Ultimate Guide to Making Street Style Paneer Tacos at Home

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Written By Haryana’s Restaurant

Authentic Indian Food – Classic Indian Cuisine in Terrace BC

Imagine wandering through the bustling streets of a vibrant city, where the tantalizing aromas of street food fill the air. Now, you can bring that excitement right into your kitchen with street style paneer tacos! This dish is a delightful fusion that marries the hearty, comforting flavors of Indian cuisine with the zesty, playful essence of Mexican street tacos.

Ingredients

Let’s gather the ingredients needed to create your street style paneer tacos. Each component plays a critical role in bringing together the vibrant fusion of Indian and Mexican flavors.

For the Paneer Filling

  • 14 oz paneer, cut into small cubes
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 green chili, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

For the Taco Shells

  • 6 small corn tortillas
  • Oil for frying

For the Other Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onions
  • 1 jalapeño, sliced (optional)
  • Fresh cilantro leaves
  • Lime wedges
  • Sour cream or yogurt for drizzling (optional)
  • Mint chutney

Required Tools and Equipment

To make your street style paneer tacos, you’ll need a few essential tools and pieces of equipment that will help streamline the cooking process and ensure delicious results. Here’s what you should gather before you begin:

  • Non-stick skillet or frying pan: Essential for sautéing the paneer and vegetables, ensuring they cook evenly without sticking.
  • Cutting board and sharp knife: Needed for chopping vegetables and slicing the paneer into cubes or strips. A sharp knife will make your prep work quicker and safer.
  • Mixing bowls: Useful for mixing the paneer with spices and for assembling the taco fillings such as the chopped vegetables and sauces.
  • Measuring cups and spoons: To accurately measure out spices, oil, and any liquid ingredients, ensuring the flavors balance perfectly.
  • Taco stands or holders: While not mandatory, these are helpful in keeping your tacos upright while you assemble them, making the process cleaner and more enjoyable.
  • Grater: Optimal for shredding any cheese or vegetables like the red cabbage quickly and uniformly.
  • Spatula: For turning or flipping the paneer pieces as they cook, ensuring all sides get golden and crispy.

Prep Work

Getting your ingredients ready is the first step to making these delicious street style paneer tacos. Let’s start by preparing the paneer and vegetables.

Preparing the Paneer

  1. Begin by cutting the paneer into small, bite-sized cubes. Aim for uniform pieces so they cook evenly.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together 1 teaspoon of paprika, 1 teaspoon of ground cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to create your spice mix.
  3. Sprinkle the spice mix over the paneer cubes, ensuring each piece is evenly coated. This will infuse them with vibrant flavors.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add your spiced paneer cubes.
  5. Sauté the paneer for about 5-7 minutes, turning occasionally until golden and crispy on all sides. Remove from heat and set aside.

Prepping the Vegetables

  1. Wash and dry your vegetables thoroughly. You’ll need one medium red onion, one bell pepper, and a handful of fresh cilantro.
  2. Thinly slice the red onion and bell pepper. These thin slices will provide a delightful crunch and a pop of color in your tacos.
  3. Chop the cilantro finely. This will be used as a fresh garnish that adds a burst of flavor to your tacos.
  4. Optionally, if you enjoy heat, thinly slice one jalapeño. Remember to wash your hands immediately after handling the jalapeño to avoid irritation.

Instructions

Now that you have all your ingredients and tools ready, let’s start cooking these mouth-watering street style paneer tacos.

Cooking the Paneer

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the paneer cubes.
  2. Fry the paneer for about 8-10 minutes, turning occasionally, until all sides are golden brown and crispy. This will give your tacos that delightful crunch.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium. Sprinkle your prepared spice mix over the paneer. Ensure each piece is well-coated with the spices for maximum flavor.
  4. Continue to sauté the paneer for another 2 minutes, letting the spices sear into the paneer cubes. This process intensifies the flavors and melds them with the paneer.
  5. Set the cooked paneer aside on a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb any excess oil.

Warming the Taco Shells

  1. Use the same skillet to heat the taco shells. Place a taco shell in the skillet over medium heat.
  2. Heat each side of the shell for about 30-45 seconds until it’s warm and slightly crispy. This adds a bit of texture which complements the softness of the paneer.
  3. Repeat the process with all the taco shells. Keep an eye on them to avoid burning.
  4. Once heated, wrap the taco shells in a clean towel to keep them warm until you’re ready to assemble the tacos. This step ensures your tacos will be warm and delicious at serving time.

Assembling the Tacos

Now that your paneer and taco shells are ready, let’s move on to the exciting part: assembling your street style paneer tacos. This process will bring all the ingredients together to complete this vibrant dish.

Adding the Fillings

  1. Start by placing a warm taco shell on your plate or taco stand.
  2. Scoop a generous amount of the spicy paneer filling into the base of the taco shell. Aim for about 2 to 3 tablespoons per taco, but feel free to adjust based on the size of your shells or your preference for filling.
  3. Next, add a layer of sautéed bell peppers and red onions over the paneer. This not only adds a sweet crunch but also complements the spices well.
  4. Sprinkle a small handful of chopped cilantro over the vegetables for a fresh burst of flavor.

Assembling and Finishing the Paneer Tacos

  1. To top off your taco, add a few thin slices of jalapeño for that extra kick. This is optional but highly recommended for those who enjoy a bit of heat.
  2. Drizzle your favorite creamy sauce over the top. A cilantro lime crema or a simple yogurt sauce works wonderfully with the flavors of the paneer.
  3. Finally, finish with a pinch of freshly grated cheese. Using a mild cheese like mozzarella or Monterrey Jack will not overpower the other flavors in your taco.
  4. Serve immediately while the taco shells are still crisp and enjoy the burst of flavors in each bite!

Serving Suggestions

Once you’ve assembled your street style paneer tacos, you might wonder about the best way to serve them to enhance the overall dining experience. Here are some top tips to turn your meal into a festive feast:

  • Pair with Sides: Serve your pane forer tacos with a side of tangy lime rice or a fresh corn salad to complement the zesty flavors of the tacos. These side dishes not only add a delightful variety but also balance the richness of the paneer.
  • Add a Dipping Sauce: Whip up a quick mint yogurt dip or a spicy tamarind sauce for dipping. These sauces add a refreshing twist and a burst of flavor, making each bite even more exciting.
  • Garnish Wisely: Before serving, sprinkle some fresh chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime over the tacos. This not only adds freshness but also brings out the vibrant colors that make the dish visually appealing.
  • Drinks Pairing: Serve a cooling beverage like mango lassi or chilled lemonade to soothe the palate, especially if the paneer filling is on the spicier side.
  • Presentation: Arrange the tacos on a colorful platter garnished with lemon wedges and a small bowl of your chosen dipping sauce at the center. Presentation plays a crucial role in making the meal inviting.

Enjoy your meal surrounded by good company and immerse yourself in the flavors of this wonderful fusion dish.

Conclusion

Now that you’ve got the scoop on making street style paneer tacos, why not give them a try for your next meal? They’re perfect for spicing up your dinner routine and are sure to impress with their unique blend of flavors. Whether you’re serving them up at a casual get-together or enjoying a quiet night in, these tacos promise a delicious escape into the world of fusion cuisine. So gather your ingredients, invite some friends over, and get ready to savor every bite of your homemade culinary creation. Enjoy the journey of flavors!

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