Homemade cheese or paneer is used in the entire South Asia as delicious substitute for meat in many dishes; from simple toasting it for breakfast to adding it to scrumptious curries like Shahi paneer, Palak Paneer and Mattar Paneer.

This Easy Paneer Tikka Recipe makes delicious chunks of cheese, marinated in spicy yogurt sauce, soft inside and crispy on the outside. If you have cheese in your fridge, you can marinate it even a night before to make a quick meal or snack the next day. You can also thread your favourite vegetables on the skewers while grilling it, like onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, baby corn and mushrooms. Or you can roll the freshly cooked tikkas in flat bread with a little salad and chutney to make a yummy sandwich for lunchbox.

Ingredients :

400 g paneer/cottage cheese, cut into cubes
3-4 tablespoons yogurt
2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt ( or to taste)
1+1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder ( or to taste)
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon cumin powder
3 tablespoons gram flour/besan(only required for pan frying)
1/4 cup oil for shallow frying(only required for pan frying)

*Only use firm and smooth paneer, not crumbly.

* Don’t overcook the paneer, it will become rubbery and chewy.

* Gram flour is added to the marinade only for cooking on stove top, so that the tikkas don’t stick to the frying pan.

* To bake in the oven, omit gram flour and frying oil. Brush the tikka skewers lightly with oil, bake for 15 minutes on each side at 180 degrees C.

* For grilling also omit gram flour and frying oil. Brush slightly with oil and grill till nicely charred.

This Is What You Do :

Mix yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, salt, red chilli powder, garam masala, cumin powder (and gram flour) in big mixing bowl.

Add cheese cubes to the marinade. Leave in the fridge for two hours to absorb the flavours.

Heat oil in a nonstick, deep frying pan on low heat. If the oil is too hot it would immediately burn the outer layer of cheese cubes.

Add the cheese cubes, a few at a time. Quickly fry them on all sides till they are nicely golden brown.

Remove and drain on a kitchen towel. Repeat with the rest of the cubes.

Immediately serve hot with fresh onion, cucumber and tomato salad, and green chutney.

Makes 6 skewers

For Green Chutney, blend 4 green chillies, 1/2 onion, a small bunch coriander, 4 tablespoons lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon coriander to a smooth consistency. You can also add this to yogurt to make a cooler version of the dip.

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