Paneer Tikka

Paneer Tikka – a famous vegetarian starter.

Paneer tikka is a popular vegetarian appetizer, loved by many. This is one of the most common vegetarian appetizer which the vegetarians order, while dining out. Paneer and vegetable cubes are marinated in a mixture of curds, spices  and grilled in a tandoor. The restaurant style tandoori paneer tikka has a smoky flavour, the paneer cubes  are slightly charred on the outside, and is soft from within. The same recipe can be recreated at home in a pan, without a tandoor. The key to a perfect paneer tikka is right marination and the smoky flavour.  Here is the recipe for Paneer Tikka:

Ingredients

For marination

400 grams cottage cheese (paneer)
½ cup hung curds (dahi)
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste (adrak lehsun paste)
1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi)
1 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
1 tbsp red chilly powder (laal mirch)
1 tbsp oil (tel)
½ tsp garam masala
1 tbsp roasted gram flour (besan)
1 tsp carom seeds (ajwain)
salt as per taste (namak)
½ cup onions, cut in quarters (pyaaz)
½ cup green capsicum cubes (Shimla mirch)
½ cup red capsicum cubes (laal shimla mirch)

For cooking paneer tikka

1 tbsp oil (tel)
2 tsp butter (makkhan)
bamboo skewers

For the smoky flavour

A small piece of charcoal
1 tsp clarified butter (ghee)

Paneer tikka

Method

  • In a mixing bowl, add hung curds, ginger garlic paste, kasuri methi, salt, turmeric powder, red chilly powder, garam masala, carom seeds, oil and  roasted gram flour. Mix well.
  • Now, add onions, green capsicum and red capsicum . Mix well.
  • Add paneer cubes and mix gently till they are coated well with the marinade.  
  • Keep this aside for 15 minutes.  
  • Skewer the vegetables and paneer and set them aside.
  • While putting the vegetables and paneer in the skewer, ensure that you begin with a capsicum and then keep alternating between paneer, onion and capsicum and end with a capsicum or onion cube,  so that the paneer cubes are held firmly.
  • If using bamboo skewers, keep them immersed in the water for 30 minutes before using.
  • Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan. Add 1 tsp butter. When the butter starts melting, place the paneer tikka skewers on the pan.
  • Allow it to cook on a low flame. Keep turning the skewers and cook on all sides.
  • For the smoky flavour, place a piece of dry charcoal on an open flame.
  • Let it burn till the charcoal turns red in colour.
  • Pick up the charcoal with the help of tongs and place it in a steel bowl,
  • Place this bowl on the pan containing paneer tikka skewers.
  • Add a teaspoon of ghee on the hot coal.
  • The ghee will melt and smoke will emanate from it.
  • Cover the pan for 2 minutes for the smoky flavour to infuse. 
  • Transfer paneer tikka skewers to a serving plate.
  • Serve with green chutney, onion rings and lemon wedges.

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