Our home favourite! This Paneer is unlike the common Matar Paneer or Palak Paneer you find it restaurants. It’s name comes from the Tandoor Oven used to cook it in – a special, cylindrical clay oven used in Indian cooking and baking, temperatures inside can reach as high as 480°C (900°F)! Of course at home, we just use an ordinary grill. This paneer takes on a delicious full-bodied flavour after being marinated in a blend of indian spices. It’s also served without a wet curry base – not needed when the paneer itself tastes so good. Works best as an appetiser or accompaniment, and is always a crowd pleaser.
Recipe: Tandoori Paneer
500g Paneer / cottage cheese cut into large cubes
100g mixed coloured (red, yellow and green) bell peppers cut into 1 inch cubes
1 1/2 tbsp cooking oil
1 1/2 tbsp gram flour (besan)
1 tbsp Lemon juice
1 tsp Himalayan salt or to taste
1 tsp Cumin seeds
3 tsp Tandoori Masala powder
1 tsp green chilli paste
1/4 tsp minced ginger
Lemon juice to taste
For the Tandoori Masala powder:
Either use freshly ground Tandoori Masala, or make a simple version of your own with commonly available spices:
1. Heat oil in a wok, add Cumin Seeds, ginger, green chilli paste, fry for 1-2 minutes.
2. Add gram flour and toast well on a slow fire, around 1 minute.
3. Add the Tandoori Masala powder and pink salt.
4. Fry on a super slow fire for 30 seconds and do not let the spices scorch!
5. Add yoghurt and blend well, cook for a minute, close the fire, add 1 tbsp lemon juice and mix well. This will be your Tandoori Marinade.
6. Spread this marinate evenly over all paneer and bell pepper cubes and let it infuse for a while, about 30-45 mins.
7. Put on a baking tray, and then grill on medium setting for about 15 – 20 mins or until well done.
8. Serve hot on skewers, and sprinkle some fresh lemon juice to taste. Tastes amazing by itself, also great with freshly baked naan or rice.
image credit: Sangeetha