Paneer salad

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Hola peeps. I had a momentary writer’s block as I was staring into the pic wondering what I should write now and then the picture truly spoken a 1000 words :). The picture made me realise how lucky I am to have good people around me who care about me. I realised how none of the crockeries in this picture were purchased by me :D. Not even that piece of cloth which was given to me by my niece Tash who put together a set of stuff from her wardrobe that she no longer needed but might come handy for my food photographs (she is always super sensitive and super thoughtful like that) and sure enough, this food pic looks doubly pretty thanks to her thoughts and actions :). The salad mixing forks were a recent gift from a dear friend who recently moved to Saudi. The salad bowl was picked up our ex house help who has seen me work on my blog and the seasoning bowls were from another friend who again knows how much I love food & my food blog. Blessed with the best right? Food is a true emotion and something that truly binds people together and add such really cute and thoughtful acts of people around you – BLISS is what you feel and that’s exactly what I feel right now! Also a good reminder to not take people or anything for granted in your life (I know this is easy to say but hard to follow).

Anywho, this is yet another easy but super tasty salad I put together last week. I have pretty much been finding reasons to use the Air Fryer almost everyday for anything/ everything possible. For this salad, I used it to air fry the paneer. Ofcourse, feel free to just bake/ pan fry the paneer and it would taste absolutely fine. I would say feel free to mix veggies but I would also say keep some veggies for sure in this recipe – like the cherry tomatoes. Your recipe won’t taste the same with the regular tomatoes. Shred your carrot and not chop – I kid you not, this makes a lot of difference :). I have been playing around with salads (I don’t mean cucumber, onion, carrot salads :)) for a long while now and I realise how chopping/ shredding/ tearing matters and changes the taste of a dish.

Anyways, this is an extremely tasty, filling and satiating meal that doesn’t take long to put together. I try and keep the seasoning simple which helps me realise the taste of the veggies that go into the salad :). I especially love it when I take a bite of all the veggies and paneer with a cherry tomato bursting in my mouth :).

Paneer salad
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Course: Main Course, Salad
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 1 person
For the paneer
  • 1/2 cup fresh paneer
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • cooking spray
For the salad
  • 1/4 cup onion
  • 1/2 no carrot
  • 6 nos cherry tomatoes
  • 1 stacked cup lettuce leaves
  • 1 cup capsicum
  • a handful fresh coriander leaves
Lemon vinaigrette
  • 1 no lemon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 no green chilli
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
Air Fried paneer
  1. Cut the paneer into small cubes and place it in a small bowl.

  2. Toss in the spices – 1/8t turmeric powder, 1/4t salt, 1/4t freshly ground pepper and coat the paneer cubes.

  3. Line them in the air fryer tray and coat with a mild spray of cooking oil.

  4. Air Fry in a pre-heated oven of 200c for 15 minutes (Toss the paneer once in between around 10 mins).

  5. At the end of the 15 minutes, you will have some lovely golden brown crispy on top, soft inside paneer ready to go on top of your salad.

Salad Prep
  1. While the paneer is being air fried, clean and wash your veggies. Ensure your lettuce is fairly dry. Remove the peel of onion & carrot.

  2. Ensure your lettuce is fairly dry.

  3. Chop the onion into small pieces, shred the carrot, roughly tear up lettuce leaves, chop capsicum into small cubes and add all these veggies into a medium size bowl.

  4. To this also toss in cherry tomatoes (I don't chop my tomatoes off late and throw them in whole).

  5. In a small bowl mix together the juice of 1 lemon, 1 tsp dijon mustard, 1/2t salt, 1/2t freshly ground pepper, 1/2 no finely chopped green chilli and whisk everything together.

  6. Pour this on top of the salad and mix well. Check & adjust salt/ seasoning.

  7. Finally, once the air fried paneer is out of the oven, toss that into the salad, mix and serve immediately.

Recipe Notes
  1. Since I have been using quite a bit of air fryer, I bought cooking spray (not something I used before) and I find it convenient. If you don’t have cooking spray, then you could brush the top of the paneer with some oil. 
  2. You could just bake or pan fry the paneer instead of air frying. Either ways, unless you eat the salad as soon as the paneer is done you will have a rubbery chewy paneer (which I am still ok with :)). 
  3. If you don’t plan on having this salad as soon as its made, then I would suggest leaving the vinaigrette and paneer separately till the time you want to consume. Best would be to make the paneer marinade and stash it in the fridge and air fry right before having the salad. If you don’t have that luxury of time, store the air fried paneer separately. Right before you want to consume, heat and add to salad. 
  4. You could use vinegar instead of lemon.
  5. You can add more olive oil but I find this quantity just fine. 
  6. You could add a touch of maple syrup for a hint of sweetness. 

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