Indian cheese also known as cottage cheese or paneer is an essential ingredient in many Indian homes. Although it is not very difficult to make, it does take a lot of time, so buying is a good option. Even when abroad, every Little India holds a fresh produce shop that will most definitely sell paneer in grams.
Here is a very easy-to-prepare tandoori paneer recipe. A good marinade is the key to having a good tandoori flavour. This marinade is super simple, quick and flavoursome, easily making this one of our favourite first courses at dinner parties. While it is super delicious when served hot, it is also very delicious once cooled down and for that reason it is a hit in the picnic basket as well.
Having said that, any tandoori dish would still be incomplete without it’s chutney. In this post I will also share the recipe of mint chutney based on yoghurt, which I dare to say does steal away the limelight of the show!
Ingredients: – (makes up to 20 small size skewers)
• 4 serving spoons home-made curd
• 2 tsp cumin powder (jeera)
• 1 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
• Salt & pepper, according to taste
• 1 tbsp tandoori masala
• Juice of half a lime
• 1-2 tsp red chilli powder (optional)
• 500gms paneer
• 1 green bell pepper
• 1 red bell pepper
• 1 red onion
• a pack of skewers
1. Pick 1 skewer, align together the paneer, bell peppers and onions 1 behind the other, as you like. In my skewer, I started off with a large green red bell pepper, followed by a slice of onion, then a chunk of paneer, green bell pepper another slice onion and finally a small chunk of paneer. Repeat with all skewers until you run out of ingredients. Set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the curd and all the spices (jeera powder, turmeric powder, salt, pepper, tandoori masala, red chilli powder). Squeeze in half a lime. Mix well.
3. Hold a skewer in one hand over the mixing bowl. With the other hand using a large spoon, pour the marinade over the skewer slowly on all sides. Set the skewer on a plate. Repeat will all.
4. Cover the plate with a clear wrap. Refrigerate for a minimum of 3 hours. Best kept overnight.
5. Oven bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees for 16-18 minutes. Turn sides at half way (at 7-8minutes). Lightly spray some olive oil if required.
6. Serve with yoghurt based mint chutney, some raw onion and tomato salad.
Ingredients (for yoghurt based mint chutney)
• 1 bunch, mint leaves
• 1 bunch, coriander leaves
• 2 cloves, garlic
• ½ a lemon
• 1 tsp salt
• 1 tsp cumin
• 2 green chillies
• 2 tbsp home-made yoghurt (unsweetened)
1. Blend all the ingredients in a blender (except for the yoghurt).
2. Spoon the ingredients from the blender into the bowl of yoghurt and stir to mix well together.
Now all that’s left to do is dunk and um, repeat – Dunk and Um!