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
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.