Hello my friends. After a back breaking June, I promised to have some fun posts in July. And here I am with everyone’s favorite bar-be-cue!
It is the month of Ramadan and Iftar parties and Iftar food walks are being talked about. There is not much vegetarian food here, other than the phirnis or sweets. I did read that there are some stalls at Poona College that sell Aloo Matar or Chinese food. And satay is also making an appearance on food stalls this year.
Well, in a way, satay is nothing but meat or protein on a stick, simply put, right?
So a tikka is a satay with Indian masalas maybe. I think what differentiates the satay is the way it is strung on the skewers and the sweet-spicy satay sauce.
Peanut satay sauce is one of my favorite sauces. So I decided to make some paneer satay for the weekend, with a made from scratch spice marinade and sauce.
I have been known to make quick versions of the satay sauce using peanut butter from a bottle. But I did some research and I realized that the satay sauce can be quite complex flavor wise. The effort was so worth it, and like most home made things, it is cheaper and you get to control the ingredients.
I prefer my spice pastes to be really smooth, and my old Morphy Richards mixer proved to be quite handy here. The spice paste made with red chilies, ginger, garlic and a little shallot/ onion forms the base for the satay and also kicks up the sauce.
The peanut sauce is equally important for the dish. I started making the sauce in the wet grinder jar of the mixer. Start by adding just a little liquid at a time. I left my sauce slightly chunky for some texture.
Back to the recipe – I am using local ingredient. So fresh red chilies are preferred, but I didn’t have them. I have used Byadgi and Kashmiri chilies without the seeds. In retrospect, they seemed to be high on color and really low on heat. So maybe use more chilis or keep the seeds if you prefer hot food.
I used the recipe from Rasa Malaysia, but I did not use kecap manis. I just adjusted the jaggery or sugar to my taste.
Paneer is the only dairy ingredient here, so use tofu to get a totally vegan dish. I am sure tofu will taste better, because it won’t give that milky after taste.
I used only 1.5 cups peanuts but ended up with a LOT of sauce. You can even halve the recipe if you don’t want 2 cups of thick sauce.
Marinate the paneer for at least half an hour or more. I used a simple nonstick wok but you can also use an outdoor grill or grill pan.
Paneer Satay with Peanut Satay Sauce Recipe
‘Dinka’ means edible gum, and is also known as ‘Gaund’ in Hindi. ‘Laadu'(marathi) or ‘Laddu’ (Hindi) is just a sweetmeat in a round form, such as my Rava Besan Ladu or Churmura Laddu. The ‘Gum and dry fruits’ – Dinkache Ladoo – is a typical Maharashtrian delicacy which is generally made for new mothers.
- 400g paneer
- 6 Byadgi chili or dry red chili
- 1 Kashmiri red chili
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 inch ginger root
- 1 shallot or small onion
- ¼ cup spice paste
- 2-3 Tbsp jaggery or palm sugar
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp oil
- Salt to taste
- 1.5 cups unsalted roasted peanuts
- ¼ cup oil
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- ¼ cup jaggery or palm sugar
- ¼ cup spice paste from above
- 1 cup coconut milk
- Salt to taste
- Deseed the chilies and put in hot water for an hour.
- Make a fine paste of ginger/ galangal, garlic, shallot and chili.
- Cut paneer in long rectangular shapes.
- Mix spice paste with oil, brown sugar and soy sauce and lightly brush over the paneer.
- Set aside for at least half hour.
- Add peanuts, jaggery, spice paste, soy sauce and some cocounut milk to wet grinder jar.
- Pulse and blend while scraping the sides periodically.
- Add a bit of water or coconut milk as needed for blending. The mixture should be thick and creamy.
- Heat the oil in a wok.
- Add the blended peanut mixture and any more remaining spice paste.
- Mix well and stir on low heat until oil separates.
- Taste for seasoning and add salt or sugar as needed.
- Just before serving, take some of this sauce, and thin out a bit with coconut milk to get the consistency you like.
- Heat a grill pan or grill.
- Gently insert skewers into the paneer and grill on both sides until crispy.
- Serve with the satay sauce and salad with a squeeze of lime.
Paneer Satay was such a special dish. The best part is that effort is the same whether you are making it for 4 people or 10 people. So this is a great party food. And also very popular.
So hurry up and give it a try!