Easy, Tender, Delicious…!! Veggie Kebabs made with Cottage Cheese (Paneer), Bell Peppers and Onions… Marinated in Indian spices, and Served with a classic Cilantro Mint Chutney…
When it comes to Indian food it’s all about the balance of spices, not just one or two… but many. It might be overwhelming for beginners, but as you get exposed to the flavours and the cooking, it becomes an art within. The use of different spices together to prepare that aromatic “masala” is the key. And giving it enough time to infuse into your core ingredients of your meal means, something delicious is on its way. Indian food offers tons of exquisite dishes with these masala, and with just a spoonful in your mouth you would realize how perfectly balanced the spices are.
Kebabs are a very common appetizer in the northern parts of India, especially those made with paneer. Paneer, fresh unsalted cheese or also known as cottage cheese, doesn’t require any ageing or culturing, will not melt, and makes it ideal for soups, appetizers, and creamy curries. Paneer in a spicy masala; they just complement each other so well that I thought it’s time to bring in such a dish for my next appetizer recipe. An alternate to paneer if not readily available is tofu (made from soya milk) which is low in calories and a healthier option.
The marination of the Kebab is the one important step for this recipe as it needs time to infuse the marinade into the kebabs. So make sure you marinate for at least 3-4 hours prior to cooking.
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Prep time: 35-40 minutes +marination
- 14 oz. fresh paneer (cubed)
- 1 red and green bell pepper (cubed)
- 1 big onion (cubed)
- Wooden skewers (soaked in water for 30 mins)
- Oil (as required)
For the marinade
- 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
- 1 tsp red chili powder
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- ½ tsp black pepper powder
- ½ tsp garam masala powder
- 1 tsp dried kasuri methi / fenugreek leaves (crushed)
- 1 tsp salt
- Pinch of turmeric powder
- 3-4 tbsp yogurt
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- Lemon slices (garnish)
- Cilantro leaves (garnish)
For Mint Cilantro Chutney
- 1 handful of cilantro leaves
- 1 handful of mint leaves
- Juice of half lime
- 2 tbsp yogurt
- 1 small onion/1 tbsp chopped onion
- 1 garlic
- 1 green chili
- Salt (as required)
- In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients of the marinade to make a smooth paste.
- Add the paneer, bell peppers and onions to the bowl and mix well. Allow it to marinate for 3-4 hrs.
- Remove the wooden skewers from water and wipe it with a kitchen cloth. Apply some oil on to it using a brush.
- Thread paneer into the skewers alternating with bell peppers and onions. Make sure not to crowd it. Brush oil generously on the paneer and the veggies to prevent it from drying out during the cook.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line a baking tray with aluminum foil and grease it.
- Stack the skewers on the tray leaving some space between them.
- Bake for 25 -30 mins. Halfway through the cook, flip the skewers, and brush with oil. Cook until the veggies start to shrink and paneer turns lightly charred. Do not overcook the paneer as it will turn rubbery.
- Add oil to a pan and heat on a medium high flame.
- Place the skewers on the pan and cook for about 8 – 10 mins. Halfway through the cook, flip the skewers, and brush with oil. Cook until the veggies start to shrink and paneer turns lightly charred. Do not overcook the paneer as it will turn rubbery.
For Mint Cilantro Chutney
- Blend all ingredients until smooth. Add salt as needed.
Garnish with lemon slices and cilantro leaves. Serve hot with the chutney.