So it’s been about a year and a half since the last time I posted here. Things have been nuts, with exams and life, and getting things back on track. A couple of weeks ago, some friends and I got together for a study group. The study group turned into a cooking party soon enough, and the results were simply fabulous. The meal consisted of paneer tikka, chili gobi (cauliflower for you non-hindi-speakers) and a simple fried rice – the only time I have ever genuinely liked fried rice.
I”ll start with the paneer tikka recipe and we’ll go from there. I never actually knew that paneer tikka could be so easy. It’s one of those things that’s only served in fancy restaurants, so I really didn’t know that making it at home would be such a piece of cake. My chum Sultana is one of those rare specimens that is skilled at everything she does. Her knowledge of culinary arts rivals her knowledge of clinical methods and current affairs, which makes her quite a source of company. This is her recipe for paneer tikka. Hope you all enjoy it as much as we did!
This is going to be a bit vague as far as proportions go, but I think it’s more a matter of preferences than rigid rules.
64 oz. firm or extra firm paneer
Half a tub of yogurt
olive or canola oil
If you have a grinder:
dried red chilis (2-5 depending on how spicy you like your food)
a 3-inch piece of ginger root
6-8 cloves of garlic
If you don’t have a grinder:
chili powder (to taste)
2-3 tablespoons of ginger-garlic paste (available at an Indian store)
a pinch of kasuri methi (available at an Indian store)
a pinch of curry powder (available at an indian store)
a pinch of garam masala (available at an indian store)
Salt to taste (preferably rock salt)
To serve with:
1 big capsicum (bell pepper) or 2 smaller ones
2 beefsteak tomatoes
1 yellow onion
1. Cut the paneer into thin squares. They should have enough surface area that grilling them will be easy, but they should be thin enough that the marinade will soak in properly.
2. Combine all the ingredients of the marinade together thoroughly, making sure that they are blended properly. If desired they can be whipped together.
3. Lay the paneer slices out in a shallow baking dish, covering completely with the marinade. Alternatively, they can be placed in a big ziploc bag after covering with the marinade.
4. Cover with an airtight seal and place them in the refrigerator overnight.
5. The paneer can be cooked in two ways. It can either be grilled or it can be cooked in a frying pan with a little oil, whichever you are comfortable with.
6. Both sides of each piece should be evenly browned, forming a rich golden crust. Make sure it’s cooked long enough without burning it.
7. Finally, if you’re using a grill, you can grill the vegetables on there as well. Otherwise, cut each into lengthwise pieces and roast for about 7-10 minutes in the oven.
8. Serve the paneer hot with the roasted vegetables as a side dish with roti (Indian flatbread) or rice.
p.s. I would like to see how this would turn out with tofu to replace the paneer for a healthier option. If anyone tries it out, let me know!