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Recipe: Tiranga Paneer Tikka, Phirni

January 24, 2022 12:14 IST
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Chef Hari Ballabh Singh's recipes to mark Republic Day.

A mix of flavours and colours, the Tiranga Paneer Tikka takes a little extra effort, but is worth your time.

Spoil yourself with a tricolour Phirni that's intensely rich -- made with full-cream milk and Basmati rice -- and it will satisfy any sugar craving.

Photograph: Kind courtesy Ozen Reserve Bolifushi, Maldives

Tiranga Paneer Tikka

Serves: 2


  • 200 gm paneer, cut into cubes, divide into 3 equal portions
  • 75 gm hung curd or yoghurt
  • 2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tsp haldi or turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp red chilly powder
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 25 gm besan or gram flour
  • 1 tsp saunf or fennel seeds, powdered
  • 25 ml mustard oil
  • ½ tsp jeera or cumin powder
  • 1 green capsicum, sliced
  • 1 red capsicum, sliced
  • 25 gm fresh mint
  • 50 gm fresh green dhania or coriander or cilantro
  • 2 green chillies
  • Few strands kesar or saffron
  • 3 tsp cream
  • 10-15 cashews, powdered
  • 3-4 tbsp grated cheese
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for grilling paneer
  • Skewers
  • Mint chutney to serve


For the basic marinade

  • In a large bowl combine the ginger-garlic paste with the mustard oil, salt, hung curd, gram flour and mix well.
    Divide the mixture into three equal parts and keep aside.

For the saffron marinade

  • In a bowl, mix 1/3 portion of the basic marinade with the chilly powder, saffron, garam masala, cumin powder and mix well.
    Add 1/3 portion of the cubed paneer to the marinade and set aside for 15 minutes.

For the green marinade

  • In a mixer, blend the mint, coriander, fennel powder, green chillies along with another 1/3 portion of of basic marinade to a smooth paste and pour into another bowl.
    Add another 1/3 portion of the cubed paneer to the marinade and set aside for 15 minutes.

For the white marinade

  • In a third bowl, combine the grated cheese, cream, powdered cashews, 1/3 portion of the basic marinade and mix well.
    If the mixture is too thick, add few tsp water.
    Add the last 1/3 portion of the cubed paneer to the marinade. Set aside for 15 minutes.

To assemble

  • Slide the cubes and slices of the saffron paneer, red capsicum, white paneer, green capsicum, green paneer on a skewer.
    Repeat the process with the other skewers as well.
    Place the skewers in a tandoor and bake.
    Alternatively, heat oil in a tawa over medium heat.
    Place the skewers on it and keep turning so the paneer cooks evenly.
    Take the skewers out from the tandoor or off the tawa and serve hot with mint chutney.

Tricolour Phirni

Serves: 2-3


  • 1 cup Basmati rice
  • 850 ml full-cream milk
  • Few strands kesar or saffron
  • 110 gm pistachios
  • 65 gm sugar
  • Seeds of 2 green elaichi or cardamom, powdered
  • 5 ml rose water
  • Chopped nuts to garnish


  • Soak the pistachios in warm water for 3-4 hours.
    Blend in to a fine paste and set aside.
  • Grind washed rice to coarse grainy paste.
  • Boil the milk over medium heat and simmer until it starts to thicken.
    Add the rice paste to the milk and stir continuously to avoid lumps.
    Add the sugar and boil for a further for 3-5 minutes.
    Divide the mixture by pouring into three saucepans and set aside.
  • In the first saucepan add the cardamom powder and mix well to combine.
    The white phirni is ready.
    Transfer into a a small serving bowl.
  • Add the saffron to the second saucepan and cook for another 2-3 minutes over low heat.
    Take off heat and transfer into a small serving bowl.
  • Add the pistachio paste, rose water into the third saucepan.
    Cook for another 2-3 minutes.
    Take off and transfer into a small serving bowl.
  • Garnish with choice of nuts and serve chilled.

Hari Ballabh Singh is the chef at Tradition Saffron, Ozen Reserve Bolifushi's Indian outlet in the Maldives.

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