I still remember the very first time I had mexican cuisine and immediately fell in love with it. It was nothing fancy, just a simple veggie quesedilla with a generous dollop of sour cream. The simplicity and vibrant flavors were endearing to me. Since then, I have come a long way in experiencing and trying out different worldly cuisines but mexican food has always been one of my top favorites besides my very own Indian food. This fondness could be because I find a certain level of affinity among both cuisines – a few familiar ingredients like rice, beans, lime, coriander and particularly the spicy component. I love my food spicy, the spicier the better!
These paneer tacos are my new favorite for a quick supper/dinner. This fusion food is as simple as it can get. I chose to make homemade tortillas with whole wheat flour. Although these tortillas are not exactly made with the traditional ingredients, these fit the bill perfectly. Easy and healthy!
Paneer is something I love in anyway it is prepared. I marinated the soft paneer cubes in a blend of beautifully vibrant and aromatic spices.I used some thick yogurt to add a hint of tang to the marinade. Paneer breathes in all the flavors and when these marinated paneer are toasted/fried they get a nice golden color making them totally drool-worthy. For me no taco, quesedilla or sandwich is complete without some caramelized onions and green peppers. Sauteing them patiently on low-medium heat with a dash of sugar yields the beautiful caramel color bringing out the sweetness from the onions and peppers. Another must condiment for me is pico de gallo. It has all the basic ingredients that are always available in my kitchen. The only thing I substituted was jalapenos. I instead used Indian green chillies for the nice spice kick. I finished these tacos off with some fresh coriander and freshly squeezed lime juice. Finally, to bring everything together I used coriander chutney. You could aslo use herbed raita instead.
These tacos are totally flexible. To make it vegan, use tofu instead of paneer, skip yogurt and use a couple of tsps of oil to bring the marinade together.
Make these tacos for an appetizing and wholesome dinner.
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Yields: 6 or 7 tacos
– 1n1/2 cup unbleached whole wheat flour
– 1 cup water or as needed
– 3 to 4 tsps of oil
– a pinch of salt
– 1 cup, 1-inch paneer cubes
– 1/2 tsp turmeric
– 1 tsp red chilli powder
– 1/2 tsp garam masala powder
– 1 tsp salt
– 1 tsp thick plain yogurt
Caramelized onions and green peppers,
– 1 cup onions – thinly sliced length-wise
– 1 cup green bell pepper/capsicum – thinly sliced length-wise
– 1 tsp sugar
– 3/4th tsp salt
Pico de gallo,
– 1/2 cup tomato – seeded and finely diced
– 1/4th cup onions – finely chopped
– 4 green chillies – finely chopped
– 2 or 3 tsps lime juice
– 1/4 tsp ground pepper (optional)
– salt to taste
– handful of coriander – finely chopped
– handful of coriander – finely chopped
– lime wedges
– coriander chutney (optional)
1. If using frozen paneer, soak it in warm water for a few minutes so that it becomes a little soft.
2. In a mixing bowl, take all the dough ingredients and make a soft dough.
3. In another mixing bowl, combine the spices for the paneer marinade. Remove paneer from water, pat dry and cut into 1-inch cubes. Add these to the marinade and mix well to coat all the cubes.
4. In a pan, heat 3 tsps of oil. Add chopped onions, green peppers, sugar and salt. Saute on low-medium heat for around 10 mins until they are brown and caramelized. Remove into a bowl/plate.
5. In the same pan, add 2 more tsps of oil. Add the marinated paneer and saute/fry on all sides until palely brown.
6. Combine all the ingredients of pico de gallo in a separate bowl.
7. Roll out the dough into 6-inch tacos and toast on a hot pan on both sides. Remove the tacos into an aluminium foil or a hot pack.
8. Arrange all toppings – caramelized onions and green peppers, fried paneer, and pico de gallo on warm tacos.
Finish off with chopped coriander, a drizzle of lime juice and some coriander chutney/herbed raita.