Sheet-Pan Paneer Tikka
Paneer, the slightly salty and extremely versatile South Asian cheese, is the perfect backdrop for heady masalas. In this recipe, soaking paneer in hot water for 10 minutes before cooking rehydrates it, while coating and baking it — along with bell peppers and red onion — with yogurt, ginger, garlic, oil, and spices means the paneer will be light, fluffy and flavorful every time. Basting the paneer with melted ghee toward the end of the baking process keeps it from drying out and adds nuttiness. In the end, you’ll have a one-pan meal of sweet, crunchy veggies and luxuriously spiced paneer in under 30 minutes. To make it vegan, substitute tofu for paneer (no need to soak) and skip the yogurt.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 1 ½pounds paneer (fresh or store-bought), cut into 1-inch cubes
- 3tablespoons mustard oil or neutral oil
- 3tablespoons full-fat Greek yogurt
- 1tablespoon ginger paste or finely grated ginger (from about a 2 inch piece)
- 1tablespoon garlic paste or finely grated garlic (from about 6 cloves)
- 1tablespoon coriander powder
- 1tablespoon garam masala
- 1teaspoon Kashmiri or other red chile powder
- ½teaspoon turmeric powder
- 2medium bell peppers, seeded and chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 1medium red onion, quartered and each quarter cut into halves
- 2tablespoons melted ghee or butter for basting
- ½lemon, juiced (about 4 teaspoons)
- Roti and chutney, for serving (optional)
Step 1If using store-bought paneer, soak it in hot water for 10 minutes and drain. Arrange one oven rack in the center of the oven and a second one closest to the broiler heating element. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Line a large sheet pan with foil and brush it with 1 tablespoon oil. Set aside.
Step 2In a large bowl, mix the rest of the oil with yogurt, ginger paste, garlic paste, coriander powder, garam masala, red chile powder, turmeric powder and 1 teaspoon salt to make the marinade.
Step 3Add paneer, bell peppers and onion to the bowl with the marinade and mix until evenly coated. (If you have the time, marinate the paneer and vegetables for 20 minutes and up to 2 hours for even more flavor.)
Step 4On the prepared sheet pan, evenly spread out the marinated paneer and vegetables, and bake on the middle oven rack until the paneer edges start to turn golden, about 8 minutes.
Step 5Take the pan out of the oven and brush the paneer with melted ghee. Turn the oven to broil, place the paneer and vegetables on the top rack and broil on high until the paneer turns golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Take the paneer and vegetables out of the oven and sprinkle with lemon juice and additional salt, if desired. Serve with roti and chutney or by itself.