Paneer is Indian cottage cheese made by curdling milk and filtering out all the whey water. Paneer tikka is traditionally made in a Tandoori oven. Vegetables like onion, tomato, bell pepper, cauliflower and cucumber and fruits like pineapple are skewered, grilled and served along with paneer
This is my husband's recipe and when he made it the first time, I took a bite and felt all the wonderful flavours explode in my mouth. I just closed my eyes and cherished it, like Remy the rat in the movie 'Ratatouille' (one of my favourite animated movies). This is a simple and easy recipe, but takes time, as paneer and vegetables need to be marinated at least for 6 hours before baking in the oven. Your patience will be rewarded.
Paneer - 400 grams (about 14 oz) cut into cubes
Colourful bell peppers - 2 - 3 cut into big pieces
Onion - 1 cut into big pieces
Cauliflower - 8 -10 florets
You can use other 'grillable' veggies and fruits of your choice
Bamboo skewers - 15-20
32 oz cup of Yogurt (I used fat free) - 1
Cumin powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
Bay leaf - 1
Cloves - 5
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Ginger paste - 3 tsp
Garlic paste - 3 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Juice of 1 lemon
Mix all the ingredients for the marinade. Add cubed paneer and vegetables, toss well with hands to coat each piece, cover and refrigerate for 6 - 12 hours, mixing every 2-3 hours (you can skip the mixes when left overnight ;-) Mix before going to bed and then in the morning).
Preheat oven to 425F. Soak the bamboo skewers in water for few minutes. Skewer paneer and each of the vegetables in separate sets of skewers, as the grilling time is different for each one. Place the skewers supported by the edges of a baking pan to collect the dripping marinade. Make sure paneer and veggies do not touch the bottom of the pan. Bake until the edges turn brown. It takes about 20 minutes for paneer, 30 minutes for bell pepper and cucumber and 45 minutes for onions, cauliflower and pineapple. Once done, remove from skewers and enjoy when hot as an appetizer with green and sweet chutneys or as a side for roti. Optionally, you can toss with chat masala, coriander leaves (cilantro) and lemon juice before serving.