Grilled Paneer and Veg Tikkas

Although grilling is a routine affair when it comes to summer, it always is about meat eaters. Most days that we do grill for dinner – I end up sucking on a corn cob(not that I complain, I actually love corn 🙂 , but the point is that finding good grilled food options for vegetarians is difficult. What I have had success with so far, is grilled corn and grilled veggies(recipe coming soon), veggie burgers and paneer tikkas. Of these, the paneer and veg tikkas are my absolute favorite. I use a green herby marinade that I adapted from renowned chef Sanjeev Kapoor’s recipe here. It is a fool proof, simple and easy recipe and is so versatile that it can be applied to meat and paneer/veggies alike and tastes awesome when grilled.

Ingredients:
1 block paneer, cut into thick 2 inch cubes
1 red bell pepper cubed
1 green bell pepper cubed
1/2 a Red onion, cube
1 handful of baby white mushrooms
grape tomatoes
Non stick cooking spray
skewers, for grilling.

Marinade:
1 cup mint leaves
1 cup cilantro leaves
2 green chillies
2 cloves garlic
1 inch ginger
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp chaat masala
1 tbsp besan
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp yogurt

Method:
Make the marinade the previous night by placing all the ingredients in a blender and make into a smooth pourable consistency marinade. Pour this over the cubed paneer and let sit overnight.

When ready to grill, soak the wooden skewers in water for atleast half hour(or else they will burn when put on the grill). Prep the veggies while the skewers soak. You can use any kind of veggies that you have on hand, like zucchni, yellow squash, eggplant etc. I usually use grape tomatoes, but didnt have any on the day I took the pictures. The tomatoes add a lot of flavor, so, please do use them if you can get a hold of them. When the veggies are prepped, remove the paneer from the marinade. Set aside and toss the veggies in this mixture. They don’t have to marinate. Just coat them evenly.

Start skewering by alternating onion with peppers, mushrooms and the paneer pieces. Grill over medium heat(covered), until slightly charred and grill marks appear. I made this on the gas grill and it took me about 4 minutes on each side. Keep turning until both sides are cooked. Please remember to spray the assembled skewers as well as the grill with non stick cooking spray as paneer has a tendency to stick. Remove and serve warm or at room temperature.

Verdict: The charred grilled veggies were perfectly caramelized and paired well with the rich buttery taste brought out in the paneer with the grilling. Very close to the tandoor made hara bhara tikkas – a yummy dish loved by vegetarians and meat eaters alike. It is not only a very appealing dish but is also very filling – thanks to the protein in the paneer. Kids would absolutely love it as it is a playful way for them to take the food.

Sending these to ‘Serve it – Grilled’, series by me and Krithi of Krithi’s Kitchen and also to ‘Healthy lunchbox Ideas – Paneer’, event series by Kalyani.

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