Hariyali Paneer Tikka is an exquisite and delectable appetizer that harmoniously combines the succulence of soft paneer (Indian cottage cheese) with a vibrant green marinade made from fresh herbs like mint and coriander, spices and yogurt.
The result is a highly aromatic and sumptuous dish that tantalizes the taste buds, providing a truly delightful culinary experience.
Skillfully combined with an array of fresh lush green herbs like mint and cilantro , aromatic spices and thick yogurt, this flavorful paneer dish Hariyali Paneer Tikka will leave your taste senses tingling with delight.
If you are a connoisseur of Indian cuisine, then you will definitely be familiar with the delectable flavors and classic taste of Paneer Tikka.
About Hariyali Paneer Tikka
The enchanting taste of Paneer Tikka needs no introduction. Paneer Tikka is an esteemed vegetarian masterpiece and is a famous appetizer that has won hearts across the globe. This mouthwatering and enticing Hariyali Paneer Tikka is a refreshing twist on the classic recipe. It is a delightful variation and a harmonious fusion of aromatic herbs, spices, and succulent paneer makes it an absolute crowd-pleaser.
Whether you are celebrating a special occasion, hosting a dinner party, or just craving a delicious and smoky appetizer, Hariyali Paneer Tikka is the wonderful choice. The succulent paneer, vibrant green hue, and gratifying flavors makes it an evergreen favorite.
Indian cuisine has an array of mouthwatering dishes. One that stands out with its delightful fusion of green marinade and soft milky paneer is Hariyali Paneer Tikka. Making Hariyali Paneer Tikka at home is very simple and easy. To explore the exquisite flavors of this delicious paneer dish and learn how to make this easy appetizer in the comfort of our own kitchens.
The base of a good Hariyali Paneer Tikka recipe lies in its vibrant green marinade, deliciously prepared from fresh ingredients like mint and coriander leaves, thick yogurt, and a pot-pourri of fragrant spices.
In this recipe, Hariyali Paneer Tikka, the name “Hariyali” itself translates to “greenery,” that aptly characterizes the dish’s lush green and vibrant appearance. The combination of the creamy paneer and green marinade creates a medley of flavors that is hard to resist.
Paneer is the star ingredient of this recipe which is a soft and creamy Indian cottage cheese. It absorbs the flavors of the marinade, providing each bite a burst of extravaganza flavor, texture, and taste. The mild taste of paneer allows it to absorb the flavors of the marinade beautifully, making it a perfect canvas for the vibrant green blend.
An essential step in the preparation of Hariyali Paneer Tikka is letting the paneer soak up all the flavors of the marinade fully. Here, the paneer cubes and vegetables are generously coated with the green marinade and left to marinate for at least a couple of hours. This infusion of this aromatic goodness imparts an outstanding and pleasant experience to each bite.
Just like any tikka recipe, this Hariyali Paneer Tikka can also be cooked in various ways. The cooking method depends on the equipment availability and individual cooking preferences. You can cook Paneer Tikka in an oven, grill, barbecue, or directly on the flame.
For those seeking convenience, an oven is the ideal choice; for a preference towards a smoky flair, the grill is the way to go, and for those yearning for rustic appeal, a barbecue is the perfect option. Each method imparts its distinct characteristic to the tikka. So, no matter which method you choose to cook this dish, it always guarantees a delightful experience, regardless of how it’s prepared.
So all in all, with this easy recipe, make Hariyali Paneer Tikka at home to embrace this green delight which is flavorful in each bite.
This Hariyali Paneer Tikka
✔︎ is a rich source of protein
✔︎ is a delicious vegetarian appetizer
✔︎ ideal for parties and BBQs
✔︎ tastes aromatic and appetizing
✔︎ Can also be served at gatherings
✔︎ can be customized
✔︎ can also be made vegan
✔︎ simple and easy to make
✔︎ can also be made in advance
✔︎ can be cooked in various ways
✔︎ can be served as an appetizer or main course
Paneer (Indian Cottage Cheese): The soft yet firm and spongy paneer is the heart and soul of this dish. Paneer is an Indian cottage cheese made by curdling milk with lemon juice or vinegar. For this recipe, you can use both freshly or store bought paneer. When using store-bought paneer, make sure to soak the paneer in warm water for 15 minutes to ensure the soft texture after cooking.
