Coconut paneer tikka

By Chetna Makan
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I love paneer in any form – as a snack or for curries, kebabs or barbecues and even in desserts. Here, the tandoori masala marinade lends a lovely flavour to the paneer, and the many vibrant ingredients in the masala make the dish mouth-wateringly delicious. Enjoy with Spiced Layered Flatbread (see page 135) or just stuff it in a wrap for a quick lunch, or as a sabji on the side of a dal or curry.




  • 200ml (7fl oz) natural yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon tandoori masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 450g (1lb) paneer, cut into 2.5 cm (1 inch) cubes
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil


  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon urad dal
  • 10 fresh curry leaves
  • 2–4 dried red chillies
  • 3 onions, thinly sliced
  • 60g (2-1/4 oz) fresh coconut, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. For the paneer, mix the yogurt, tandoori masala and salt together in a bowl. Add the paneer cubes and gently turn in the marinade until well coated. Set aside while you start to prepare the masala.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan, add the mustard seeds and urad dal and cook over a low heat for a minute. Then add the curry leaves and chillies and cook for a few seconds.
  3. Add the onions and cook over a medium heat for ten minutes until lightly golden. Then stir in the coconut and cook for five minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, heat the oil for the paneer in another pan, add the marinated paneer with all the excess marinade and cook over a high heat for five minutes, turning halfway through, until lovely and golden all over.
  5. Add the cooked paneer to the onions and coconut with the turmeric, chilli powder and salt. Mix well and cook over a medium heat for five minutes, then serve.

Text copyright © Chetna Makan 2021. Design and layout copyright © Octopus Publishing Group 2021. Photographs copyright © 2021 Nassima Rothacker. Published in 2021 by Mitchell Beazley, an imprint of Octopus Publishing Group Ltd. Reproduced by arrangement with the publisher. All rights reserved.

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