Tandoori Paneer

Over the weekend I did some cooking and thought it’s such a brilliant, easy dish to make that I should also share it with you guys! My hubby loves paneer. Paneer is a fresh non-melting, crumbly cheese which can be made at home. It involves curdling the milk with lemon juice.

It’s such a simple meal, charred paneer with peppers and onions, what more could you want? You can even add mushrooms and baby corn if you like.
It’s grilled over a griddle pan; if you don’t have one, you can use the grill in your oven. It’s usually cooked in a tandoor (clay oven), but we don’t have the luxury of those in our homes.

Pair it with rice or naan to make it a fuller lunch/dinner. The leftover marinade makes a mean chutney, topped over the paneer and vegetables.
If you feel its too spicy, you can omit the number of chillies used.

If you have planned a few days ahead, make the marinade the night before and let the vegetables and paneer absorb all the flavours before cooking the next day.

This portion serves roughly 4-6 people.

Ingredients:

  • 500g paneer – 3cm cubed and soaked in boiling water
  • 4 small white/pink onion – cut into 3cm wedges
  • 2 large peppers of your choice (green, red, yellow) – cut into 3cm squares
  • Lime/lemon wedges to serve

For the marinade:

  • 250g dai (natural yoghurt, don’t use greek yoghurt)
  • 3 green chillies – chopped roughly
  • 3 garlic cloves – peeled and chopped roughly
  • 3-inch ginger piece – peeled and chopped roughly
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp methi
  • A handful of coriander leaves – chopped roughly with the stalks
  • A handful of mint leaves – chopped roughly with the stems
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

Method:

  1. Peel and roughly chop all the ingredients and put them in a blender. Add a little bit of water and blend till you reach a smooth consistency.
  2. Pour the marinade into the yoghurt and mix thoroughly. Add salt and pepper. Place in the refrigerator.
  3. Place the cubed paneer pieces into a bowl of hot boiling water, be sure the paneer is submerged fully in the water. This will re-hydrate the paneer, making it softer than it was and whiter in colour.
  4. Heat the butter and oil in a pan till extremely hot. Gently pour it over the yoghurt marinade and give it a good whisking.
  5. Drain the paneer and add the vegetables and paneer to the marinade. Get stuck in with your hands and give it a good mix and coating. Make sure all the paneer and vegetables are coated. Place in the refrigerator for a few hours.
  6. If using a grill pan, place over medium heat and a few drops of oil, wait for the pan to sizzle and place the paneer. Cook it till its brown, yet still soft on the edges. Same for the vegetables, you still want them to have some crunch. The charred bits are also lovely. 
  7. If using a grill in the oven, set it to the highest temperature, cook the vegetables and paneer for 15 minutes till you start to see colour in them
  8. Serve straight away with the rice or naan; salad is also good on the side too.

Bon appetit!

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