Fresh Herbs: For making green marinade you will need the equal amount of fresh Mint and Coriander (Cilantro) Leaves. These herbs give the marinade a bright green color and distinct aroma, refreshing and invigorating flavor.
Yogurt: You will be needing thick yogurt for making green paste and marinade. Here, you can either use strained or Greek yogurt to provide a creamy and tangy base. Yogurt is also used to tenderize the paneer, resulting in softer and more succulent paneer after grilling or baking.
Ginger-Garlic: For making green paste, I have used garlic cloves and ginger pieces while blending the green leaves. The pungent flavor of ginger and garlic infuses the dish with a delightful earthy flavor and adds depth to the marinade. You can also use fresh store-bought or homemade in this recipe.
Spices: The powdered spices I have used in this recipe are Kashmiri red chili powder for mild heat, cumin powder for a warm and nutty taste, chaat masala powder for tangy spicy flavor, garam masala powder for enhancing overall flavor profile.
Kasuri methi: Dried fenugreek leaves or Kasuri Methi plays a crucial role in escalating the flavors of Hariyali Paneer Tikka. It adds an earthy and slightly bitter note to the marinade.
Lemon Juice: Lemon juice acts as a natural acidifier, which enhances and brightens the flavors while providing a subtle tanginess to the dish. It also plays a vital role in tenderizing the paneer during the marination process.
Mustard Oil: This oil is commonly used in Indian cooking, because of its pungent flavor and distinct aroma. In this recipe, mustard oil tastes the best, but if you don’t have mustard oil at home, or if you prefer a milder taste then you can use other cooking oils of your taste.
Salt: It is a basic seasoning used for balancing the spices and enhancing the flavors of other ingredients. Here you can use any salt of your choice.
Skewers: These are essential tools for grilling any Tikka recipe. Here you use both metal and wooden skewers. They are used to thread and cook paneer pieces uniformly. Threading makes them easy to handle during the grilling process.
Achari Paneer Tikka
This version is inspired from traditional Indian pickles. The word “achari” refers to the blend of pickling spices used in this variant. In this variation, the marinade has a combination of spices such as mustard seeds, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds, and other aromatic spices. The end result is a tangy and spicy Paneer Tikka imbued with the captivating essence of pickles.
Malai Paneer Tikka
In this particular variation, the word “Malai’’ translates to “cream” in Hindi. Hence, this is a creamy version of paneer tikka where marinade is a rich and luxurious amalgamation of cashew paste, saffron strands, heavy cream, and mild spices. This marinade creates a velvety and luscious Paneer Tikka that tantalizingly melts in your mouth.
Achari Malai Paneer Tikka
This version combines the best of both worlds. It melodiously blends the tempting, tangy and pickle-like taste of Achari Paneer Tikka with the richness of malai flavors.
Tandoori Paneer Tikka
This is a classic paneer tikka recipe when Paneer Tikka is cooked in a traditional clay oven known as a tandoor. The marination of this type of tikka typically contains yogurt, Kashmiri red chili powder, and a mix of tandoori spices like garam masala, ground coriander, and ground cumin. And the cooking in tandoor brings a smoky and charred flavor to the dish.
Hariyali Paneer Tikka Masala
This is a curry version of this dish. Just like , this Hariyali Paneer Tikka masala is made with cooked hariyali paneer tikka and rich tomato based gravy. The gravy for this tikka masala is luscious and creamy that is made using onions, tomatoes, cream, and a blend of aromatic spices. Paneer tikka pieces are cooked in this creamy tangy and spicy sauce to bring out a luxurious taste in this traditional Tikka.
