Friday, March 6, 2015

Paneer Tikka, Tandoori Chicken- in the panini maker

The Alton Brown effect still lingers over me from two weekends ago. He mentioned his panini maker that he in fact has never used to make panini! He uses it to cook cornish game hen, and other meats, and veggies. Taking cue, I attempted to make paneer tikka (dry) the other day, and got the husband to cook some tandoori chicken- all in the panini maker, that was gifted to us by the bro and his wife last year. And it turned out pretty darn good!


1) The Marinade (adjust qty according to amount of paneer and chicken, and your personal taste of course). The following is for a pack of 400 g (14 oz) paneer slab, and 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs: 

1. Yogurt- 1 cup 

2. Garlic- 8-10 cloves smashed (or garlic powder- 1 tsp)

3. Ginger- an inch, grated

4. Turmeric- 1/2 tsp

5. Garam Masala powder- 1/2 tsp to 4 tsp (per spice level)

6. Red Chili powder- 1/2 tsp- 4 tsp (per heat level)

7. Lemon juice- 1 tbs 

8. Oil- a couple good drizzles

9. Salt- per taste

2) Paneer cut into cubes

3) Chicken- boneless skinless thighs and/or breasts

Don't forget: 

A Panini Maker! Cranked up all the way to max heat setting. 

Crank it up all the way to max

All heated up


1. Whisk the yogurt and other ingredients altogether in a mixing bowl. Give it a quick taste and adjust accordingly, if need be. 

2. Marinate the paneer cubes and the chicken in separate bowls (you don't want to mix raw poultry with paneer or veggies) for at least 2 hours. 

Note: When marinating the chicken, make sure you give it a lot of love, by thoroughly massaging with the yogurt and spices so as to get all the flavors going.  

3. After marination is done, and the panini maker is all heated up, cook as you would a panini. 

In this case, our panini maker took 5 minutes for the paneer, and 12 minutes for the chicken. 

The paneer is easy- you'll know that it is done when it looks like this. 

Paneer Tikka in the making

Paneer Tikka- mm mm! 

Cooking the chicken in the panini maker could get a bit messy, but it is super easy to clean up later. So it is worth it. You do want to make sure that the internal temperature of the chicken is between 165-175 degrees F before you consider it done. A little cooking thermometer will work fine. If you don't have one, just cut a bit off from a corner, and check for doneness. 

Internal temperature 165-175 degrees F

Tandoori Chicken mm mm! 


1. Paneer Tikka and Tandoori Chicken, with a side of lovely green salad dressed with a simple vinaigrette, turned out pretty darn tasty!

2. The clean up later was easy-peasy.

3. Only flip-side- because we could fit barely two chicken thighs at once, the time spent in cooking the chicken ended up being longer. If you are pressed for time, I'd say broiling in the oven is a better option, as you can stick all the chicken in, and be done in one shot. OR own a large panini maker!


The panini maker (or panini press) is certainly a versatile kitchen equipment. I think every kitchen must have one decent panini maker. Or two!

My opinion about charred meat:

*I personally don't worry too much about the health risks of eating charred meat because for starters, I don't eat charred meat on a regular basis.

*If it is of concern to you, just remove the charred parts, and eat the rest!

*Car exhaust fumes and cigarette smoke contain Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs).....!!

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