When you sit down for a great meal, it’s important to set the tone right, and that means a delicious appetiser. The North Indian staple – Paneer Tikka – is a vegetarian option that’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. With pillowy-soft paneer cubes sandwiched in between capsicum and onions, it's fresh and rich at the same time and slathered in aromatic spices for a hearty and warming starter. It can even be served along with rice or naan for a wholesome main meal. The only drawback of this otherwise versatile dish is that traditionally, tikkas are made in an old-school clay oven called a Tandoor, and for most of us, that isn’t really an option in our modern kitchens. 

Also Read: How To Make Paneer Tikka At Home? Tips And Tricks To Get The Restaurant-Style Flavours

But in this case, we can use technology to our advantage and whip up a batch of tikkas in around 10 minutes. The secret weapon: an air fryer. These machines have steadily been gaining popularity since 2018 and it's easy to see why. They take all the hassle out of achieving a crispy fried texture without the hassle and clean-up of deep frying. This is perfect for Indian food which often requires tawa frying or baking in a tandoor. This recipe takes all the guesswork out of the perfect Paneer Tikka, so you can enjoy it every day of the week.

Ingredients:

  • 500 gms paneer 
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 onion
  • ¾ cup yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp neutral cooking oil
  • 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp besan chickpea flour
  • ½ inch ginger 
  • 2 cloves garlic 
  • 1 tbsp kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves)
  • 1 teaspoon salt adjust to taste
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon chaat masala
  • ¾ teaspoon turmeric

Method:

  • Whisk the yoghurt till smooth.
  • Mince in ginger and garlic and combine.
  • Sift in besan, turmeric, salt, chilli powder, garam masala, crushed Kasuri methi and chaat masala.
  • Add lemon juice and mix all the ingredients to make the marinade.
  • Chop the paneer, peppers and onions into 1-inch chunks making sure they’re all roughly the same size. 
  • Toss them all in the marinade, cover and let them sit for a minimum of 30 minutes and a maximum of 24 hours.
  • Skewer the paneer, onion and peppers in an alternating pattern ensuing in a slight gap between each.
  • Lightly brush the air fryer basket with oil and place the prepared skewers inside before brushing with a little more oil. 
  • Cook for 5 minutes at 180°C, flip the skewers and cook on the other side for a further 5 minutes. 
  • Serve hot.