Hariyali Paneer Tikka is best when served piping hot, right off the griddle/grill, or out of the oven. You can serve it both as an appetizer or as a main course accompanied by , , or . You can even serve it with a side of fresh for wholesome touch.
Simply drizzle the hot tikkas with a generous squeeze of lemon juice to add a tangy touch and sprinkle with some chaat masala or an extra burst of flavor. Pair with a side of green chutney, preferably , some sliced onions, and lemon wedges for an overall taste experience.
Hariyali Paneer Tikka leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for up to 1-2 days. When you want to eat the leftovers, simply reheat them using an oven or a stove top griddle to maintain the texture and flavor.Do not use a microwave for reheating, as it will make tikka soft and soggy.
Hariyali Paneer Tikka tastes best when enjoyed fresh, but if you want to freeze tikka, then you can freeze the marinated paneer pieces (before grilling) for later use.
To freeze, lay paneer pieces on a freezer safe parchment paper lined tray and freeze for 3 hours or until firm. Then transfer the frozen pieces in a freezer-safe container or ziplock bag and freeze for up to a month. When you are ready to use, thaw the paneer cubes overnight in the refrigerator and then grill or bake it as usual.
Prepare in Advance
If you are planning to make this green paneer tikka for a gathering or a party, then you can simply marinate the paneer cubes in the green marinade a day in advance. Keep the marinated paneer cubes covered and refrigerated until you are ready to grill them. Veggies lose crunch after a long marination, so just keep the veggies separate and marinate them only for 1-2 hours before cooking.
Tips and tricks to make the best Hariyali Paneer Tikka
Fresh Ingredients: To maintain the taste and quality, it is advised to use fresh and high-quality ingredients for making the marinade. Additionally, opt for fresh and organic vegetables to enhance the overall taste.
Paneer: Ensure you choose good-quality paneer that is fresh, neither too firm nor too soft. Paneer that is too soft may crumble during the marinating and grilling process.
Avoid Overcooking: If you desire a creamy and soft texture of cooked paneer, avoid overcooking it, as it may become dry and tough. Cook the paneer until it is slightly charred on the edges while still maintaining its soft and creamy texture.
Avoid Over-Marination: A good marination is crucial, but avoid marinating it for more than 24 hours, as over-marinating can result in the paneer becoming too soft and mushy.
Soak Skewers: If using wooden skewers, remember to soak them in water for about 30 minutes before threading the paneer. Soaking will prevent them from burning during grilling.
Marination Time: It is recommended to marinate paneer for at least 2-4 hours. This allows the paneer pieces to soak up more flavors from the green marinade.
Adjust Spice Level: If you prefer a spicier paneer tikka, you can add 1-2 green chilies. Additionally, you can adjust the amount of red chili powder to suit your taste.
Smoky flavors: For a smoky flavor, consider using a charcoal grill, as it enhances the taste of this Paneer Tikka.
Preheat the Grill or Oven: Before cooking the paneer cubes, it is necessary to preheat your grill or oven to the recommended temperature. This preheating ensures even cooking and proper charring.
Oil the Grates: Before placing the paneer on the grill, brush the grates with oil to prevent sticking.
Other Vegetables: In this tikka recipe, onion and bell pepper have been used. You can also alternate the paneer cubes with other colorful vegetables such as mushrooms, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, and baby corn.
What is Hariyali Paneer Tikka?
Hariyali Paneer Tikka is a popular Indian appetizer made using marinated paneer (Indian cottage cheese) cubes, coated in a lush green flavorful marinade. The green marinade is typically prepared with fresh mint and coriander leaves, thick yogurt, and a blend of aromatic spices.
Can I use store-bought paneer for making Hariyali Paneer Tikka?
Indeed, store-bought paneer can be used for making Hariyali Paneer Tikka. When buying the paneer, look for fresh and firm paneer at your local Asian or Indian grocery store.
Can I grill Hariyali Paneer Tikka in the oven?
