This paneer kabab recipe is a vegetarian appetizer that shouts the coming of spring and summer from the rooftops! Soft cubes of Indian cottage cheese and vegetables are marinated, skewered and grilled to perfection in the oven or on the grill. Mmm!
Two more paneer appetizers that you will love are this hariyali paneer tikka and this paneer pepper fry. Do check them out.
Out of all the paneer recipes on the blog, this one's my favourite. It's colourful, it's fun, and bursting with the deep, rich flavours of the special sauce that it's marinated in. Peppers and onions complement the cheese perfectly. Oh, and the coriander and mint chutney! It adds an extra zing to the kababs and is totally addictive.
Dip a paneer kabab into the green chutney, pop it into your mouth and follow with a bite of the veggies. You will be in foodie heaven, I promise!
Also known as dry paneer tikka, grilled paneer tikka, or simply tandoori paneer, these kababs are traditionally made in a tandoor or clay oven found in Indian/Pakistani or even Middle-Eastern restaurants. However, it is very easy to execute a restaurant-style paneer tikka recipe at home. I make it by broiling the cottage cheese in the oven which gives it the same charred edges minus the smokiness.
Note: If you want your kababs smoked, there is a very easy way to do it. Just place a red-hot piece of charcoal on the paneer, drizzle some ghee on it and cover it for a couple of minutes. Follow the dhuanaar technique described in this post for a more detailed explanation -
What is Paneer?
Paneer is a very popular cottage cheese used extensively in Indian cooking. Unlike other varieties of cheese, it holds its shape when heated and doesn’t melt. Since it is made from whole, full-fat milk, it has a rich, milky taste that still manages to be quite mild and pleasing. It absorbs the flavors of the sauce in which you add it, making it very versatile and adaptable.
I like to make my own paneer at home. It is a very simple recipe made with just two ingredients - milk and lemon juice. Here's the post for making paneer if you're interested.
How to make paneer kabab
Step 1: Cut the paneer and vegetables
- Take the block of paneer and cut it into even squares.
- Cut the green and red peppers into cubes. Peel the layers of the onions and cut them into cubes as well.
Step 2: Make the marinade
You will need the following ingredients for making the marinade:
- Greek yogurt or any thick yogurt - if you can't get your hands on Greek yogurt, put the yogurt that you have in a muslin cloth and tie the open ends. Hang it in the kitchen sink for the time it takes for the whey to drip out of the cloth. The yogurt left in the cloth will be thick.
- Ginger-garlic paste - can be purchased at any Indian store or even big supermarkets like Walmart. If you want to make your own, put equal quantities of peeled ginger and garlic in a blender along with some water and whizz to a smooth paste. Store in a tightly sealed glass jar in the refrigerator. It will keep for several weeks.
- Jalapeno pepper, minced.
- Ground spices - paprika, turmeric, chat masala and garam masala.
- Lemon juice - this is optional. Just makes for a tangier paneer kabab!
- Sea salt, to taste.
Whisk all the ingredients in a big bowl and add the paneer pieces. Keep it aside in a cool place for half an hour.
Step 3: Thread the paneer and vegetables on skewers
- Alternate the paneer with the peppers and onion.
- Position the skewers on a slightly deep bowl so that they don't touch the bottom. Also helps in catching the drip from the marinade and making a mess in your oven.
If you noticed, I did not marinate the veggies along with the paneer because I like the fresh taste of plain, grilled peppers immensely. However, if you so wish, add the veggies to the marinade right along with the paneer. It's totally your choice.
- Last, spray the skewers with cooking spray. The skewers are now ready to go in the oven.
Note: while you are skewering the kababs, switch on your oven and activate the broil setting. This mode starts at 525 degrees Fahrenheit and heats only the upper element of the oven. Since the temperature is so high, food gets browned very quickly. If you want, you can bake the kababs first and then broil them, but I don't see the need to bake them. Paneer doesn't really need to be cooked from inside like meat, so broiling it directly is okay.
Step 4: Broil the kebabs
- Place the dish with kababs in the middle rack of the oven and set the timer anywhere between 5-8 minutes, more if you want a more charred texture.
- Turn once on the other side.
- After the timer goes off, take out the dish and serve the beautiful, steaming kababs with green chutney.
Note: You can make these kababs in an outdoor grill as well if you are outside for a barbecue. Just follow steps 1 and 2 above, make the green chutney before going out and you're set.
