Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Tandoori Style Paneer Kebabs

Continuing the BBQ theme, a couple of months ago, when at a curry house, Thilde opted for a Tandoori Paneer wrap as a vegetarian option. Unfortunately the Paneer had neither been marinated nor cooked in a Tandoor so it amounted to warm cheese in a nan with some salad and onion and mint sauce - very disappointing!

I was determined to do this recipe justice. Firstly because, as a meat substitute, Paneer is one of the best and secondly to even up the vegetarian to carnivore ratio of dishes at our BBQs. I was certain that if done right, with the cheese properly marinaded and cooked so that it had those delicious charred bits, it would be amazing.

I bought three packets of Paneer, it's not hard to find, it's in the cheese section of the supermarket near the Halloumi, It's a bit like Halloumi actually but far lest salty and with a more satisfying meaty texture.

I cubed the Paneer, a top tip is to not make the cubes too small otherwise when you try and skewer them the cubes break in to pieces rather than stay on the stick.

In a bowl I added half a tub of plain yoghurt and three generous table spoons of tandoori paste, if you are making this on a whim other curry paste in your fridge will do, a Korma curry paste is probably not strongly flavoured enough though and don't think you can use one of those curry cook-in sauces, the raw ground spices are key here. Of course you could make your own tandoori paste if you wanted to go all-out, I was lazy and used some Patak's paste.

You should now have a bowl full of brown spicy smelling yoghurt, add the Paneer and marinade for as long as you can, meanwhile soak some wooden skewers in water so they wont burn when they go on the BBQ.

Whilst the Paneer was marinading I mixed some more yoghurt with dried mint, garam massala a pinch of salt and strips of cucumber to make a raita – chilli fanatics might add some finely chopped fresh chilli here.

When you are ready, skewer the Paneer, making sure that the cubes keep their coating of marinade. Cook on the BBQ until they are nicely charred in places and serve with some Indian flat bread, you can warm this on the side of the BBQ if you like, the raita and some salad.

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