Certainly, you can grill Hariyali Paneer Tikka in the oven. When using the oven, make sure to preheat the oven to the recommended temperature. Then simply bake the marinated paneer skewers on a baking grill until they are slightly charred on the edges.
How long should I marinate the paneer?
To achieve optimal results, marinate the paneer cubes for at least 2 hours. This marinating time allows the flavors of the green marinade to be absorbed into the paneer. For an even more profound flavor, you can marinate the paneer for 4-5 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
Can I adjust the spiciness of the marinade?
Yes, adjusting the spice levels of this tikka recipe is possible. If you like a milder Tikka, reduce the amount of red chili powder, and if you like it spicier, add green chilies.
Can I use non-dairy yogurt for a vegan version?
Certainly, you can substitute yogurt with a non-dairy yogurt such as soy or coconut yogurt for making a vegan version of Hariyali Paneer Tikka. Also, swap paneer with tofu to make it entirely vegan.
How do I prevent the paneer from sticking to the grill?
To avoid sticking the panner to the grill, make sure the grill grates are well-oiled before placing the paneer skewers. Also, brush the paneer with oil or melted butter.
Can I freeze the marinated paneer for later use?
Absolutely, you can freeze the marinated paneer (prior to grilling) for later use. Simply freeze the marinated paneer pieces on a freezer safe tray. Then place the marinated frozen paneer in a freezer-safe container or a ziplock bag, and freeze it for up to a month. When ready to eat, thaw the paneer cubes overnight in the refrigerator before grilling or baking to preserve its taste and texture.
What are some popular variations of Paneer Tikka?
Paneer Tikka has several popular variations, including Achari Paneer Tikka, Malai Paneer Tikka, or Tandoori Paneer Tikka. Each and every variation of paneer tikka brings forth distinct flavors and an enchanting medley of spices.
What is the best way to serve Hariyali Paneer Tikka?
For the ultimate satisfaction, Hariyali Paneer Tikka is best served hot, directly off the grill or oven. Garnish it with a squeeze of lemon juice and serve it along with , and onion slices for a delightful culinary experience.
Hariyali Paneer Tikka (Step-by-step photo instructions)
For the marinade
- In a blender, combine cilantro, mint, ginger, garlic, and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Tip: You can also add 2 green chilies if you like it spicy. Blend until you have a smooth paste. Now, transfer the paste to a large mixing bowl.
- Next, add thick yogurt, roasted gram flour, chaat masala powder, salt, Kashmiri red chili powder, garam masala powder, cumin powder, kasuri methi, mustard oil, and lemon juice. (Note: If you don't have mustard oil, you can use any other oil, but mustard oil is recommended for better flavor). Mix until everything is well combined, and you have a smooth marinade.
- Add quartered onions, red and green bell peppers, and paneer cubes to the marinade. Toss everything together with your hands until the paneer and veggies are well coated with the marinade. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the marinated paneer and veggies for at least 1 hour, up to 3 to 4 hours, to allow the flavors to develop.
- After marinating, take wooden skewers (soaked in water for 30 minutes) and alternate threading the paneer and veggies on the skewers to create tikka skewers. You should be able to make around 4 skewers. Brush/spray each skewer with oil.
Hariyali Paneer Tikka on a stovetop
- Place the skewers on a papad roaster, and cook the skewers over medium heat for 2 minutes on each side or until golden and charred on the edges. (You can also put them over direct flame for 30 seconds on each side.)
Hariyali Paneer Tikka in the oven
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Alternately, arrange the skewers on the grill tray or griddle in the preheated oven. Bake for 5-6 minutes. Then, after 5 minutes of baking, flip the skewers and bake again for 6-8 minutes or until you get a nice charred effect. Alternatively, you can char the tikka directly on a wire roaster over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes, rotating the skewers to evenly brown the paneer.
Serving Hariyali Paneer Tikka
- Sprinkle some lemon juice on tikka skewers. Serve the Hariyali Paneer Tikka hot with cilantro chutney or mint chutney, and Laccha Onion on the side. You can also sprinkle some chaat masala before serving.