Written by Chetna Makan

Food

Paneer and spinach summer salad

Having a tasty salad in your culinary repertoire will never see you wrong when it comes to making nice things to scoff in the sunshine. GBBO 2014 semi-finalist Chetna Makan has a cracker to share.

paneer salad

I love cooking for friends. And with summer comes the barbecue season, which is a great time for eating with the people you love spending time with, and enjoying some lovely, light salads.

This is a really fresh and healthy one.

The marinade gives the crumbly soft paneer masses of flavour, which is cooked in very little oil. It is one of the best ways to use paneer during the summer. And if your barbecue is on, just cook the paneer on it with all the other food.

Spinach is a great match for paneer. I’m sure quite a few people have tried the spinach paneer curry at an Indian restaurant or takeaway at some point (I will share the recipe for that curry with you guys soon).

The carrot and onions add colour and crunch and coriander gives it a lovely finish.

Finally, the dressing is simple and easy. All in all, a lovely summer salad to share.

 

paneer_01 croppedFor the paneer
226g pack of paneer, cut into bite size pieces
3 tbsp natural yogurt
½ tsp salt
½ tsp garam masala
¼ tsp turmeric powder
¼ tsp chilli powder
1 tbsp olive oil

For the salad
75g baby spinach
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
8 cherry tomatoes, halved
Small bunch of fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped

For the dressing
3 tbsp mayonnaise
A pinch of salt
1 tbsp lemon juice

In a bowl, mix the yogurt, salt, garam masala, turmeric and chilli powder to make the marinade. Put the paneer pieces in it and cover them with the marinade. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave it to chill for 15–30 minutes.

Heat some oil in a pan and cook the paneer pieces on medium heat for a minute on each side until golden brown. Leave them on a plate while you prepare the salad.

 

paneer salad

Put the mayonnaise, salt and lemon juice in a bowl. Mix well and leave to one side.

Put the spinach leaves on a platter. Scatter the grated carrots and sliced onions on top.

Place the tomatoes on top and then the cooked paneer pieces. Spoon the dressing over the salad and finish by sprinkling the coriander leaves on top. Serve the salad while the paneer is still warm.

This salad is great served with barbecued meats or just on its own. You can also replace the paneer with chicken pieces or halloumi cheese.

@chetnamakan

To find more of Chetna’s recipes – and to see her making them – visit her YouTube channel here.

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Written by Chetna Makan

I am a fashion designer, who after becoming a mum discovered the world of baking. Also seen in the Great British Bake Off 2014. @chetnamakan