Paneer salad with tikka style Indian cheese and elements of a kachumber salad, cucumber, tomato and onion, finished with a raita dressing.
It is a dish that comes together in well under 30 minutes and almost all of the preparation can be done in advance.
Indian Cheese Salad
I love this paneer tikka salad recipe, it is essentially lots of things that I adore all bought together in a single dish.
The main element is a delicious paneer tikka, although it is cut into smaller cubes than the version I use to make skewers with. But the flavours are identical and it is so very good!
Next up comes the body of the salad and I use a chunky version of my kachumber salad recipe. Tomatoes, cucumber and red onion are joined by lots of fresh mint.
As for the dressing, well I look no further than my cucumber and mint raita recipe. I do omit the cucumber because we already have it in the salad.
Finally, like so many good salads this has a bit of crunch, I use some poppadoms for this and they are glorious.
Some of them go chewy thanks to the dressing and the juicy salad and some stay crispy and crunchy.
This Anglo-Indian affair makes a main course salad out of all of the things I love to order as a starter at an Indian restaurant!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best way to cook the paneer?
I have given two options, the air fryer and the grill or broiler. I usually use the air-fryer as it is more energy “efficient”, but there is no real advantage in a flavour sense of using either method.
What is mint sauce?
A question often asked by my US-based visitors. Mint sauce is a traditional British condiment made from vinegar, fresh mint and sugar or honey that is traditionally served with lamb.
I use it because it is perfect for making a quick cheats raita, if you are struggling to get some you can make homemade mint sauce!
What’s the best way to cook poppadoms?
I have a whole post on how to cook poppadoms and my experiences with multiple cooking methods.
However, in this recipe, I would usually drop them in the microwave because only a couple are needed.
Why do you deseed the tomatoes and cucumber?
The seeds or pulp of tomatoes and cucumber both contain loads of water and not a lot of flavour. By removing them you increase the flavour of the dish but also stop you said being a sloppy mess.
This paneer salad recipe is designed to be a one-bowl main course salad recipe, as a result, I rarely serve it with anything else.
That does not mean that I do not have recommendations! This recipe is wonderful served as a side salad too.
It works wonderfully with a host of curries, just serve it in a bowl in the centre of the table on curry night. Everything from rajma masala to chole and vegetable karahi to chicken dhansak are great with this recipe.
You can also turn it into a sandwich or wrap!
On only recommend specific brands of equipment if I believe they make a material difference to a recipe. If you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.
- Sharp kitchen knife.
- Chopping board.
- Weighing scales and or measuring cups and spoons.
- Grill (broiler) or air fryer for cooking the paneer tikka.
- Microwave or frying pan and oil if you need to cook the poppadoms.
- Salad bowl or large mixing bowl.
- Mixing bowls.
This paneer salad is a collection of so many favourite things made into a single dish. Tikka style paneer, the elements of a kachumber salad, a minty raita dressing and a poppadom crisp, now THAT'S what I call a salad!
For the Paner Tikka:
- 200g (7oz) Paneer
- 2 Tbsp Natural Yoghurt
- ¼ Tsp Salt
- 1 Garlic Clove
- 10g (One Third of a Thumb Sized Piece) Ginger
- ½ Tbsp Kashmiri Chill Powder
- ½ Tsp Ground Cumin
- ½ Tsp Ground Coriander
- ½ Tsp Ground Amchoor
- ½ Tbsp Dried Fenugreek
For the Raita Dressing:
- 4 Tbsp Natural Yoghurt
- 1½ Tbsp Mint Sauce
- ⅛-¼ Tsp Salt
- 5g (1 tsp) Honey
- 1 Tsp Cider Vinegar
For the Salad:
- 2 Large Ripe Tomatoes
- 1 Large (150g) Red Onion
- 175g (Half of a Medium) Cucumber
- 1-2 Mild Red Chilli Peppers
- ¼-½ Tsp Salt
- 15g (⅔ Cup) Fresh Mint Leaves
- 2 Poppadoms (pre cooked are fine)
- Peel and grate the ginger for the paneer tikka.
- Peel and mash the garlic for the paneer tikka.
- Add the garlic and ginger to a bowl big enough to hold the paneer.
- Pour in the yoghurt followed by the salt, herbs and spices and mix to form a paste.
- Cut the paneer into a 1.5cm (½") dice add it to the bowl and toss to coat, then cover with cling film and allow to sit in the fridge whilst you prepare the vegetables and dressing.
- Place all of the ingredients for the raita dressing in a bowl and whisk.
- Cut the tomatoes into quarters and then scoop out the seeds and discard them (a teaspoon is great for this), then cut the tomatoes into strips around 5mm wide and add them to a salad bowl.
- Cut the red onion in half, then peel it and slice it into half moon shapes as thinly (~1mm) as you can and add it to the tomatoes.
- Cut the cucumber in half and scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon, then cut it into strips around 2-3mm thick across the cucumber and add it to the bowl.
- Deseed the chilli pepper/s and slice the flesh as thinly as you can and add it to the chopped veggies.
- Roughly chop the mint leaves and stir them through the salad along with the salt just before you start to cook the paneer.
- Lay the paneer onto a baking tray lined with tin foil and cook it under the grill until it begins to colour, then flip and repeat on the other side. Alternatively, you can cook in an air fryer, spray the basket with oil, and then cook for 5-6 minutes at 200°C or 400°F giving it a shake halfway through.
- Plate up the salad, then sprinkle over the panner cubes, lightly crush the poppadoms and sprinkle them on top of the salad
If you have poppadoms that need cooking then check out my instructions on how to cook poppadoms.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 476Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 71mgSodium: 1850mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 6gSugar: 21gProtein: 26g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.