Tandoori Paneer Tikka - the name itself makes my mouth water!! Succulent cubes of paneer marinated and grilled or baked in a "tandoori oven", then served with grilled vegetables, is enough to tempt anyone on earth. But this time around, inspired by combining the Indian and Asian tastes in one dish, I have tried a variation which still uses a spicy yogurt marinade, but the final Paneer Tikka is then served hot, drizzled with a home-made sweet and tangy mango dressing, and serves to be a perfect side-dish to an Indian meal. Sounds inviting, right? Just wait till you've actually tasted it, maybe you wouldn't like leaving any for your guests!
I'm sending this to WYF-Side Dish event over at Simple Indian Food.
Fresh Paneer - cut into thick cubes
1 large bell-pepper - diced into squares
1 large red onion - diced into thick slices
1/4 cup yoghurt
2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1 tsp red chilli powder or paprika
1 tbsp tamarind paste
2 tsp pickle(achaar) - optional
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp orange food color(optional, I did not use it)
1 tbsp tandoori tikka masala (or garam masala)
1/4 cup mango puree
4-5 tbsp orange juice
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice (or white wine vinegar)
2 tsp honey or sugar - if required
1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper
Take the paneer cubes and add them to 1/4 cup of water along with 1/2 tsp turemric powder, 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tbsp lemon juice. Soak them for at least 10 mins.
Now take the yoghurt and pass it through a muslin cloth, removing all water content and leaving only the firm yoghurt part. Add all the Marinade ingredients to it; mix well, adjust spices according to taste and set aside.
Now add the marinade to a zip-lock bag, then add all the paneer cubes(remove from salt water) into it, shake it arund so all pices are coated with the marinade, then refrigerate it for at least 2 hours (or maximum overnight).
Preheat oven to 400 deg F. Now grease a cookie sheet with ample amount of coking oil, then place the marinated paneer pieces on the tray; remove the yogurt sticking on the pieces as it would stick on the sheet while baking.
Apply some light oil on each piece with a brush, sprinkle some more tandoori masala on top, then bake for 10-12 mins. Then flip them over, apply oil on the other side and bake again for another 10 mins (depending on yoor oven, it may take longer) Check after 15 mins to see if the pieces are cooked through evenly.
Turn oven setting to BROIL and allow it to broil for another 2 mins.
Meanwhile, take a pan, add 2 tsp oil to it, and add the cubes of onions and bell-peppers. Saute them on medium-flame till they are semi-cooked and turn glossy. Add some salt and lemon juice according to taste.
Turn off the oven and gently lift the pieces, arrange them on a serving plate. Add the sauteed bell-peppers and onions to the plate, and garnish with some Mango Dressing and chopped coriander.
Grilling or Shallow-Fry
You can cook the paneer and veggies by arranging them on a skewer and grilling it on a hot barbecue grill. Use the same procedure as above, just use grill instead of a conventional oven. Shallow-frying the paneer pieces, just like the veggies is another quick option, but you may not get the smoky, grilled look with this method. But you can choose any method depending on your convenience.
Sweet and Tangy Mango Dressing
Mix the mango puree with all the other ingredients for the dressing and blend well to form a smooth liquid sauce. If its too thick, add some more orange juice; it should be thinner than normal mango puree, but thicker than water.
Arrange the grilled paneer and vegetable on a platter. Top with some Mango Dressing and cilantro. Serve hot as an appetizer or a side dish!
We always order Tandoori Paneer Tikka in restaurants, but now that I have mastered the art of making it at home, we often enjoy it as dinner, just by itself! The addition of Mango Dressing was a winning brainwave, and the basic recipe for the sauce as well as the Tandoori Marinade can be used for any other tikka recipe.
Achari Paneer Tikka Wraps
Spicy Chilli Paneer
Savoury Paneer & Sun-dried Tomato Muffins
Restaurant-Style Paneer Butter Masala
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