Paneer Naan Tacos

love food paneer recipe tacos Vegetarian
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Ramyaa Narayanan
recipe developer
Ramyaa Narayanan

Serves 4

Avocado Crema Ingredients

  • 1 large Hass avocado, halved and pitted
  • ¼ cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp roughly chopped fresh cilantro 
  • 1 tsp  fresh lime juice 
  • 1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt, more to taste

Mango Salsa Ingredients

  • 1 ripe mango, cut into small dice small (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 3 Tbsp roughly chopped fresh cilantro, loosely packed
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp jalapeño, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1¼  tsp salt, more to taste

Taco Ingredients

  • 1½ Tbsp neutral oil such as grapeseed or canola, plus more for warming the naan
  • 1 medium red onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 medium tomato, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 jalapeño, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 ½ cups paneer, cut into ½-inch cubes (If you can’t find paneer, substitute Halloumi, ricotta salata, queso blanco, or extra-firm tofu.)
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped bell pepper (any color)
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 3 Tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro, optional
  • 8 pieces mini naan bread or pita

Paneer is a fresh mild cheese that’s widely used in Indian cooking. I add cubes of paneer to many of the recipes I prepare for my family. It’s an important protein source for vegetarians like us. More importantly, it’s delicious! On its own, paneer is bland, but when cooked in a saucy curry or spicy stir-fry, paneer really soaks up flavor. It's especially tasty when paired with mango salsa and spicy avocado crema.

Quite easy to find in grocery stores, paneer will be your next fave cheese. Or, heck, make your own paneer! Chances are, you have the ingredients (milk and lemon) in your fridge.

Instructions

Avocado Crema 
Combine all the ingredients in a food processor or blender to get a smooth consistency. Cover and refrigerate while you prepare the tacos.

Mango Salsa
In a medium bowl, mix together the mango, tomatoes, onion, jalapeño, lime juice, cilantro, and salt. Cover and place in the refrigerator while you make the tacos.

Taco Filling
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the turmeric, cumin and coriander, stir until spices combine with oil, then cook until bloomed and fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the onion, ginger, garlic, and salt, and cook, stirring until the mixture is fragrant and the onion and garlic have softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the chopped tomato and jalapeño, reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally until the liquid from the tomato dries up, another 4 to 5 minutes. Add the bell pepper and paneer, and cook stirring, until they become tender, a few minutes more. Finally, add the garam masala and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in the cilantro, if using.

Taco Assembly
Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat until hot. Add a teaspoon of oil to the skillet, and swirl the pan to spread it evenly over the surface. Heat the naan in the pan until warmed, softened, and a little bit toasted, about 1 minute on each side. Scoop a few tablespoons of the paneer mixture into each toasted Naan. Serve immediately, topped with the mango salsa and avocado crema.

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