Friday, April 29, 2016

Tandoori Paneer Tikka

I was never a huge fan of the vegetarian dishes...aka the vegetables!! But when the matter is concerned with paneer, well its a different story then!! So when I am literally saying yours truly to my beloved Tandoori Chicken...I can never ever forget its vegetarian sibling, the Tandoori Paneer Tikka!!

simple and easy indian vegetarian tikka recipe and preparation tandoori paneer tikka recipe and preparation

simple and easy indian vegetarian tikka recipe and preparation tandoori paneer tikka recipe and preparation

When I was new to cooking I used ready-made Tandoori masalas. I have used Everest and Natco Tandoori masalas...and both of them were rich in flavours and taste. I was really happy with them...but then I discovered the fresh pungency of the homemade masalas...and from then on I have never really looked at the readymade masalas, the way once I used to.

simple and easy indian vegetarian tikka recipe and preparation tandoori paneer tikka recipe and preparation

Homemade Tandoori masalas are in one word great!! They are richer, tastier and bursting with all the flavours, owing to the grandeur of the whole spices that are first dry roasted and then grinded. I just love them. For me there is simply no alternative to the fresh homemade masalas.

simple and easy indian vegetarian tikka recipe and preparation tandoori paneer tikka recipe and preparation

Tandoori Paneer Tikka
Serves 4

simple and easy indian vegetarian tikka recipe and preparation tandoori paneer tikka recipe and preparation

Ingredients:
250gm paneer / cottage cheese – cut into medium cubes
1 onion – cut into cubes and the layers separated
1 capsicum – cut into medium cubed
1 tomato – cut the tomatoes in quarters and get rid of their seeds. Then cut each of the pieces into half again.
½ inch stick of ginger – paste.
3-4 garlic cloves – paste
2 tbsp besan / Bengal gram
¼ th cup of yogurt
1 tsp carom seeds
1 tsp dry roasted and ground cumin powder
1 tsp dry roasted and ground coriander powder
2 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala powder (try to use homemade)
1 tsp mace and nutmeg powder
1 tsp mango powder / amchur powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
Juice of 1 lime
A pinch of rock salt
Salt – as per taste
2 tbsp mustard oil
Some melted butter for basting

Method:
In a pan dry roast the gram flour until you start to get their nutty flavour. It will take 3-4 minutes. Stir continuously or else they will burn very easily.
After dry roasting the gram flour put them in a large bowl.
Add in the yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, red chilli powder, kashmiri red chilli powder, carom seeds, dry roasted and ground cumin and coriander powder, garam masala powder, mango powder / aamchur powder, rock salt and salt.
Give them a good mix to make a smooth paste.
In a separate pan heat the mustard oil until it becomes smoky and you start to get its sizzling smell.
Put off the flame and put the turmeric powder into it. Sauté it for just 2-3 seconds and pour the entire oil into the bowl.
Mix to incorporate everything perfectly.
Now throw in the paneer / cottage cheese, tomatoes, capsicum and onions and let them marinade for 15 minutes.
Arrange 2-3 paneer pices on a satay stick in alternate positions with the capsicum, tomato and onion pieces.
Bake them in the oven at 350F for 7-8 minutes maximum or until they become crispy brown from all the sides. After 5 minutes, change the sides of the paneer pieces and baste them with some melted butter.
Serve immediately with some chat masala and coriander leaves sprinkled over them, and with some chutney or sauce of your choice.

Alternatively you can fry the paneer tikkas on a griddle or tawa with some oil, until they become brown and little charred on all the sides. 

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