How to make the green chutney
It is ridiculously easy to make green chutney.
- Take a bunch each cilantro and mint leaves in a small blender.
- Add a small tomato, 4 cloves of peeled garlic, 1 green chilli (more if you want it spicier), and salt.
- Add a few tablespoons of water and blend to get a smooth puree.
- Take it out in a bowl and serve with the paneer kababs.
More paneer recipes for you
- 12 oz paneer
- 1 onion medium-sized
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 green bell pepper
- cooking spray
- 3 tablespoon Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
- 1 jalapeno minced
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon chaat masala
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
- ½ lemon optional
- ½ teaspoon salt to taste
Green Chutney Ingredients
- 1 bunch cilantro leaves
- 1 bunch mint leaves
- 1 tomato small, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic peeled
- 2 green chillies
- ½ tsp salt to taste
- Cut the paneer into cubes.
- Remove the layers of the onion and cut into squares.
- Cut the green and red bell peppers into squares.
- Take all the marinade ingredients in a bowl and whisk to form a smooth paste.
- Put the paneer pieces in the marinade, cover with plastic wrap and leave the bowl in a cool place for 30 minutes.
- Put all the chutney ingredients in a small blender and blend to get a smooth puree.
- Turn on the oven and preheat to 525 degrees Fahrenheit on the broil mode.
- Skewer the paneer and veggies on wooden skewers alternating between the paneer and veggies. Shake off excess marinade.
- Spray the kababs generously with cooking spray and arrange the skewers in a deep bowl so that the kebabs do not touch the bottom.
- Place this bowl in the pre-heated oven and set the timer anywhere between 5-8 minutes.
- After the timer has gone off, remove the bowl with the skewers and arrange them on a plate. Serve hot with green chutney.
- Paprika can be substituted with red chilli powder if you want spicier kababs. It's a personal choice.
- If you want, you can marinate the veggies too before grilling them. Again, a personal choice.
Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to give it a star rating below!
Veena Azmanov says
Best option for my vegetarian friends. They too surely enjoy it. Great Party Idea too.
I have only ever had paneer in a curry before. I am going to have to give this a try!
What a fun and delicious way to serve (and eat) paneer! I can't wait to make these, and I think they will be a big hit in my house.
Yum! I love the idea of kabab's, but they usually have meat. This paneer version is the perfect option for me! Thanks for posting!
Wow, I never thought of making kebabs with paneer! I'm a vegetarian and am always looking for creative, new recipes... this looks FABULOUS. The marinade sounds delicious. Yum yum!
This looks delicious! I never have had paneer, I think I would enjoy this recipe as a first taste of it!
Dan from Platter Talk says
This is paneer kabob looks like marvelously exotic grill fare; I've never had it before but would love to give it a try; thanks for sharing!
Dominique | Perchance to Cook says
These kebabs are just gorgeous! They would be perfect for a sunny day BBQ... it's supposed to be nice this weekend where I live and I'm thinking it would be so nice to make these. YUM
These are gorgeous! I love that marinade, it sounds delicious, I can't wait to make these. Thank you for sharing x
This looks so tasty !! , though I have never had paneer before. It looks like tofu, does it taste similar to it ??
It looks like tofu but it tastes wayyy better. It is cheese after all!
Perfect dinner to welcome spring! So bright and colorful, simple and quick. This is perfect to serve for company or just a regular week night dinner. The green chutney sounds sooo flavorful!
Karyl Henry says
I've never tried Paneer before, but I'm all about experimenting with different types of cheese. I'll have to look for some. These kebabs look so good, and perfect for the summer
I've never had paneer on kabobs, but what a fabulous idea! Now that the spring is finally here, kabobs sound perfect. Thanks for sharing!
These look amazing, and your marinade sounds absolutely wonderful, can't wait to make these for my family, I'm sure they will love them!
I've never had Paneer ( I don't think) and I love Indian cuisine. Thank you for introducing me to this ingredient.
Yes please! These paneer skewers would be an excellent addition to any cookout. I love to mix things up when we have parties because the DC area is so multicultural. Our barbecues should reflect that too!
Right! Paneer is a novelty as far as kababs are concerned. Usually, people think chicken and meat for barbecues, not paneer.
I’ve never had paneer so clearly this is the place to start! Looks so delicious and bonus for being so simple!