Instant Paneer Tikka (Vegan Option Available)

I absolutely LOVE these Instant Paneer Tikkas. Just what I needed to brighten up a really boring week.

instant quick paneer tikka masala grilled capsicum pepper tomato spices
I've been bored to death this week. A continuing bus strike meant me not going to office. I had to work from home. Alone!! So boring. I miss talking to people. All alone at home means I talk to myself or my TV talks to me. Not so entertaining, really.

I love meeting up my friends at work in the morning over an extended tea break and chatting away. We talk about everything, from real serious technical stuff to light hearted sitcoms. I miss these "Tea Sessions", as we call it, the most. It's my best part of the day in office. There are times I go to office early just so as to reach in time for Tea.

So as I prepared myself for yet another ALONE Tea Session (Sigh), I decided to add some spice into it with something so tasty that I forget I am alone.

instant quick paneer tikka masala grilled capsicum pepper tomato spices

When I am dull or bored, I cook. Cooking wakes me up like nothing else can. And especially trying something new is always so much more exciting. I looked through my fridge and I had - Capsicum and Paneer and some Cherry Tomatoes. An idea formed. Voila - Instant Paneer Tikkas.

These Paneer Tikkas need no overnight marination or complicated setup. They took hardly 30 minutes from start to finish. Now that's INSTANT in my dictionary.

I used what I had in my fridge - Capsicum, Tomato and Paneer. You can use anything with the Paneer. The usual combinations are Capsicum, Onion or Tomato. But you can get creative and may be pop in a mushroom or a thick slice of Zucchini.

instant quick paneer tikka masala grilled capsicum pepper tomato spices

I liked the idea of individual sized portions, hence I used toothpicks. You can use real skewers to pile on all your favorite things on it. For it to be as Instant as mine, use quick cooking ingredients only, If you want to skewer on Potato or Corn, you may probably want to parboil them first. that makes it a little less instant-ty, but definitely not any less tasty.

For the marination, use thick yogurt or curd, I tend to always have at least a bowl of homemade yogurt in the fridge, so no worries there for me. If the curd or yogurt you have is thin, then place it in a tea strainer or a muslin cloth for around half hour to let the whey drain off and you will have nice thick curd. I've used a bunch of spice powders to made the marinade. If you want it to be even more instant, use store bought Tandoori Masala and it will taste just as good.

instant quick paneer tikka masala grilled capsicum pepper tomato spices

Paneer Tikka is always grilled. I grilled mine in the oven. But if you do not have any means of grilling it, then you can shallow fry them. Just don't cook it for very long, they will lose that silky smooth texture of the paneer.

If you are a Vegan, you can replace the Paneer with Tofu and the yogurt with some Lime juice.

Instant Paneer Tikkas

instant quick paneer tikka masala grilled capsicum pepper tomato spicesPaneer, Capsicum and Tomato coated in an instant marinade of spices and grilled. 

Recipe Type:  Snacks / Appetizer
Cuisine:            North Indian
Prep Time:     10 minutes
Cook time:     20 minutes
Yield:                9 Tikkas


For the Tikka:

100 gms Paneer (use Tofu for a vegan option)
1 small Capsicum or Bell Pepper
1 Cherry Tomato per Tikka (Optional)
3/4-1 tsp Oil per Paneer Tikka

For the Marinade:

2 Tbsp thick Yogurt or Curd (use 1-2 tsp lime juice for a vegan option)
1.5 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste
1.5 Tbsp Besan or Gram Flour
1/4 tsp Cumin powder
1/2 tsp Coriander powder
1/2 tsp Red Chilli Powder
1/4 tsp Garam Masala
1/4 tsp Amchur or Dried Mango Powder (Skip if using lime juice or if the yogurt is very sour)
1/4 tsp Chaat Masala (Optional)
A pinch of Hing or Asafoetida
Salt to taste


Mix together all the ingredients for the marinade.
Cut the Paneer into individual bite sized cubes. Cut the Capsicum to the same size as the Paneer.
Add the paneer and capsicum to the marinade and mix well.
Skewer the capsicum, paneer and the cherry tomato onto the toothpick.
Place them in a greased grilling sheet or pan.
Spoon a little oil over each of the Paneer Tikkas.
Grill them for 10-15 minutes, turning them every 3-4 minutes.
They are ready when they char slightly.
Serve hot with some mint chutney.

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