Thursday, November 22, 2007

Achari Paneer Tikka Wraps - Healthy and Delicious!!

If you love Paneer Tikka, you are so going to love these Achari Paneer Tikka Wraps! Even if I wasn't an Indian, there's no way someone could have kept me away from this magical ingredient called Paneer (Cottage Cheese)!! It is healthy, rich in proteins, less on trans fat, and can impart tremendous richness and flavor to any dish that it goes into. One of the easiest wasy to relish paneer is by making Paneer Tikka, that is, marinating it with spices and eating it with veggies. So I just went one step ahead and combined the paneer tikka with some chilli-garlic pickle, added veggies and cheese and wrapped them into wheat parathas to make these extremely inviting Achari (Pickled) Paneer Tikka Wraps. I was first exposed to these wraps at an Indian restaurant called Amber Bytes (which I'm going to review very soon!), and I was totally taken over by the taste. Hope you like it as much as we did!!

2 cups paneer (cottage cheese) - cut into small cubes
1/2 green capsicum (bell pepper)- diced finely
1/2 red capsicum - diced finely
1 cup shredded cabbage or lettuce
1/2 cup shredded cheese
2 tbsp ghee
4-6 wheat parathas (homemade or store-bought), you can even use leftover parathas

For the Achari Marinade
1 cup hung curd - to remove water content
1 tbsp green chilli pickle
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 tsp fennel seeds (saunf)
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp fenugreek (methi) seeds
1/4 tsp onion seeds (kalonji) (optional)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp mustard oil
1/4 tsp sugar
salt to taste

Heat the mustard oil in a small pan, then add the mustard, onion, fennel and fenugreek seeds. When they start spluttering, add the green chilli pickle. garlic, turmeric powder, salt and sugar and let it fry for 1-2 mins. Now take the hung curd in a bowl and whisk it to form a smooth paste. Add the tadka to the yogurt and blend well to form the marinade.

Take 2 tbsp ghee in another pan and roast the paneer cubes in the ghee for 2-3 mins until they turn light golden. Do not fry as that would make them hard. Remove from flame and let it cool a little. Now add the paneer to the marinade. Cover and keep aside for at least an hour.

Meanwhile, make wheat parathas or get them from the store. Heat them for a few seconds on a pan to make them soft. Now take one paratha, layer the Achari paneer marinade over it; sprinkle chopped bell peppers and shredded cabbage or lettuce, then drizzle with shredded cheese. Roll the parathas to form a wrap. Close them with a toothpick if desired so they don't open up.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees and bake the wraps for 5-7 mins, just so that the cheese melts and the wraps become hot. Serve immediately with a side of salad and ketchup or Date-Tamarind chutney (recipe here).

Tip: You can add other vegetables of your choice like onions, cucumber or tomatoes if you like. But don't add a lot of veggies; remember, the taste of Achari Paneer should be more pronounced than anything else!

These spicy Paneer Tikka Wraps are a great way to enjoy your paneer and your veggies, and with that hint of chili-garlic pickle, this recipe is a definite winner!

Related Recipes:
Paneer Butter Masala
Paneer & Ajwain Parathas
Tandoori Paneer Tikka with Mango Dressing

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