|
Step by Step Instructions:
- Cut the paneer into medium size cubes. Chop the onion, green bell pepper and red bell pepper into 1 inch cubes.
- Take 3 or 4 strands of saffron and crush it to coarse powder using mortar and pestle. Add 1 teaspoon of warm water to this and leave it for 10 minutes. Instead of saffron, you can add food colour if you prefer. You can totally skip adding saffron or food colour if you prefer so.
- In a bowl take 1 cup ( heaped ) thick yoghurt. To get thick yoghurt, strain the yoghurt using a muslin cloth or a thin linen cloth and hang it over for about an hour. This will drain all the excess water. You can skip this step but thick yoghurt gives better results as this will help with better marination of the paneer cubes. You can also use store bought regular yoghurt or greek yoghurt. Whisk the yoghurt to get a uniform consistency and texture.
- To the bowl containing yoghurt, add all the other ingredients – ginger garlic paste, coriander powder, turmeric powder, kashmiri chilli powder, garam masala, chaat masala, crushed kastoori methi and salt. Mix thoroughly so that the spices are evenly distributed. Now add 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon lime / lemon juice and saffron. Mix thoroughly.
- Add the paneer cubes and sliced onions, green and red bell peppers to the above. Mix thoroughly so that all the paneer cubes and the vegetable slices are evenly coated with the marinade.
- Cover this bowl with a tight lid or with aluminium foil and place it in the refrigerator for a minimum of 1 hour or more. You can marinate it overnight as well for better results. I have marinated it for about 8 hours. If you run out of time, marinate it for a minimum of 1 hour.
- After marination, take the bowl from the refrigerator. Take skewers and arrange the paneer cubes and veggies alternatively so that the colours are evenly distributed.
- Preheat the oven to 450 Fahrenheit or 230 degree Celsius for about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Place the paneer skewers on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Spray or brush some oil on top of the skewers. This step is important so that the paneer and the veggies do not dry out.
- Bake the paneer skewers at 450 Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn the setting to broil. Broil for about 2 to 3 minutes until the paneer cubes are slightly charred. While the setting is turned on broil, be sure to check the oven after 2 minutes since the paneer and the veggies can burn and blacken out in broil mode. If the paneer cubes are not done, continue in the broil setting for another minute or so.
- Remove the baking tray from the oven. Squeeze some lime / lemon juice and sprinkle some chaat masala over the skewers.
- Serve the paneer tikka with green chutney.
Check out my other starters using Paneer:
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