Grilled herby paneer parcel

Grilled herby paneer parcel

By
From
I Love India
Serves
4-6 9 (can be halved)
Photographer
Martin Poole

Paneer is such a big part of Punjabi cuisine that no proper Punjabi menu can be written without it. You eat it at home as a vegetarian main course, on the streets as a battered pakora with tea or a quick meal of scrambled spiced paneer served with a bun. In restaurants, they cook tandoori paneer to cater for vegetarian clients. Here, I cook the paneer in a parcel on top of the barbecue, adding so much of the herby green marinade that it is almost a sauce. It is really simple to make and really delicious. Cook the paneer over indirect heat, or with the cover on your barbecue, so it has time to heat all the way through. I like to finish it off over the high heat to get a little charring on the base, through the foil.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient

For the paneer

Quantity Ingredient
450g block of paneer
salt
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
1 indian green finger chilli, thinly sliced

For the green herb paste

Quantity Ingredient
70g coriander leaves and stalks
25g mint leaves
12g roughly chopped root ginger, (peeled weight)
2 large garlic cloves
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 tablespoons thick greek yogurt
1 teaspoon chaat masala, plus more to serve, or to taste
1 teaspoon see method for ingredients, (fresh if possible)
1 teaspoon ground cumin, or to taste
2 tablespoons double cream
1/2 teaspoon carom seeds, if you have some

Method

  1. Place the paneer in a bowl of boiling salted water for 10–15 minutes to soften.
  2. Meanwhile, wash the herbs really well, including the coriander stalks. Squeeze lightly to get rid of the excess water. Place in a good food processor or blender with the ginger, garlic, lemon juice, oil, yogurt, ground spices and 1 rounded tsp salt. Whizz until quite fine and smooth. Stir in the cream and carom seeds, if using. Taste and adjust any spices or seasoning to taste.
  3. Prepare a parcel with enough foil to make a generous double or triple layer around the block of paneer. Place a good coating of the marinade in the middle of the parcel, place the paneer on top and coat well with the remaining marinade. Cover loosely and leave to marinate for as long as possible, putting it in the fridge if longer than 1 hour.
  4. When ready to cook, preheat the barbecue.
  5. Scatter the onion and green chilli over the parcel. Bring the foil together to make a parcel that encompasses the cheese completely. Place straight over indirect heat on the hot grill, or place the cover on your barbecue if you have one, and cook for 8–10 minutes or until the paneer has heated right through and is steamy; ideally you should see a little charring coming through at the bottom. Finish off over a high heat.
  6. Serve the paneer in the foil, or place on a plate and sprinkle over a little extra chaat masala and serve hot, I like to leave a knife next to it so people can cut their own slices.
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