Homemade Paneer Tikka Wraps

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A local spot called Chaat Cafe is one of my favorite places to go to for their paneer wraps and side potato salad.  It’s a delicious and filling treat.  The nearest location for us, is half an hour away (without traffic).  So when the craving for a paneer wrap creeps up, I want to satisfy the urge without schlepping the distance.   I created my version of their famous wrap that gets pretty close to the real deal.  With a bit of planning, these can make a great casual lunch for company or even a fall picnic.

Paneer, or Indian cottage cheese, is a great source of vegetarian protein.  One wrap will keep you full for hours!

There are a few things you can make in advance and refrigerate.

Paneer Tikka Wraps Recipe

I’ve broken the recipe down by the main ingredients that go into the wrap:  the cilantro chutney and the paneer tikka masala.  The rest of the ingredients, are completely based on preference and taste.  Experiment and see what works for you!

Cilantro Chutney

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch organic cilantro bunch
  • A handful of organic mint leaves (5-10 is plenty)
  • 1 Medium-size garlic clove
  • 1 Serrano pepper or to taste (you can use Jalapeños for less spiciness)
  • A small quarter or a lemon or lime, to taste
  • Salt, to taste

1.  Chop off the ends of the cilantro bunch and wash well

2.  Pick mint leaves off stem and wash well

3.  Peel garlic clove

4.  Wash pepper

5.  Combine everything into a blender and add 1/2 teaspoon of water and blend well.  If the mixture looks dry and is not mixing well, add a bit more water.  Be careful not to add too much, otherwise chutney will become runny

6.  Pour mixture into a dish and add squeeze 1/2 lemon or 1 lime (to taste)

7.  Add salt to taste

8.  Cover and refrigerate.  Chutney should last a week in the fridge

Paneer Tikka Masala

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz of store-bought good quality paneer (available at any Indian store)
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 inch ginger
  • 1 Serrano pepper (or 1 Jalapeño for less spice)
  • 1/4 teaspoon asafetida powder (available at any Indian store)
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek leaves (available at any Indian store)
  • 1 teaspoon powdered turmeric (available at any Indian store)
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder (available at any Indian store)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala (I use MDH Garam Masala, available at any Indian store)
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

1.  Cut the paneer into long strips, about 1/4 inch thick and an inch long (roughly).  Cover this until ready to use, so the paneer does not dry out.  Store the balance of the paneer in an airtight container and place in the fridge.  The balance of the packet should be good for another week.

2.  Chop the tomato, set aside

3.  Grate the garlic and ginger, set aside

4.  Heat oil in a pan on medium(cast iron works well; the paneer tends to stick to stainless steel, so I would avoid using this type of pan)

5.  Add 1/4 asafoetida powder and let this sizzle a bit and then add the chopped tomato, the ginger garlic paste, and the serrano pepper

6.  Cook this on medium low to medium until the tomato is cooked and no longer firm (it should look “saucy”)

7.  Add the garam masala, red chili powder, turmeric and mix well

8.  After about a minute, add the paneer, and mix.  Be mindful not to mix too hard as the paneer strips will break

9.  Reduce the heat to low, and add the heavy cream and let simmer

10.  Sprinkle the fenugreek leaves last, and remove from stove and let cool

Paneer Tikka Masala – ready to go in the wrap:

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Assembling the Wrap

Assembling the wrap is pretty much like assembling a burrito.  Below is just my preference, but feel free to use your technique.

Ingredients:

  • Store-bought flour tortillas (I use Trader Joe’s Flour Tortillas that are 10″ in diameter) or feel free to use any type of tortilla or roti/naan
  • 1 large romaine lettuce leaf, washed and dried.  Feel free to use chopped lettuce instead
  • 1/4 sliced red onion
  • 1 teaspoon of the cilantro chutney mixed in with 1 tablespoon of sour cream
  • paneer tikka masala

1.  Microwave the flour tortilla for 10 seconds

2.  Smear the chutney/sour cream mix on the tortilla

3.  Put lettuce on tortilla

4.  Lay paneer strips on lettuce

5.  Put sliced onions on top (see picture below)

6.  Add more chutney/sour cream mix on top

6.  Roll up the wrap and enjoy!

Wrap, ready for assembly.  Large-leaf lettuce (i.e. romaine), sliced onions, chopped cilantro, paneer tikka, cilantro/mint chutney mixed in with sour cream

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Wrap assembled:

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Wrapped Up, Plated, with Spicy Potato Side Salad:

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