Tandoori Paneer Lentil Salad W Chutney Dressing
A delightful fusion salad with solid tandoori paneer as the star amongst pantry staples like canned lentils, Indian mango chutney and lots of fresh veggies and herbs.
Tandoori is a term widely used in India for anything cooked in a tandoor (a rustic clay oven). Often a tandoor at roadside eating shacks dotting the network of highways in India is a makeshift oven created in a large metal drum with bricks and coal creating height and heat on the inside. But the proper tandoors that are made of clay impart an amazing flavour to the dish being cooked. A flavour that not only has the char and smokiness of the coal but also the clay.
A fiery red chicken is often the most coveted tandoori dish. Marinated in a mix of yoghurt, garlic, ginger, chilli powder, garam masala and some lemon juice (the basic tandoori marinade), the chicken cooks to tender perfection. One can apply the same marinade to anything and cook it in a hot pan till it chars a bit and you will be reminded of your favourite Indian restaurant.
For my salad today, I have marinated the paneer in the basic tandoori marinade. I have left out the yoghurt as it is mainly used as a meat tenderizer. Paneer being tender and delicate, we don’t need the yoghurt here. We also want the spices to stick really well to the paneer in order to create a bright, crispy coating. The inclusion of sweet paprika is to add a bit of colour without amplifying the heat factor.
TANDOORI PANEER LENTIL SALAD W CHUTNEY DRESSING
Serves 2 as a light meal