Make Delicious Tandoori Paneer with This Recipe

Make Delicious Tandoori Paneer with This Recipe

Make Delicious Tandoori Paneer with This Recipe

Tandoori Paneer is a popular Indian appetizer that combines the smoky flavor of a traditional tandoor with the rich, creamy texture of paneer (Indian cottage cheese). This dish is not only flavorful but also visually appealing, making it a great choice for parties and gatherings. Here’s a step-by-step guide to making delicious Tandoori Paneer at home.

Ingredients

For the Marinade:

  • Paneer: 400 grams, cut into cubes
  • Yogurt: 1 cup (thick, hung curd preferred)
  • Ginger-Garlic Paste: 2 tablespoons
  • Lemon Juice: 2 tablespoons
  • Red Chili Powder: 1 teaspoon
  • Turmeric Powder: 1/2 teaspoon
  • Garam Masala: 1 teaspoon
  • Cumin Powder: 1 teaspoon
  • Coriander Powder: 1 teaspoon
  • Kasuri Methi (Dried Fenugreek Leaves): 1 tablespoon, crushed
  • Salt: to taste
  • Mustard Oil: 2 tablespoons
  • Optional Food Color: a pinch (red or orange, for a traditional look)

For the Garnish:

  • Chaat Masala: 1 teaspoon
  • Lemon Wedges: for serving
  • Onion Rings: for serving
  • Fresh Coriander: finely chopped

Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the Marinade

  1. Drain the Yogurt: If using regular yogurt, ensure it is thick by draining the whey using a muslin cloth or a fine strainer.
  2. Combine Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, add the thick yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, lemon juice, red chili powder, turmeric powder, garam masala, cumin powder, coriander powder, crushed kasuri methi, and salt.
  3. Mix Well: Stir all the ingredients until well combined. The marinade should be smooth and thick.
  4. Add Mustard Oil: Gently heat the mustard oil until it is smoking, then let it cool slightly before adding it to the marinade. Mix well.
  5. Food Color (Optional): If you are using food color, add a pinch to the marinade and mix thoroughly.

Step 2: Marinate the Paneer

  1. Paneer Cubes: Gently add the paneer cubes to the marinade, ensuring each piece is well-coated.
  2. Marination Time: Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1-2 hours. For best results, marinate overnight to allow the flavors to fully penetrate the paneer.

Step 3: Prepare for Cooking

  1. Skewers: If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for at least 30 minutes to prevent burning. Metal skewers can be used directly.
  2. Skewer the Paneer: Thread the marinated paneer cubes onto the skewers. You can alternate with vegetables like bell peppers and onions for added flavor and color.

Step 4: Cooking the Paneer

  1. Oven Method:
    • Preheat your oven to 220°C (428°F).
    • Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a wire rack on top. Arrange the skewers on the rack.
    • Brush the paneer with a little oil or melted butter.
    • Bake for 15-20 minutes, turning the skewers halfway through, until the paneer is golden and slightly charred at the edges.
  2. Grill Method:
    • Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.
    • Place the skewers on the grill, turning occasionally, until the paneer is cooked and has a nice char (about 10-15 minutes).
  3. Stovetop Method:
    • Heat a non-stick grill pan or regular pan over medium-high heat.
    • Add a little oil or butter to the pan.
    • Cook the paneer skewers, turning occasionally, until they are golden and slightly charred on all sides (about 10-15 minutes).

Step 5: Garnish and Serve

  1. Remove from Skewers: Once cooked, remove the paneer cubes from the skewers.
  2. Garnish: Sprinkle chaat masala over the paneer for an added burst of flavor.
  3. Serve: Arrange the Tandoori Paneer on a serving plate, garnished with lemon wedges, onion rings, and fresh coriander.

Tips for Perfect Tandoori Paneer

  • Paneer Quality: Use fresh, firm paneer for the best texture and taste.
  • Marination Time: Allow ample marination time to enhance the flavor.
  • Cooking Method: Adjust the cooking time based on your equipment to avoid overcooking and drying out the paneer.
  • Serving: Serve immediately for the best experience, as paneer tends to harden as it cools.

Tandoori Paneer is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed as an appetizer, side dish, or even as a filling for wraps and sandwiches. With this detailed recipe, you can bring the authentic taste of Indian cuisine to your kitchen and impress your family and friends with your culinary skills. Enjoy!

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