We’ve been making grilled cheese. No, not the sandwich, paneer! Paneer is a type of curd cheese used in Indian cooking. It’s fresh and unsalted, with a dense, crumbly structure. Often, it’s fried and added to curries. The cheese then tends to take on the flavors of the curry. Fried cheese? C’mon, who says no to that? Any cheese fanatic would love it. Trust me, if you’ve ever had paneer anything, you will love these paneer tikkas. My recipe is not fried (but easily can be using the same marinade).
Paneer tikka, or at least some form of it, has probably been served at almost every Indian wedding I’ve attended. It’s a favorite during cocktail hour, served nice and hot right off the tava (large flat pan) with a side of cilantro chutney. The paneer is marinated in a spicy yogurt mix along with bell peppers and onions and then grilled to a nice brown color.
What’s great about these spicy paneer cubes is that they can be cooked over charcoal, on an indoor grill or stovetop, in the oven oven or even in a special tandoori oven (if you have access to one!). If you love to grill, give these a try before the summer is over. Your vegetarian barbecue guests will be very pleased and you non-veg friends will be pleasantly surprised too!
Now that I’m in the ‘burbs I feel like everyone is out grilling! I actually have outdoor grill envy. I’m on the prowl to snag a good deal at a clearance sale so I can be prepared next summer. I’ve been using my stovetop and my indoor grill instead. Definitely not as exciting, but it will have to do for now. I hope you’re not asking why a vegetarian needs a grill. I’ve been asked that by my non-veg friends, which then left me asking myself the same question. I decided it was a ridiculous question. Of course I could use a grill! Where else would I make my spicy black bean burgers and cauliflower steaks? There are hundreds of fantastic vegetarian grilling recipes out there! I’ve even started a vegetarian grilling board on Pinterest.
Whether you are a vegetarian or not, don’t miss out on these grilled paneer tikkas. They are sure to be a hit at your next barbecue or cocktail party. It’s the perfect party pleaser.
Paneer Tikka Recipe
- 1 Red Bell Pepper
- 1 Green Bell Pepper
- 1 Red Onion
- 0.75 Plain Yogurt
- 1 Coriander Powder
- 0.5 Ground Cumin
- 0.5 Garam Masala
- 0.5 Paprika
- 1 Lemon Juice
- 0.25 Salt
- 1 Fresh Ginger Finely grated, 1 inch
- 1 Garlic Large, finely minced
- Chaat Masala Optional
- Cut the paneer into 1 inch cubes and the vegetables in 1 inch pieces. Keep them in separate bowls.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the yogurt, coriander, cumin, garam masala, paprika, lemon juice, salt, ginger and garlic until the mixture is smooth.
- Transfer half the yogurt marinade into the paneer bowl and the other half in the veggie bowl. Mix each thoroughly to coat the ingredients. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least two hours or overnight.
- Preheat your grill on medium to high heat. Place paneer and vegetable pieces on skewers.
- Grill each side until browned. This should take about 3-4 minutes per side. Lightly brush with olive oil while grilling.
- Sprinkle with chaat masala. Serve warm and enjoy!