I think my first memories of eating a Paneer dish in a restaurant is of Paneer Tikka Masala. Later, I discovered that we could make it as a starter without the gravy and so whenever I was in search of comfort food, Paneer Tikka is on the top of my list (it is just edged out by Hara Bhara Kabab and Dal Tadka which are at the top of the list).
I have tried many many recipes for this wonderful dish but none has come close to texture or taste than this recipe for Paneer Tikka by Chef Harpal Singh Sokhi that I discovered on YouTube.
While Chef Sokhi made this dish using a gas tandoor, me the South Indian used an iron tawa as I do not have a tandoor at home. What I loved about this recipe for Paneer Tikka is that it used so little spice yet was so so full of flavour. Just perfect.
I also made Paneer Tikka Masala using pretty much the same recipe but I will post that on another day. 🙂
How to Make Paneer Tikka
Ingredients for the Marinade
- Thick Yogurt, Dahi – 1/2 Cup
- Besan, Gram Flour – 1 tbsp
- Ajwain – 1/4 tsp
- Garam Masala – 1/2 tsp
- Deghi Mirch Powder, Kashmiri Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
- Regular Red Chilli Powder – 1/2 tsp
- Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
- Ginger Paste – 1 tsp
- Garlic Paste – 1 tsp
- Lemon Juice – 1 tbsp
- Mustard Oil – 1 tbsp
- Butter or Ghee – 1 tbsp
- Salt to Taste
- Paneer – 250 gms
- Red Bell Pepper – 1 Small
- Yellow Bell Pepper – 1 Small
- Capsicum – 1 Small
- Onion – 1 Large
- Ghee – 2 tbsp
- Bamboo Skewers (7″ in length) – 4
Method to Make the Marinade
- On tawa, over medium heat, heat 1 tbsp ghee.
- Add ajwain and stir-fry till aromatic.
- Add the besan.
- Saute till the raw smell of the besan disappears and it becomes aromatic.
- Remove into a large bowl (enough to fit the marinade, paneer, and the vegetables).
- Let the besan cool.
- Mix together the cooled besan mix, dahi, ginger paste, garlic paste, both the chilli powders, salt, garam masala, and lemon juice.
- Mix well.
- In a ladle, heat the mustard oil till the smoking point.
- Turn off the heat.
- Add turmeric to the mustard oil and mix well.
- Add the mustard oil to the marinade.
- Mix well.
- Set aside.
Preparing the Paneer and Vegetables
- Cut the Paneer into 1″ cubes about 1/2″ thick.
- Cut the bell peppers in half.
- Discard the seeds.
- Cut into 1″ squares.
- Peel and quarter the onion.
- Cut into 1″ pieces.
- Separate the different layers of the onion.
Marinating the Paneer and Vegetables
- Add all the vegetables and paneer to the marinade.
- Set aside for at least 1 hour. (I let the paneer and vegetables marinate overnight in the refrigerator).
Making the Paneer Tikka on a Tava
- On a non-stick tava, heat about 1 tsp ghee.
- Remove the paneer pieces from the marinade. Shake off any excess marinade but do not remove all marinade.
- Place on the tava and cook till both sides of the paneer pieces are brown.
- Remove into a plate.
- Scrape any masala stuck to the pan.
- Add 1 tbsp of ghee.
- Remove the bell pepper and onion pieces from the marinade. Shake off any excess marinade but do not remove all marinade.
- Place on the tava and cook till the side touching the pan starts to blister.
- Flip over and cook for a minute.
- Remove into a plate.
Serving Paneer Tikka
- Use a skewer with every paneer piece followed by onion + bell-pepper pieces as shown in the picture.
- Place paneer pieces followed by onion + bell-pepper pieces on a plate as shown in the first picture.
Paneer Tikka: Recipe by Harpal Singh Sokhi