Maunika Gowardhan’s tandoori paneer with pickling spices, chilli and yoghurt recipe

Charred paneer skewers coated in a marinade made with coarsely crushed spices, turmeric and creamy thick yoghurt. You’ll need some wooden or metal skewers for this dish. Any shop-bought green chilli pickle will be good for the marinade.

tandoori paneer
Sam Harris


500g paneer, cut into bite-sized pieces
250g green peppers, cut into cubes
Melted butter, to baste
Chaat masala, to garnish


6–7 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2.5cm ginger root, roughly chopped
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 heaped tsp nigella seeds
5 tbsp Greek yoghurt
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp garam masala
2 tsp shop-bought Indian green chilli pickle, gravy and oil only
Salt, to taste

  1. If you are using wooden skewers, soak them in water while you make the marinade; it will make them less likely to char.
  2. Start by making the marinade. Blend the garlic and ginger in a small blender to a smooth, fine paste, adding a little bit of water. Set aside. In a pestle and mortar, crush the coriander seeds and nigella seeds to a coarse powder, then set aside.
  3. Put the yoghurt in a large bowl with the turmeric, garam masala and the shop-bought chilli pickle gravy and oil. Add the garlic and ginger paste and the ground coriander and nigella seeds. Season to taste and mix well. Now add the paneer cubes and the peppers and coat the pieces well in the marinade. Leave to marinate for at least 1 hour.
  4. When you are ready to cook, heat the grill to medium and place a wire rack over a baking tray. Thread the paneer and peppers onto the skewers and place on the rack. Grill for 3–4 minutes until the paneer softens and begins to colour slightly. Turn the skewers, baste with butter and grill for a further 4 minutes. Carefully, take the paneer and pepper pieces off the skewers, put them on a serving plate and sprinkle over the chaat masala. Serve warm with flatbread and fresh mint chutney.

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