Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Paneer tikka (skewers optional)

I do like paneer. However it wasn't until I went to a couple of weddings in India a few years ago that I first ate paneer tikka. These are basically pieces of marinated paneer threaded onto skewers with some other vegetables, and grilled over charcoal. The combination of spicy heat and a light singeing from the hot coals was hard to beat, and I remember scoffing a lot of these with my cousins while trying not to trip over my sari and avoiding various groups of gossiping aunties.
However wasn't until the other day when I stumbled across this post on the Foodlyrics blog that it occurred to me that I could try making paneer tikka at home. I had to adapt the recipe (enough for two greedy people as a main course) a little bit due to a lack of ingredients so my tikka didn't feature any tomatoes. I also boosted the spicing and used about two fat cloves of garlic and a half inch wodge of ginger to go with my 272g block of ready-made paneer (see previous post for brand information). For 'plain curds' I used natural yoghurt, and though I was a bit concerned about it splitting it was all fine.
I left the paneer and vegetables to sit in the marinade for a couple of hours and then fried it all off as described in the recipe. I think this is the genius bit of it all as it ensures the vegetables are nicely cooked through before the grilling part, and I think I'd do this even if I was cooking this dish on a barbeque. I was then ready to commence skewering- at which point I realised I didn't have any skewers. Damn. But on the basis that skewers don't actually add any flavour and the food is removed from them before eating anyway, I just lined everything up on a foil covered baking try and placed under a hot grill for around 8-10mins until a nice bit of blistering developed on the peppers and the paneer and onions charred a little.

I'm not normally a massive fan of green peppers and find them a bit acrid tasting but here they perfectly offset the sweetness of the onion, and the spicing peps up the otherwise bland paneer.
The tikkas were carefully dished up with some vegetable pilau rice and salad, and rapidly eaten.


Joy said...

What a delicious dish and a gorgeous post. I do hope you have put skewers on your shopping list now! They come in handy for so many things ~ especially kebabs!

TheFastestIndian said...

Awww, thanks. Was so absent minded when I went shopping I almost left without the paneer too (which would have been harder to do without!).

meemalee said...

I heart paneer.

mina said...

sounds delicious! can't wait to try it.

Cosmic Cook said...

That looks delicious. Can I ask where you bought it from? I can't seem to find it in Cam.

TheFastestIndian said...

Hi Cosmic Cook! Thanks (and for the other comments too)! I presume you mean the paneer? I bought this at the Fulbourn Tesco, and have also seen it in the big Sainsbury on Coldhams Lane. I guess it might be at other big branches of Tesco too. Hope that helps!