Masala For Seasoning the Cubes:
2 tsp yellow mustard/rai
2 tsp fennel seeds/saunf
1/2 tsp nigella seeds/kalonji
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds otherwise called methi in Hindi
2 to 3 dry red chillies, broken into small pieces
250 to Protected content paneer/cottage cheese cut into squares
1 medium green capsicum diced
1 medium onion diced, layers separated
7 tbsp hung curd or thick plain curd/yogurt
2 tbsp besan or chickpea flour (commonly available in Indian grocery stores)
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1/2 tsp dry mango powder for sourness (otherwise add 1 tsp lemon juice)
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp crushed dry fenugreek leaves or kasuri methi (in Hindi)
a pinch of hing or asafoetida powder (optional)
Salt to taste
(all ground spices are available in Indian stores from brands like Kings, MDH, Shah's etc).
To make the masala seasoning: Take all the ingredients (spices) in a grinder, grind to a fine powder & keep aside.
For Paneer Tikka:
In a bowl take hung curd and whisk it till smooth. Add 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste, Protected content of powdered masala seasoning, besan or chick pea flour, dry mango powder or lemon juice, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, hing or asafoetida pdr., crushed kasuri methi & salt - mix everything well. This is the marinade for coating the paneer and veggies.
Now add diced capsicum, onion and paneer to the marinade. Slowly and gently fold them into the marinade.
After it is mixed well cover the marinated paneer and veggies with cling wrap and keep it in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
Arrange the veggies and paneer cubes alternatively on a skewer. Grill the paneer cubes on skewers in a tandoor or in a butter greased baking tray set in a preheated oven (at Protected content for Protected content - flip them after first 15 minutes) till light brown in colour from all sides. These are now called paneer tikkas.
You can also heat a non-stick tava/skillet to cook the tikkas from all sides till light brown using oil.
Serve the sizzling Paneer Tikkas immediately sprinkled with chaat masala along with mint chutney & onion rings or some fresh salad & lemon wedges.
1. You can also use ready made pickle masala instead of ingredients for masala seasoning to reduce the hassle.
Hope you enjoy the taste of one of the most famous Indian appetizers made deluxe in your own kitchen !!!