Paneer Tikka: Delectable Smoky And Char-grilled Cottage Cheese
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Paneer tikka is an Indian vegetarian dish made from chunks of paneer grilled in a tandoor. It is a popular appetizer made with cubes of paneer & vegetables marinated with yogurt and spices stacked in a skewer and grilled in a tandoori oven. Onions, capsicums, and tomatoes are added to the marination along with paneer and then, grilled until charred. Served alongside coriander and mint chutney, pickled onions, and lemon wedges, it is a one-way ticket to flava country and if someone says that vegetarian dishes lack flavour, hand them a plate full of this. Crispy and charred on the outside from the grilling and succulent, juicy, and flavourful on the inside, this dish is a godsend for vegetarians. The porous nature of the paneer soaks up the marination spices and the hung curd and besan coating keeps the paneer cubes moist from the inside even in high temperatures. And if you're thinking if you could make it at home, truth is, that you absolutely can, if you're able to grab hold of an oven and some charcoal. Then you can truly bring out the restaurant or dhaba style flavours of the tandoor sitting at the comfort of your home. So, without further ado, let's begin.

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  • 500 g paneer, cut into large cubes
  • 1 each of red, yellow and green capsicum, deseeded and cut into large squares
  • 2 large red onions, quartered and separated into layers
  • 3 large tomatoes, halved
  • 100 g hung curd
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ground coriander seeds
  • 2 cardamom pods, crushed
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp black salt
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp kasoori methi
  • 3 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder
  • 4 tbsp besan
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 cm piece of ginger, grated
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp mustard oil
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 2 pieces of charcoal
  • Wooden skewers, if you don't have metallic skewers


  1. Put the wooden skewers in a cold water bath 5 hours before preparing the dish. If you have a metal skewer, go right ahead.
  2. Roast the besan in a dry pan until lightly toasted. Set aside.
  3. Whisk together all the ingredients for the marinade, including the roasted besan and except the oil.
  4. Heat the oil over a high heat until smoking hot.
  5. Carefully whisk this into the marinade. Add the paneer, peppers and onions. Mix well to coat and set aside for 30 minutes or overnight.
  6. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
  7. Skewer the paneer, onions and tomatoes on the skewers, alternating in each ingredient.
  8. Set a metal wire rack on top of a baking tray and arrange the skewers on top. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes.
  9. Brush the paneer tikka pieces with melted ghee and turn on the broiler for more char-grill effect.
  10. In a mixing bowl, take out the paneer and vegetables and in the centre add a steel glass.
  11. Over on the stovetop, light the charcoal up and carefully with tongs, transfer it onto the steel glass in the bowl.
  12. Add a few drops of oil on the charcoal and cover the mixing bowl with aluminium foil and keep it covered for 5 to 10 minutes.
  13. With the use of tongs, safely remove the steel glass and your smoked paneer tikka is ready to be served.

Serve it with naan or roti along with the chutneys and enjoy with your friends and family.