Paneer tikka: Starter for grand parties
Paneer tikka is highly favourite appetizer of North Indiansand also liked by people of other states in India.Previously,in Indian kitchen, paneer tikka was made in clay ovens known as tandoorbut in modern time, this starter are also made in ovens and even on gas stove using tawa (Indian pans).
There are two methods of making Paneer tikka:
Some guidelines to prepare paneer tikka:
- In the oven
- On the stove top.
We can also grill or roast the paneer tikka.To get delicious paneer tikka, it is best way to first marinate the paneer cubes for 2 hours or more. Then keep the marinated paneer overnight in the fridge.
The veggies can be used according to choice of person. Person can use red, yellow and green bell pepper with onions. If person does not have oven or grill, then he/she can use non-sticktava/flat pan heat some oil. Keep the skewered paneer on the tava and fry the paneer and veggies till cooked.
To make paneer tikka, it is necessary to have a smooth frying pan. To enhance flavour, one can add some besan/gram flour to the marinade as it avoids the paneer from sticking to the pan.
While grilling or baking the paneer tikka, they become dry. Hence oil is applied to the paneer and veggies to avoid them from becoming dry. It is not good to overcook the paneer as they then become elastic, dry and hard. Thepaneershould be soft, well cooked and yet tender. It’s better to bake the paneer tikka at low temperature for some more time than at higher temperatures.
The extra marinade can be applied or brushed on the paneer tikka before baking/grilling them.
Recipe of paneer tikka is as follows:
To make Tikka:
For the marinade:
- Paneer - 200 grams (7 oz), cut into 1 inch cubes
- Green bell pepper - 1/3 cup, cut into 1 inch pieces
- Red bell pepper - 1/3 cup, cut into 1 inch pieces
- Yellow pepper - 1/3 cup, cut into 1 inch pieces
- Onion - 1/2 cup, cut into 1 inch pieces
- Tomato - 1/3 cup, cut into 1 inch pieces, optional
- Oil - few tablespoons, for brushing the tikka
- Yogurt (Curd or dahi) - 1 cup, once you hang it and let the water drain out it will gives ½ cup thick hung yogurt
- Red chili powder - 1 1/2 teaspoon, for brighter red color use kashmiri chili powder
- Cumin powder - 1/2 teaspoon
- Coriander powder – 1 teaspoon
- Garam masala - 1/2 teaspoon
- Fennel seeds powder - 1/2 teaspoon
- Chaat masala - 1 teaspoon
- Aamchur powder (dried mango powder) - 1 teaspoon
- Black pepper powder - 1/4 teaspoon
- Kasoorimethi (Dried fenugreek leaves) - 1 teaspoon
- Salt - to taste
- Ginger paste or freshly grated - 1 teaspoon
- Garlic paste or freshly grated - 1 teaspoon
- Lemon juice - 1 1/2 teaspoons
For serving: -Lemon wedges
- Take yogurt in muslin cloth or man’s handkerchief, put it in the strainer and keep a bowl or jug under it to collect excess water. Keep this in the fridge for about an hour and let all the water drain out.
- Person who is making tikka will left with thick, hung curd or yogurt in the cloth. 1 cup of yogurt will give ½ cup of thick yogurt. Take thick or hung curd in a bowl.
- Add all the spice powders (kashmiri red chili powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, chaat masala, garam masala, aamchur powder, fennel powder, black pepper powder and kasurimethi) along with salt.
- Add ginger paste and garlic paste.
- Add lemon juice and mix well.
- Cut veggies into 1 inch pieces and cube the paneer. Make sure that size of veggie and paneer pieces are same.
- Add it to the prepared marinade.
- use clean hand, gently mix. All the pieces should be coated with marinade.
- Cover it with plate or plastic wrap and let paneer and veggie marinade in the fridge for at least 2 hours. More the better.
- If person is using wooden skewers then submerge in the water for 10-15 minutes before using. At the time of using, wipe them using towel or paper napkin. If using metal skewers, no need to soak.
Make Paneer Tikka On Stove Top:
- Brush the tikka with oil from all the sides.
- Heat the non-sticktawa on medium heat. Once hot place the skewer on the tawa, shallow fry them.
- Turn it and cook all the sides till it is golden brown about 2-3 minutes.
- Remove it to serving plate.
Make Paneer Tikka In The Oven:
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degree F or 180 degree C for at least 10 minutes.
- Line a baking tray with aluminum foil. It is optional. Grease the foil or tray with oil or spray it with nonstick cooking spray thus tikka will not stick.
- Arrange the veggies and paneer on the skewer or toothpick. Keep each veggie pieces between two paneer pieces. It will look good and everyone will get equal portion of veggie and paneer.
- Brush the generous amount of oil, flip the tikka and also apply on other side as well.
- Bake in the pre-heated oven for 10-12 minutes. Remove it, flit it and again brush with oil.
- Again bake it for 10-12 minutes.
Serve Paneer tikka
Paneer tikka can be served as a starter with sliced onions, lime and mint yogurt chutney. It is found that Paneer is high protein food and also a good source of calcium. Nutritional facts suggests that there are 40 calories in 1 piece of Paneer Tikka.
This yummy starter will definitely allure to guests and they will enjoy eating it.
By- Ragini Sinha