Spicy Grilled Paneer for Father's Day
When it comes to cooking, my father has never really strayed into the kitchen. Once, when my mother was away, he made himself a 'salad' using a can of tuna, a red pepper and a cucumber, and called me (and a handful of others) as enthusiastically as if he'd won the lottery, to let us all know.
In search of something celebratory to cook for him one Father's Day, I asked him what his favourite dish was. He replied, "Anything you or your mother cook for me is always the best" - a good answer from a man who would otherwise be eating tuna salad every day.
But the joy of being my father's daughter is that I know the things that make him stop and smile for a moment. And that thing, for my father, is cheese, in particular, paneer.
Paneer is Indian unsalted white cheese. It has a mild flavour, so it takes to marinades really well and unlike most cheeses, it can be grilled without melting, so that it softens in the middle and chars on the edges.
This marinade is for the dish known as paneer tikka in India. It's made with some pantry staples like coriander, cumin, chilli powder and yoghurt. The marinade gives the paneer an addictive, lip-smacking and savoury flavour.
And the bonus - this low-effort-high-reward dish doesn't take much time to whip up, leaving you more time to spend with your father.
Spicy Grilled Paneer
The paneer is best served hot with a salad, raita and some Indian flatbreads, like roti or nan. Paneer is more widely available in Asian supermarkets, specialist stores and online. You'll also need some skewers.
Start to finish: 30 minutes
4tbsp Greek yoghurt
1 lemon, juiced, plus extra
wedges to serve
1tbsp chickpea flour
4 large cloves of garlic,
2tsp ground cumin
2tsp ground coriander
11/4 tsp kosher salt
11/2 tsp red chilli powder
1tbsp canola or other neutral
2 handfuls of fresh coriander,
2 bell peppers, cubed
1 red onion, cut into eight
1 small zucchini, thickly
1. Blend the yoghurt, lemon juice, chickpea flour, garlic, cumin, coriander, salt and chilli powder together in a blender, then tip the marinade into a bowl. Add a handful of chopped coriander and mix.
2. Cut the paneer blocks into nine equal-sized cubes and add to the marinade. Stir to mix. Then thread each of your skewers alternately with the onion, pepper, zucchini and paneer.
3. To cook the paneer, coat griddle pan with oil and heat pan until very hot. Lightly oil the pan so the paneer doesn't stick. Place the skewers on to the pan and turn every minute or so until they are evenly cooked and a little charred on each side.
4. Serve with fresh coriander and lemon wedges. Serves four.
Nutrition information per serving: 443 calories; 284 calories from fat; 32g fat (19g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 114mg cholesterol; 416 mg sodium; 13g carbohydrate; 3g fibre; 5g sugar; 28g protein.