Indian cuisine has a vast collection of flavours and textures, inspired from all the different cooking techniques and spices from the many states and provinces of the country. Traditional Indian cuisine has an equal emphasis on both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes, although the popularity of the non-vegetarian dishes is more. Traditional non-vegetarian Indian dishes mainly focus on chicken and fish dishes, although there are many dishes for red meats and even seafood.
Most Indian dishes are cooked over an open flame, and this is most prominent in the kababs and seekhs in North Indian and Mughlai cuisine. The method of cooking in an open flame imparts a delicious smoky aroma and a juicy taste to these dishes. These dishes are predominantly non-vegetarian, with several chicken or red meat dishes like chicken reshmi kebab, chicken tikka kebab, mutton seekh kebab, mutton tikka, chicken hariyali kebab and others. These dishes are popular dishes among today’s youngsters and are in high demands at almost all restaurants and eateries.
But in today’s world, a lot of people are turning towards vegetarian food, partly due to religious reasons, but mostly due to health reasons and old age. And to give the same flavours and tastes as these delicious non-vegetarian kebab dishes, there are several vegetarian options as well, and the most prominent one among them being paneer tikka.
Paneer is the Indian name for traditional cottage cheese, which is a dairy product made by adding lime acids to milk to curdle the milk, and then squeezing the excess water from this hung curd to leave and almost solid mass. Paneer is the most famous vegetarian ingredient in Indian cuisine as it has much more wider aspects and a lot more cooking options than other vegetables and lentils. Both vegetarian and non-vegetarian people equally enjoy paneer dishes, and one of the most famous such dishes is paneer tikka.
Marinating paneer cubes are dipped in a blend of spices like chilli powder, garam masala, kasuri methi powder, chaat masala and curd to make Paneer tikka. Longer the marination the tastier will be the dish. This helps infuse the taste of the mix of spices in the paneer. Then the paneer cubes are roasted over an open flame along with cubed tomatoes, onions and capsicums. The essence of the flames lends a delicious smoky flavour to the paneer cubes. This dish is traditionally served with naan or butter rice and is available on all menus.
Paneer tikka is one of the most celebrated and famous dishes in traditional Indian cuisine. It is usually served as an entree or starter, but can be equally enjoyed as a main course dish or even as a light snack. It is not at all rich or heavy, and in fact is loaded with vegetables and good food qualities, since it uses no oil during cooking. It is enjoyed by both vegetarian and non-vegetarian people all over India and the world, and is always in demand at restaurants and hotels.