Thai style paneer is an intriguing dish that takes a healthier and more flavorful twist to everyone’s favorite good old “paneer chilli”. Cottage cheese marinated in simple Thai spices and grilled with some veggies for a healthy and delicious appetizer. Swap paneer for tofu, if you want to make it vegan.
“Not all those who wander are lost.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien.
Grilled to perfection, finished with toasted sesame seeds and roasted peanuts and served with a sweet Thai chili sauce, this will force you to like Paneer.
A perfect side dish in signature La petit chef style- fun, fast & fabulous!
Its Monday. Again. Already. Today started on a good note. I had my things and thoughts in place for the day. I had meticulously (is there any other kind?) planned out the details of my day. The meetings, the social media, P’s doc check up, D’s school thing, even the dinner. Everything was sorted. But then suddenly, all my plans came crashing down like a palace of cards!
I woke up to violently swollen tonsils and fever. I woke up feeling like death warmed up. Obviously there’s no off on Mondays (unless there is a serious travesty, which believe it or not, a mere case of influenza is not or so i think). Hmph. Time to readjust my own expectations I think. On top of that, my cook (who comes to get us through the morning hassle decided she had an actual travesty and didn’t show up! I mean come on.. !! And before I could even finish my now lukewarm coffee, my email was barraged with a serious situation at work that needed to be tackled and sorted with the client right away. There goes my dreams of hot coffee.. welcome life!! After all isnt that what life is??
“Life is something that happens when you are planning different things”.
How has your day been till now? Hope its better than mine!! So with the whole family battling cold and flu, Monday dinner had to be something quick yet hot enough to warm us up. Meatless Mondays as you all know is one of our least favorite days owing to the fact that we are a family of carnivores. But slowly, the concept of consciously choosing vegetable for two days a week(we also follow veggie Thursdays) is growing on me. Apart from being healthy and lighter than the meaty deliciousness, meatless Mondays also force me to think outside the box to make something I and my family would enjoy again and again.
I did make some of the meatless Indian staples like sabudaana (tapioca) vada, aloo corn tikkis, paneer pakoda, beet root tikkis and some mushroom chillie. Everything was good. But none of it inspired me enough to blog about it. It was all very standard fare..and I really felt dispirited. Lets be honest, we have all been there, right? Those desultory days where the recipes don’t click, or when you do make something you dont find it good enough or novel enough to blog about!! Don’t tell me its only me?! One day while getting the paneer out of the fridge, I felt a sense of unrest. As I always do, I asked P “what do you want for dinner”? His answer : Same old paneer, again?? Now that made me really mad. I mean, my paneer dishes are awesome. My shahi paneer is simply better than any restaurants and the methi matar malai paneer dish is so so good that its demanded by my family and friends on all veggie lunches! And then, there’s the Paneer corn croquettes...! But here was that ingrate of a man, turning his nose up at my darling cottage cheese! Tch Tch. That won’t do.
So there and then, this idea just popped into my mind. As you all know I have been on a serious Thai food kick lately. Couple of mondays back,we devoured the Fresh Thai Noodle Soup bowl very happily. And during the weekends we indulged in my fragrant and awesome Thai basil chicken and Thai Chicken Fried rice. Easy, quick and delicious.. Thai is a constant hit at my home.
So, i gave in to my imagination and decided to wing it. So yes, paneer and Thai are not a normal affair, but after you try this I am sure you will agree with me that its a match made in flavor heaven! There is no reason why you shouldn’t try paneer in this Thai style.Feel free to swap for the more usual tofu if you are looking for a vegan version.These Thai style paneer taste best when served immediately. Add any kind of vegetables as you want to that marinade- zucchini, button mushrooms, bell peppers and grill away to serve alongwith the paneer.
Serve as an appetiser on a cold night, hot off the grill or even for brunch with friends. Thai style paneer +Spaghetti with garlic Mushrooms + Som Tom Khao pod + watermelon breezers = Perfect brunch menu!!
- Paneer 200 gms ,cut into 2 " slabs.
- 4 tbsp Thai red curry paste
- 2 tbsp Sriracha sauce
- Lemon juice from 1 lime
- Garlic ,6-7 cloves chopped fine
- Green chillies - 2 chopped fine( deseeded) , adjust as per taste
- ½ tsp scant pinch of sugar
- Salt & pepper as per taste
- 1 tbsp oil
- Assorted veggies- Colored bell peppers, Onion, Zucchini
- For garnish:
- Toasted Sesame seeds - 1 tbsp for garnish
- Roasted peanuts - as needed for garnish
- Sliced onions
- Lime wedges,
- Cilantro and the greens of srping onions for serving
- Start by marinating the paneer. In a mixing bowl, add all the ingredients listed above.
- Add in the paneer batons and carefully mix in the marinade.
- Please be gentle to ensure the paneer doesnt break. Let sit for 30 minutes, refrigerated.
- In the meanwhile chop up the assorted veggies, prep the garnish and soak the skewers.
- When ready, get the paneer out of the fridge.
- Heat up your grill pan or outdoor grill, brush 2 tbsp oil on the pan.
- Grill the marinated paneer for 2-3 minutes on both sides. Don't overcook or it will become rubbery ( and so what you don't want!)
- While grilling, make sure to baste it with the remaining marinade or atleast some oil or melted butter.
- Take off the grill as soon as you get grill marks and serve immediately with the garnish.
- Best eaten right away with some Thai sweet chilie sauce and mint dip.