Paneer Tikka Tacos
Hello again, Masalitos!
Today's recipe was inspired by paneer tikka and fajitas. Who can resist the beckoning sizzle of cast iron topped with deliciousness? I know I cannot!
Funny side story: I almost lost my eyebrows while making this! I was so hypnotized by the smells that I wasn't careful enough with the cooking spray and ended up "flambé-ing" the dish. Lesson learned - never cook while starving. Rookie mistake! It was all worth it, though.
Let's start with the marinade. A word of advice, do NOT use low-fat or non-fat yogurt because you will end up with a curdled mess. You can, however, substitute Greek yogurt with regular yogurt. For the spices, I mentioned cilantro powder in the ingredient list. This is not the same as coriander powder. Have I confused you yet? Yes, I know cilantro and coriander are the same thing, but coriander powder as sold in Indian grocery stores is made from coriander seeds, whereas cilantro powder has the flavor of the leaves. Where to find cilantro powder? You should try the international/hispanic aisle of your grocery store, look for Knorr cubes. I know that in Texas, you can easily find it at H.E.B. (aka my happy place); also, some Wal-Marts and specialty stores do offer it. If you can't find it, don't despair, you can always make up by adding extra cilantro to your tacos.
Once you make the marinade, add the veggies and paneer and let the flavors work their magic. Look at all those colors! You get nutrients and yumminess, what else can your tummy ask for?
Make sure your veggies are fully cooked before taking them off the grill, you want all the flavors to fully develop. This dish tastes much better with a sprinkle of lime juice and a dash of fresh cilantro. I suggest serving it with a side of Mexican rice. You can also top them with green chutney or your favorite salsa. If you'd like to see recipes for staples such as rice, chutneys, and salsas, please leave a comment below. Buen provecho!
- 1 lb paneer, cubed
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into large squares
- 1 green bell pepper, cut into large squares
- 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into large squares
- ½ onion, cut into large squares
- 1 tomato, cut into 8 pieces
- 1 cup plain greek yogurt (do not use low- or non-fat)
- ½ tablespoon garam masala
- ½ tablespoon turmeric powder
- ½ tablespoon chaat masala (optional, but adds lots of flavor)
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon cilantro (coriander) powder (optional)
- 1 teaspoon ginger paste
- 1 tablespoon garlic paste
- ½ tablespoon salt
- Juice of 1 large lime (or 2 key limes)
- Vegetable oil or cooking spray
- Chopped cilantro and lime wedges for garnish
- 10-12 corn tortillas
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all spice powders, ginger paste, garlic paste, salt, lime juice, and yogurt until homogeneous.
2. Add paneer, bell pepper, onion, and tomato to the bowl and mix thoroughly until all the veggies and paneer are fully covered in the spicy yogurt marinade.
3. Marinade in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
4. Pre-heat a large griddle to medium high heat (or oven to 400 F). Add oil or cooking spray to the griddle (or baking sheet). Add panner/veggie mixture.
5. Grill for 7-10 minutes, then mix. Grill for another 7-10 minutes or until paneer starts turning light brown. If baking, bake for 15 minutes, then mix and bake for another 10-15 or until paneer starts turning light brown.
6. Pre-heat a small griddle or non-stick pan to medium heat. Heat tortillas until warm and soft.
7. Fill the tortillas with the paneer tikka, garnish with chopped cilantro and sprinkle with lime juice.
To make this a complete meal, add Mexican rice and salsa/chutney.