There are certain dishes I like to leave to restaurants simply because they are better equipped to do the job. Most tandoori dishes fall into this category because nothing really beats a tandoori naan or a chicken kabab or paneer tikkas that are made in a tandoor.
So these paneer tikkas are not really restaurant-style but they do make a great paneer starter, are relatively quick to make, and for a great base for Paneer Tikka Masala, which is one of my absolute favourite paneer dishes.
Paneer Tikka | Tandoori Paneer Tikka on Stove Top
Preparation time: 45 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
16 paneer cubes, thawed if using frozen or make your own paneer
1 tsp of Kashmiri chilli powder
1/4 tsp of turmeric powder
1/4 tsp of crushed jeera / cumin seeds
1 tsp of coriander powder (optional)
1 tsp of tandoori masala (see notes)
2-3 tbsp of thick, plain yogurt
Salt to taste
1-2 tsp of oil
A few pieces of cubed capsicum (bell pepper), onion, deseeded tomato, etc according to your preference
How I Made It:
1. Mix all the ingredients except oil in a bowl and leave to marinate for at least 30 mins.
2. Skewer the paneer cubes along with whatever other vegetables you are using. I used red bell pepper.
3. Heat a tawa or griddle or wide pan on medium-high heat and grease with 1 tsp oil. Don’t use too much oil, we want the paneer cubes to be charred and cooked, not fried.
4. Using tongs, keep turning the skewers around every 2 mins or so until all the sides are evenly browned.
Remove from fire and serve hot with green mint chutney or tomato sauce and lemon wedges.
If you don’t cut the paneer cubes and the bell pepper in the same size, it’s hard to get them uniformly browned so I tried adding the marinated paneer pieces and vegetables directly to a pan and cook it first before skewering them. This worked out better in my opinion although I didn’t get the half-burnt-half-cooked look you get when cooking it directly on the skewer.
Go with whichever method makes you happy. The taste is not significantly different.
– You can substitute the tandoori masala with chaat masala or garam masala. I tried with chaat masala once but wasn’t happy with the flavour. Tandoori masala has a smoky flavour which makes paneer tikka taste that much better.
– If making your own paneer, keep the marinating paneer pieces in the refrigerator to make cooking and threading on the skewers easier.
– If you don’t have steel skewers, you can use wooden skewers or even toothpicks. Make sure you dampen the wooden skewers or toothpicks before using to avoid the wood burning.
– You can marinate the vegetables along with the paneer mixture if you prefer.
– Keep the heat on medium-high and use oil sparingly to get the charred surface. Adding too much oil will result in paneer fry and not paneer tikka!
– This is a great vegetarian barbecue recipe idea which a lot of readers have emailed me for. You can use the same marinade for fish or chicken if you like too.
– Using Kashmiri chilli powder gives a more reddish tinge to the paneer tikka. Some people use red food colour and restaurants mostly do but I prefer not to use food colour unless I absolutely have to. If using regular chilli powder, reduce quantity since it will be hotter than Kashmiri chilli powder.
– You can add ginger garlic paste to the marinade if you’d like some extra flavour.