As it always is when returning from a holiday, I crave vegetables when we come back. We’ve just returned from 5 lovely days in Cornwall where we became very well acquainted with the local delicacies of proper fish and chips and clotted cream.
So today, we are back at home and needing something light for dinner to hopefully wash away the sins from the last few days. Paneer is something you’ll usually use in a curry but it works so well in a salad, just like halloumi would. It tastes less salty than it’s squeaky friend so I find it is easier to get it to take on spices and other flavourings without it being lost in a cloud of salt. For this salad I marinated it in chopped green chilli, plenty of garlic, ginger, ground coriander and ground coriander before frying it until crisp. Combined with some quinoa, cherry tomatoes and beetroot – all seasoned well – and a dollop of yogurt it was a really tasty salad with lots and lots of flavour.
Warm Paneer Salad serves 4
1 block of 200g paneer, diced into cubes
1 clove of garlic
2cm piece of ginger, finely minced or chopped
1 green chilli, finely chopped
olive oil for frying
For the salad:
200g quinoa, cooked according to packet instructions
150g cherry tomatoes, halved
3 cooked beetroot, diced
Marinade the diced paneer in a large bowl for at least 30 minutes, season with salt now too.
Cook your quinoa and prepare your vegetables whilst it is marinating.
When the paneer is marinated heat oil in a frying pan and fry on a medium-high heat until crisp on at least 2 sides, about 2-3 minutes on each side.
Assemble the salad, and serve with a dollop of yogurt.
Toasted pumpkin seeds or peanuts
A fried egg!
Brown rice, bulgar wheat or giant cous cous instead of quinoa
Spike your yogurt with tamarind, coriander or make a raita
Take it beyond Indian style spicing – think harissa, chipotle, salsa verde…
Should you be cooking on the BBQ, my barbecued paneer recipe would be great in this salad. Can’t find Paneer in the shops? Make your own with whole milk and lemon!