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I’m a big fan of Indian food, and I try to make Indian-inspired dishes at home every once in a while. Particularly with paneer, like this oven-baked paneer tikka.
If you’re not familiar, paneer is a soft cheese that doesn’t melt into a gooey mess when heated. You can slice or cube it and toss it into a hot pan and it browns and caramelizes to perfection. My favorite way to eat it is in saag paneer. Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever eaten at an Indian restaurant without ordering saag paneer.
Even when grilled, paneer doesn’t have a lot of flavor, which means it goes with just about anything. This also means that you can flavor it however you want, like this oven-baked paneer tikka.
Paneer tikka is a yogurt and spice marinated paneer that is traditionally cooked in a clay oven with onions and peppers, but since I can do without the onions and peppers and don’t have a clay oven, I made oven baked paneer tikka. Maybe not traditional, but delicious nonetheless.
I also tried to make this as simple as possible. Fresh ginger and garlic, tangy yogurt, and a Tandoori seasoning blend. Marinate. Bake. The longest part of this is the marinating time, but you can cut that way back if you’d like.
I ate this as a snack with some crackers and fruit. Again, not traditional, but still delicious. But you could just as easily add some peppers and onions to the mix, and serve the whole thing over some basmati rice.
You could skewer these and grill them for a smokier flavor. I might try this over the summer when grilling season is officially underway. Until then, this oven-baked version is pretty simple, and the results are good enough for me.
Oven Baked Paneer Tikka
A simple oven-baked paneer tikka is perfect for a quick snack, or an appetizer to an Indian meal.
In a mixing bowl, whisk the yogurt, seasoning, garlic, ginger, and lime until smooth.
Add the paneer and stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour, or overnight.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Put the paneer cubes on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes.
Flip, continue baking for about 5 more minutes or until cheese is browned and crispy.
Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.
Storing leftovers: You can store leftovers in the fridge, but this is best made and eaten at the same time.Variations: You can use curry powder instead of Tandoori or any mix of seasonings you like.Pairs well with:Saag Paneer, Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Naan