We had a great weekend get-together and I made this Paneer Tikka for starter's. Its always a happy moment for a cook when they get complements like "You have become a tikka expert". Its more special to a food blogger. Everyone loved it and enjoyed licking the sticks. I was preparing this tikka without Gram flour for long but I got this tip from Mr. Harpal singh of Sanjeev kapoor kazhana and it really helped, thank you sir.
The best tikkas (paneer or chicken) are those which are not dry from inside. You need them juicy and my best advice to get your paneer juicy and soft in tikkas or gravies is that they need to be soaked in warm water for 15 minutes and drained. This helps to retain moisture and have soft paneer from inside. I am a fan for my conventional oven, it saves a lot of time and work. These tikkas were also grilled in an oven but we can also toast them on dosa tawa's. This is the first time I am posting something just the next day it was made :). Cannot wait to share my recipe that is now a Family and Friends' favorite-I can proudly say that!
For Tikka presentation:
Onion - 1 cubed
Capsicum/Bell peppers - 2 no's(Cubed, use different colours like green,yellow,red capsicums)
Paneer - 500 grams(cut down into 2 inch thick cubes)
Ajwain - 1/2 teaspoon
Gramflour - 1/4 cup
Hung curd - 2/3 cup
Chilli powder - 1-1/4 teaspoon
Garam masala - 1 teaspoon
Chat masala - 1/2 teaspoon(i used it but its totally optional)
Salt - to taste (I used 2 teaspoons for this total ingredients)
Ginger garlic paste - 1-1/2 tablespoon
Lemon juice - 1 tablespoon
Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Oil - 3 tablespoon (heat it before adding) + 2 teaspoon
- Hung curd : Take about 1 cup of thick Curd/Yogurt and pour that in a thin muslin cloth. hang it on holder for 3 hours placing a bowl below to drain the entire water from the curd (i hanged for 3 hours exactly). 1 cup curd after draining would give you exactly 2/3 cup of Hung curd.
- Soak paneer cubes in warm water for 15 minutes and drain the water before adding it to the marination mix. This helps the paneer to retain moisture and remain soft.
- Cut onion, capsicum to cube shaped pieces or to the size to insert in skewers. Dice paneer to cubes and soak in warm water for 15 minutes(as said in pre-arrangement section).
- In a bowl add all the ingredients except oil under "For marination" and mix well. Now heat the oil in a kadai and then add this to the curd mixture and stir well.
- Add paneer to the marination and coat every piece with marination and place the coated pieces separately in a tray. Refrigerate for 2 hours(I did that for 2 hours but minimum of 1 hour refrigeration is compulsory).
- Soak the wooden skewers in normal water for 1 hour. this is done to avoid them from burning in the oven.
- Take the paneer out and arrange them with cubed vegetable in every skewer. i got exactly 9 skewers with 5 pieces of paneer in each. Brush some oil on top of each skewer and arrange them on a aluminum foiled greased tray or can also be arranged in a cake tray by not letting paneer touch the bottom(in third picture,this would drip some juice down).
- Pre-heat the oven at 400'F for 10 minutes. Insert the arranged tray and grill them for 25 to 30 minutes flipping it every 10 minutes or until the border's of paneer gets roasted to golden brown.
- Serve them hot with Coriander chutney.
- Soaking paneer in warm water helps us to get soft and tender tikkas as they are made in oven with high heat.
- I would not suggest normal curd because it has lot of water and it might make the paneer soggy. so if you could not hang it for 3 hours, atleast try to hang for 1 hour minimun to let out the high water content.
- Firm paneer is what is important for better tikka's. I used store bought paneer for this recipe.
- Heating the oil and adding it to curd helps in making the marination paste more greasy.
- Soaking the wooden sticks helps us to avoid burning when they are grilled on high heat.