Friday, March 03, 2006

Paneer marinated in lemon pickle (Paneer achari)

The thought of using a pickle as a marinade is new to me. I came across a recipe similar to this one in Neelam Batra's '1000 Indian recipes'. I have got hooked onto this book. Ms.Batra has a lot of homestyle recipes and since she lives in USA, she uses readily available ingredients too. Her collection of chickpea recipes in itself is worth getting the book for.

I make a lot of 'achari' this and that. But I usually use pickle spices like kalonji, fennel, ajwain etc. but not pickle itself. I tried this last night and it was fantastic. The paneer is marinated in lime pickle so that it has a light coating. Just let it marinate for an hour but if you let it sit for longer, it will be better.

Paneer achaari- serves 4

8 oz block of paneer- cut into small cubes
1-2 tsp lemon pickle (or rather any kind)

1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 large green pepper
2-3 green chilies, slit
1 inch ginger, cut into thin match sticks
1/4 tsp amchur or a dash of lemon juice (optional)

for tadka:

a pinch of ajwain
1/2 tsp kalonji (nigella seeds)

Marinate the paneer cubes. You need to really use your hands to coat the paneer. Heat 1 tsp oil, add ajwain and kalonji. When they sizzle, add onion, ginger and green chilies. When onion turns golden brown, add pepper and let it cook till it becomes slightly soft. Add salt and paneer. Thoroughly mix. Cover and cook for 2 min or so. The dish is quite dry. Taste and add amchur or lemon juice if needed (I did not need more sourness).

Today, I served the left-overs on a bed of baby greens for an Indian style salad. Yum!


  1. I once had chicken achari at an Indian take out place. I had never heard of such a dish and was reluctant to try it but it was really good...The recipe sounds really simple. How long did u marinate the paneer?

  2. Hi Gini- this tastes different from achari dishes in restaurants because restaurants just use pickle spices as far as I know. I marinated the paneer for 1 hr.

  3. hey Mika ,

    this is a coincidence because i cooked achari aloo yesterday .basically the same masala can be used for anyhting .

    first time here .do visit my blog sometime ..meenal's kitchen:-)

  4. Wow, literally paneer achari! Would never have thought of that myself. I think I might be getting Neelam Batra's cookbook too, Mika! :)

  5. This is an interesting recipe.The marination for an hour is the key,I guess.

  6. Achari anything is yummy :). Thanks for sharing this recipe.

    First time on your blog. Do take a look at my blog sometime.

  7. This recipe sounds yummy!! Need to look up Neelam Batra too. Could you point me to your other aachari recipes using pickle ingredients? I would love to try them too! Thanks!

  8. Shammi- 1000 indian recipes is a really good book, if you plan to buy it:-)

    Sailu- marination for at least an hour is needed mainly because paneer can taste very bland otherwise.

    Spicehut- will visit your blog soon. Thanks for visiting.

    Meenal- I hope you saw my message on your cute blog.
    Garam masala- my very old post for aloo achari is here-

    I have tried making paneer, aloo, baingan and tofu with achaar spices and they seem to have a great affinity.

  9. Hey Mika... great recipe.. tried this out & it was simply fabulous. I dint have lemon pickle, but some sweet mango pickle... which I mashed up a little & then used it... It was really great. Next time, I am going to try this dressing on a chicken salad. Will let you know how it turns out..

  10. that post made my mouth water. literally. i didn't know you could cook with pickle. will have to try it, it does make sense. i wonder if i could also marinate tofu? thanks for posting so many great vegetarian recipes!

  11. oooh! sounds soo yummy! I have to try this. I have Neelam Batra's "The Indian Vegetarian" book. Really nice book as well.

  12. Tina- so glad that you liked the recipe.

    Easily pleased- you can use tofu as well.

    Saffron Hut- I will have to check out the book you have mentioned. I love the simplicity of her recipes.