The next day, I had to use it all. Initially I thought of making paneer tikka masala but then the thought of having another rich curry punched me hard. So I just let it go for the time being, and proceeded with another experiment. I knew I would have to it all if it doesn’t go well, and I was prepared for that. I randomly threw some breadcrumbs and corn-starch with some more spices into the marinate and kept it for some more time. Meanwhile, Irealised that my oven has been broken for a month and I can’t go ahead with the tikka any-more As wise as I am, I decided to take the risk prepare it on Pan without grill. To my utter surprise, it came out really well. Since there was nobody to have it, I had full liberty to make my own changes to the recipe which I happily performed. After a couple of chances, this is the recipe I liked most. As the luck would be, S came home early that day and I offered him a few with tea. Being a very loyal Paneer fan, he would never say no to anything which has slightest hint of paneer. Finally, we ended up eating all of it ( he ate most of it, I promise !) for dinner. So, here is sort of a new recipe invented out of necessity. ( Don’t they say, “necessity is the mother of invention” )
Another thing while you are making this on pan is that, its takes a bit more time than the usual, for the obvious reasons of roasting the pieces in batches. But since there is no oven cooking involved, its convenient and anyone can make it pretty easily. It’s a perfect starter for any sort of parties, especially for a barbecue one or the kids’ theme parties. Roasting in butter means extra calories, but it screams extra flavour too which is just hard to ignore. Use good quality salted butter in this, and not margarine since I noticed it spoiled the whole paneer-butter combined flavour to an extent.
A very important point I would like to state here is that although I cook it on pan every time now, I still keep them to broil in oven for 7-8 minutes just before serving to guests. That gives it a very nice firm texture and delicate smoky flavour. If you don’t have oven at home, not to worry it still tastes divine:)
What you need?
500 gms Paneer- cut in cubes or rectangles
2 sticks of butter for roasting – almost 100 gms
2 tbsp oil for cooking
2 green and red bell peppers – chopped in triangles or any shape you like
2 large onions, sliced length wise – thick enough to go inside the skewer
1 tbsp Chaat Masala
2 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves ( cilantro)
To make the marinate :
1/3 cup yoghurt- almost 150 gms
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp Pickle Masala of your choice ( only masala, no pickle pieces ; totally optional )
1 tbsp breadcrumbs – ( the roasted variety will work better than the fresh ones )
1 tbsp corn flour
1 tsp Garam masala
How to make?
Mix all the above ingredients mentioned under the marinate thoroughly in a big bowl. Add Paneer cubes and bell peppers and fold into the mixture so that each cube is coated well.
Cover the bowl with a cling film, and leave this mixture in refrigerator for 4-5 hours to marinate, folding once or twice in between intervals so that it gets absorbed evenly. Dont leave the bowl in a warm temperature, else the yoghurt will go sour and ruin the taste. Try to keep it in a cool place.
After 5 hours- in a pan heat butter till it melts, keeping the flame low else it will burn off. Add a tsp of oil to it now, and let it heat up. Now, start with roasting all paneer cubes in batches according to the size of your pan, keep on flipping them so they are cooked from each side. You don’t have to make them brown, but just light brown from the edges would indicate that’s its done properly. Keep aside
After you are done with paneer, get on with capsicum pieces. Do not roast them for a long time, since we need to maintain their natural crunch, and we don’t wish to make them soggy and over cooked. Keep aside
There must be some marinate mixture remaining by this time, mix all the onion pieces into it and put them all together in the pan on a medium flame. Roast them just for 2-3 minutes on medium till it gets a bit translucent and turn off the flame.
All the ingredients are ready now, you may decorate them on a plate just like that and sprinkle some chaat masala on top with chopped cilantro. Or you may insert the pieces alternatively in a skewer and present with Chutneys.
Some tips and notes
- Alternatively, grill the paneer tikkas on a tandoor or barbecue grill till light brown in colour from all sides.
- I know it seems like a lot of butter and oil going into this recipe, which I accept is true to an extent. But a bit of careful roasting on low flame will prevent wastage and excess absorption of oil into the vegetables. Just a tad bit more patience, and you will save up on almost half the amount of fat here. Keep the flame between low to medium and never heat up the butter alone, else it will get all burnt and you will get that smell in your paneer as well.
- You may add other vegetables as well in this marinate like mushrooms, cauliflower and other forms of cheese, but paneer and Capsicum work best for this mixture and flavours.
- Even if you have oven at home and are planning to make this, you may add melted butter and oil in the marinate itself and then coat the paneer and vegetables in it. So, when you roast it directly in the grill, the buttery taste will be absorbed well. Trust me on this, it tastes heavenly !!
- Of course, if you don’t want to add too much of fat into it, simply oil the pan with a tsp of oil and roast the paneer cubes as normal and arrange on a platter or skewer.
- Again, make sure that the capsicum pieces are not over cooked to an extent they get soggy. They should retain their crunch, with brown edges.
- Do try this method and let me know if you like it, any feedback would be much appreciated.. 🙂
If you like Paneer snacks, try this Paneer Pudina which can be eaten as a snack and a side dish both.