Sunday, November 6, 2011

Tofu Kebabs or Tofu Paneer Tikka - Pan grilled perfection

Its been a long time since I have had time to blog about something. This is something I make often and is a favourite but seems so commonplace to us that it does not feel like something you would blog about. I make this with tofu, but the same technique can be applied to paneer. This is essentially like the paneer tikka you would get at restaurants. I stumbled onto a technique where i grill it in a pan for some time, and then just hold it over the gas flame at the end. This chars it a bit at the edges and gives a slight smoky flavor like you would get on a tandoor or grill.

The absolute main ingredient here according to me is Shan masala - either for tandoori chicken or tikka. Yes, it has some color, probably, and also has some raw papaya which acts as a tenderizer. Although that's not needed for tofu, it does change the texture a bit. I am using some yogurt in the marinade, but it can easily be replaced by vinegar or fresh lime juice to completely veganize this. The recipe is as follows -

Ingredients -

1-2 packets tofu

2 large onions

2 large peppers any color

2-3 tomatoes

2-3 Tbsp Shan chicken tikka masala or more

1/2 cup low fat yogurt

Chat masala to sprinkle

wooden skewers

Method -

1) Prep all the vegetables and the tofu. Drain the tofu and cut in medium sized chunks and set aside in a bowl. Cut the vegetables in medium squares similar to the tofu. Place them in a seperate bowl. The onion should be in thick chunks. Deseed the tomato and cut it similarly.

2) Add the shan masala and half yogurt to the tofu. This is quite spicy so use it sparingly. You will know how much to use per your taste once you use it a few times. Toss lightly and set aside.

3) Marinate the vegetables similarly using the yogurt and some of the shan masala.

4) Marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour and even overnight if you are prepping in advance.

5) Alternately thread the tofu and the veggies into the skewers. e.g onion, tomato, pepper, tofu and alternate.

6) Place on a hot non stick pan and keep turning delicately. Once the liquid evaporates and the veggies shrink a bit or look done, hold these skewers over a gas flame one at a time. This can be done by using some type of pliers or tongs. Hold the skewers over the flame for a minute or two until there are one or two char spots.

7) Serve these hot, sprinkled with chat masala ( optional). This tikka is a great appetizer or entree. It can be served over a bed of rice, over some salad or just on its own with some pudina chutney.

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