If the words ‘paneer satay’ mean nothing to you, firstly I feel very sad that you’ve never experienced either of these awesome things. Paneer is a kind of cheese that’s often used in South Asian cooking, and satay is a peanut sauce which I could quite happily drink straight from the bowl.
And secondly, I beg you to try them both (preferably together). Satay sauce is often used on chicken or other meats, but for obvious reasons I decided to find a vegetarian alternative, and I settled on paneer. It’s fairly dense and cooks up really nicely, and since it doesn’t have much flavour of its own (just a lovely creaminess), it’s perfect to serve with a super flavourful sauce like satay.
The paneer satay couldn’t be easier to make – start by frying up the cheese (I poked mine onto skewers to make it look fancy, but you can skip them if you don’t have any skewers to hand). Then just drizzle over the peanut sauce, which can be made in mere seconds in a mini food processor.
A sauce made from peanut butter has got to be good, right? Quite tempted to bathe in this stuff.
Since the paneer and the satay sauce are really creamy, I also wanted to add something a bit acidic to cut through the richness. I used this tangy red slaw from Baxters‘ new Deli Toppers range. The four new lovely products in the range (the other three of which I’ll be showing you another time!) are brilliant for bringing food to life. You don’t need to spend a long time making something super fancy for dinner – just add a dollop of something tasty on top and you’re sorted. Baxters‘ red slaw is pickled in vinegar, so it’s nice and tangy, and is the perfect contrast to the creamy sauce.
To finish everything off and turn the paneer satay into a full meal, I also added some rice and some quickly sautéed veggies. So much flavour in this simple bowlful – pure comfort!
- 200 g paneer cheese (1 block)
- 1/2 tbsp oil (preferably coconut oil, peanut oil or sesame oil)
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp honey
- 1 small clove garlic, peeled
- 1/2 tsp ginger, peeled
- 2 tbsp peanut butter
- 3-4 tbsp water
- Black pepper
- 2 carrots
- 1 small courgette (zucchini)
- 1/2 tbsp oil
- 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
- 250 g cooked rice (~ 1 2/3 cups) - I used egg fried rice
- 2 tbsp red slaw
Cut the paneer into large chunks, and thread onto wooden or metal skewers if you have any available - I cut mine into nine large chunks, and made three skewers with three chunks each.
In a shallow dish, combine the oil, lime juice, soy sauce and honey, and mix well. Dip the paneer skewers in the marinade, making sure each side is lightly coated, and place in a griddle pan or frying pan over a medium-high heat. Cook each side for a minute or two, until crispy and browned.
While the paneer is cooking, prepare the satay sauce. Add a small clove of garlic and some ginger to a mini food processor, and blitz until well chopped. If there's any of the paneer marinade left over, add this, along with the peanut butter, a dash of water, and plenty of black pepper. Blitz again to combine. Depending on how much of the marinade you ended up adding to the sauce, you may like to add some extra ingredients at this point - I added a dash more lime juice and soy sauce.
To prepare the vegetables, use a vegetable peeler to cut the carrots and courgette (zucchini) into ribbons. Heat a small amount of oil in a frying pan, and add the vegetables and a dash of soy sauce. Cook over a high heat for just a minute or two, tossing regularly.
Finally, assemble the paneer satay bowls. Divide some cooked rice between two bowls, and top with the sautéed vegetables, paneer skewers, and satay sauce (you can heat the sauce through first if you prefer). Finish each bowlful with a spoonful of tangy red slaw.
Note: Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose.