Tandoori Paneer Tikka
Tandoori Paneer Tikka: A Symphony of Spices & Grilled Goodness
Tandoori Paneer Tikka is succulent chunks of Indian cottage cheese (paneer), delicately skewered and seared with a fiery yogurt marinade. With its irresistibly smoky goodness and zesty spicy notes, this dish promises to keep you coming back for more.
Exploring Flavors: The Intriguing World of Tandoori Cooking
For those just stepping into the vibrant world of Indian cuisine, Tandoori cooking represents a fascinating culinary adventure. Transcending the ordinary, vegetables and meats seasoned and marinated, are lovingly grilled in a tandoor – a peculiar cylindrical clay oven that imparts an enticing smoky nuance to the food. The tantalizing charred flavor, inherent to this style, has made it a popular choice at Indian eat-outs.
In our easy homemade variation, the paneer skewers taste smoky and tender, grilled to perfection right in your grilling pan. These can also be beautifully seared in an indoor/outdoor grill. or an air-fryer.
What makes tandoori grilling even more interesting is the unique yogurt-based marinade, a darling among tikka preparations. Wondering what tikka refers to? It’s a delightful Indian dish consisting of small pieces of meat or vegetables, marinated in an intricate blend of spices, ready to surprise your palate!
Ingredients at a Glance
Paneer – You’ll need 1 kilogram or roughly 2 pounds of paneer, diced into bite-sized cubes. Save yourself some time and effort – you can conveniently find prepackaged paneer cubes at your local supermarket.
Bell peppers – Be sure to grab both red and green bell peppers, 2 each in both delightful colors. Dice them up into skewer-friendly square pieces that will complement the paneer chunks seamlessly.
Onions – Take 2 onions, quarter them, and gently pull apart the layers. The result should be beautifully separated petals of onion, awaiting their turn on the skewers.
Cooking oil – As needed, to ensure a smooth, non-stick grilling experience.
Ginger Garlic Paste – 2 tablespoons to further enhance your flavors. For those unfamiliar, ginger-garlic paste is a fine blend created from equal parts of ginger and garlic.
Lemon Juice -The inclusion of lemon juice, about 3 tablespoons, is vital for this recipe.
Ingredients for the Marinade:
Yogurt – You’ll need 500 gm or 1 pound of plain yogurt. It could be full-fat or low-fat, both work fine.
Cornflour – ½ cup for our thin but essential batter. This will crisp up the outer layer nicely in the oven.
Red Chili Powder – 2 tablespoons
Dried Fenugreek Leaves – 2 tablespoons
Turmeric powder – 2 teaspoons
Fennel seeds – 3 teaspoons
Cumin powder – 2 teaspoons
Coriander powder – 2 teaspoons
Black pepper – 1 teaspoon
Cooking Oil– 1 tablespoon
How to prepare Tandoori Paneer Tikka
First Step: Cube the Paneer
Let’s kick things off by slicing the Paneer into evenly-sized cubes. If yours is pre-cubed, no need to fret; embrace what you have! Aim for 1.5-inch pieces.
Second Step: Prepare the Onions and Bell Peppers
Time to work on the veggies! Slice the onions into chunks and dice both red and green bell peppers into attractive square pieces.
Step 3: Craft the Delicious Marinade
Now, let’s make the yogurt marinade by combining all the marinade ingredients mentioned above.
Step 4: Delight in the Marinade
Let’s add some flavor to our paneer cubes. It’s time for them to take a delightful and tantalizing bath in our homemade yogurt marinade. DIvide the batter in two bowls-one for the paneer and one for the veggies.
Now, let’s swathe those paneer cubes in our prepared marinade. With gentle movements of a spoon, cover every cube entirely in the marinade. Don’t forget to show the same love to our veggies; marinate them in a separate bowl, making sure they’re thoroughly coated.
Once everything is well-coated, let the flavors meld for a good 30 minutes. After this, you can skewer the paneer and veggies, readying them for their culinary journey ahead.
Step 5: Searing in the Grill Pan
Time for some sizzle action! Anoint your grill pan with oil using a silicone brush and allow it to heat up until it reaches an invitingly hot temperature. Introduce the skewers to the pan and sear the paneer to perfection. After a delightful sear, expertly flip the skewers for an even cook.
Serve piping hot with coriander chutney.
Pro Tip for preparing Tandoori Paneer Tikka
Ready for an enchanting culinary trick? Elevate the flavors with a smoky touch! The secret to truly transcendental Paneer Tikka lies in a tantalizingly smoky aroma; here’s how we achieve it!
Heat up a lone charcoal briquette on your gas stove. Watch as it dances with the flames and turn a searing red-hot. This red-hot piece of charcoal now holds the power to infuse our Paneer Tikka with a swoon-worthy smoky flavor.
Now, like placing a precious gem on a pedestal, place this glowing piece of charcoal into a small glass bowl. Rain down a spoon of ghee (clarified butter),, or vegetable oil onto it and watch it start smoking, releasing an irresistible fragrance that will transport your senses to a bustling street food market in the heart of India
Now, with precision, place this bowl in the center of your Paneer Tikka pan. Cover it with foil, creating a mini smoky sauna for your paneer and veggies. The Paneer Tikka will now soak in this smoky essence, leading to a flavor profile that’s multi-dimensional, robust, and simply unforgettable! This smoky spectacle will truly set your Paneer Tikka apart!
Unleashing the Versatility of Tandoori Paneer Tikka
Our Tandoori Paneer Tikka is undeniably a star on its own. Savored straight off the skewer, these smoky morsels make for an unforgettable appetizer that will leave your taste buds craving!
But wait, the party isn’t over yet! The beauty of this tandoori delight is its adaptability. Looking to transition this album of flavors into a hearty lunch or dinner? Let’s craft mouthwatering culinary creation!
Place your Tandoori Paneer Tikka into a soft, warm wrap, and add some of your favorite condiments. A drizzle of ketchup, some drops of hot sauce, a swirl of tangy tamarind, a dollop of vibrant coriander chutney—every touch adds a burst of flavor to the wrap.
And to add a refreshing crunch? A handful of crisp lettuce. Roll it all up and voila! A vibrant, heart-warming, and delectably packed Paneer Tikka wrap sandwich ready to steal the show on your dinner table. Truly, a feast you can hold in your hands!
Exciting Ways to Savor Tandoori Paneer Tikka
Paneer Tikka Pizza: Use it as a topping on a pizza for a fusion of Italian and Indian flavors. The marinated and grilled paneer tikka pieces can be placed on top of pizza along with other toppings and cheese.
Paneer Tikka Salad: Add it to your greens and turn your simple salad into an exotic meal with chunks of paneer tikka.
Paneer Tikka Sandwich: Simply place these tikkas between 2 slices of bread along with chutney and/or mayo and lettuce to make a delicious sandwich.
Paneer Tikka Butter Masala: Lastly, you can also turn the tikkas into a curry by cooking it in a masala gravy to make Paneer Tikka Butter Masala. Follow the recipe for Chicken Butter Masala.
These examples illustrate just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to enlivening your palette with Tandoori Paneer Tikka. The journey of culinary exploration is boundless, so allow your creativity to thrive!Print