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Monday, 28 November 2016

Hara Bhara Paneer Tikka / Indian Cottage Cheese in Green Marinade


Paneer tikka is a popular Indian starter dish in which the cottage cheese chunks and veggies marinated in yogurt and spices are grilled.  It is a delicious and healthy vegetarian alternative to Chicken tikka and other meat dishes. The marinated Paneer chunks along with pieces of colorful Bell peppers and Onions are arranged on sticks and are grilled in tandoor. At home we can easily grill it in an oven or on a stove top. I have already posted the recipe of paneer tikka with both oven and stove top method.

Today I am sharing one more flavorful paneer starter , Hara Bhara Paneer Tikka or hariyali paneer tikka. In this a green marinade made from hung curd, fresh coriander and mint leaves and spices is used to coat the cottage cheese chunks and veggies and thereafter grilled.  Hara Paneer Tikka is served hot seasoned with lime juice and chaat masala and usually accompanied with a mint chutney and salad. When it is added to a spiced gravy, it gives yet another tasty dish called Paneer Tikka Masala. Paneer cooks very quickly and soaks all the flavors very well. Whenever I make a fresh batch of green chutney, I make this quick and lip smacking starter from Paneer. 
                               
Serves -4
Preparation Time : 1-2  hours
Cooking Time : 10-12 minutes using grill or tava (stove top) option and around 20-25 minutes in an oven.
Ingredients:
  • 500 grams Indian Cottage Chesse / Paneer , cut into 10 cm cubes (I have used homemade Paneer)
  • 1 medium Green Pepper, cut into 10 cm cubes
  • 1 medium Red Pepper, cut into 10 cm cubes
  • 1 medium Yellow Pepper, cut into 10 cm cubes
  • 1 Large red Onion , cut into 10 cm cubes.

For the Marinade
  • 3 tbsp. Hung Curd (Tie ½ cup curd in a muslin cloth and hang for 1-2 hours)
  • 50 grams fresh Coriander
  • 50 grams fresh Mint leaves
  • 1 green chilly
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • ½ inch ginger root
  • 1 tsp Cumin powder
  • 1 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1 tsp red Chili powder
  • ½ tsp Dry Mango powder / Amchur Powder
  • Salt To taste

Other Ingredients:
  • Melted butter for basting
  • 1 tbsp. Lemon juice
  • Chaat Masala 


Method:
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degree Celsius for 10 minutes if using an oven. I have used a convection microwave with a grill option, where temperature is already set by default so no preheating needed in this case. Put 3-4 wooden skewers in water and leave them to soak.
  2. In a blender jar take coriander and mint leaves, green chili, garlic cloves and ginger and make a smooth paste using little water. Our green paste is ready.

3.   For the Marinade, in a large mixing bowl , take hung curd . To it add the green paste, cumin coriander powder , dry mango powder , red chili powder and salt. Mix well and set aside.


4.   Add the paneer cubes along with bell pepper and red onion cubes. Mix well and marinate for at least 1-2 hours. If you have time you can marinate even longer. The more you marinate the paneer becomes more flavorful.

   5.  When ready to cook, grease the skewers and baking sheet. Thread the paneer and vegetables alternatively onto the skewers. Place the skewers on a baking sheet in the preheated oven at 180 degree Celsius and bake for 20-25 minutes. In case you are using a grill option in a convection microwave, select the grill option. Keep the skewers on a greased plate onto the high rack and grill for 8-10 minutes. If you do not have an oven or microwave, you can use a greased tava and keep the skewered paneer onto it and cook on a medium flame for 10-12 minutes. In all the cases turn the skewer midway and brush with melted butter to assure the paneer and veggies do not dry up.


6.    We are looking for paneer which is soft , coated with marinade and charred around the edges. Do not overcook the paneer as it might turn rubbery. For those who intend to use a tava, can add 1-2 tsp of chick pea flour to the marinade to ensure the paneer does not stick to the tava.   Sprinkle the lemon juice and chaat masala and serve the hara bhara paneer tikka with mint chutney and salad and enjoy !

    I hope you would like to try out this easy yet delicious dish. Would love to hear from you.

    For more Paneer starter dishes , do check my posts on


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