Smoked Tandoori Paneer Sandwich

Tandoori Paneer Sandwich has layers of spiced & smoked paneer, cilantro chutney and cheese all enclosed in a crusty bread! Perfect for brunch!
Jump to RecipePrint Recipe

This Tandoori Paneer Sandwich has a spicy paneer filling with cilantro chutney, sriracha mayonnaise & cheese! It’s spicy, cheesy and has a infused smoky flavor through charcoal. It makes the perfect brunch for the weekend.

stack of paneer sandwiches cut into half to reveal the inside

I haven’t shared many sandwich recipes here on the blog and that needs to change. Sandwiches are often thought to be quite simple and may I say boring?

In my opinion though, a little extra effort can change your simple sandwich to something truly remarkable. And I am sure a lot of you will agree with me there. Granted in everyday life, my sandwiches are also pretty simple. Most of the time it’s just a tomato and avocado sandwich.

But once in a while for our weekend brunch or when there’s a special occasion, I make an effort to upgrade the regular sandwich. The last time I did that, I came up with this Tandoori Paneer Sandwich!

This sandwich has paneer, onion, peppers which are first marinated with tandoori masala then grilled and then given a smoky flavor using charcoal.

Why This Recipe Works

The beauty of paneer aka Indian cottage cheese is that it’s like a canvas for flavors. It blends so beautifully with any flavoring that you add to it.

For this recipe the paneer gets it’s flavor from the spices- tandoori masala, Kashmiri red chili powder and a little bit of garam masala. Tandoori masala is a special blend of spices that you can find at Indian grocery stores.

The paneer and veggies are marinated with yogurt and spices and then grilled on a pan. And to elevate the flavors even further, the paneer also gets infused with smoky flavor.

There’s so much flavor here- from the spices, then from smoking the paneer, there’s chutney, there’s cheese. And it’s all enclosed in that crusty well toasted bread. It’s hard to go wrong with all this!

Smoky Flavor

To give the paneer and veggies a smoky flavor, I have used a technique known as dhungar method. You have seen me do it in few of my recipes already like in dal tadka, dal makhani.

Here’s how to do it: take the cooked paneer and veggies in a large bowl/pan and place a small steel bowl in the center of that large bowl. Then heat up a charcoal (make sure it’s not the self-ignited kind). Using a pair of tong, place it under direct heat and heat it until it’s red hot.

Carefully using the tong, place that hot charcoal in the steel bowl. Drizzle ghee on top of that hot charcoal. You will see fumes coming out of it, immediately seal that bowl/pan with a lid. Let it remain like that for 4 to 5 minutes. This will infuse the paneer and veggies with that smoky flavor.

But remember to not keep it for too long else it will get too smoky, 3 to 4 minutes is good enough.

Easily Customizable

This recipe of tandoori paneer sandwich is so easily customizable, there are no hard and fast rules here.

Don’t like mayonnaise? Use cilantro chutney on both slices of bread.

Don’t like cheese? it will be good without cheese too, just skip it.

Don’t have charcoal to do smoky flavor? skip the step of smoking it, will still be good.

Want to make it vegan? Use tofu, vegan yogurt and vegan butter & cheese.

Ingredients

2 bread slices, a bowl of chutney, 2 cheese slices, paneer pieces all placed on a board
  • Bread: I suggest using a rustic white bread or sourdough for this recipe. These breads hold the shape better when toasted on a pan. And they also turn our quite crispy when toasted. A regular white bread would also work but rustic or sourdough is preferred.
  • Tandoori paneer: the filling for this sandwich is made with paneer, onions and green peppers which are marinated with yogurt and tandoori masala and then grilled on a pan.
  • Cilantro chutney: you can’t make an Indian inspired chutney without cilantro chutney, can you? I love using my homemade cilantro chutney for this one.
  • Sriracha mayo: I love adding this to my sandwiches, it’s a mix of mayonnaise and sriracha and you can find it at stores. If not, it’s also easy to make it at home (see notes in the recipe card below). If you don’t have sriracha, you can mix the mayo with sambal oelek or even with garlic chutney.
  • Cheese: I love using amul cheese slices here which you can find at Indian grocery stores. If you can’t find amul, use cheddar or any cheese slice of choice.

Step by Step Instructions

1- In a large bowl or pan take some thick yogurt (if yogurt isn’t thick, drain in using a strainer for couple of hours and then use). To that add mustard oil, tandoori masala, kashmiri red chili powder, red chili powder and salt.

2- Use a wire whisk to mix it all together.

3- Then add the paneer cubes (make sure to add paneer to hot water for 20 minutes before using in the recipe), sliced onion and green pepper.

4- Using your hands, toss it all together until the paneer and veggies are well coated with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 15 to 20 minutes.

5- Heat up a grill pan on medium heat and spray it with oil. Place marinated paneer, onion and peppers on it.

6- Cook until the paneer is lightly browned and has grill marks on it, turn the paneer pieces and veggies once or twice in between the cooking process. Remove into a large bowl.

7- Place a smaller bowl in the center of the large bowl. Using a pair of tongs heat a charcoal (make sure it’s not the self ignited one) until it’s red hot. Then carefully place it in the smaller steel bowl.

8- Drizzle ghee on top of the hot charcoal.

step by step picture collage of making tandoori paneer sandwich

9- You will see fumes coming out, immediately cover the bowl tightly with a lid. Let it remain like that for 3 to 4 minutes for the paneer and veggies to get infused with that smoky flavor. Then remove the lid and set it aside. The longer you keep the lid on, the smokier the filling will get. I do not recommend going over 5 minutes.

10- Now take the 2 slices of bread. Apply cilantro chutney on one slice and the sriracha mayonnaise on the other one.

11- Place a cheese slice on one of the slices. I used 1 and half Amul cheese slice to cover the entire slice of bread that I was using. then place the tandoori paneer, onion and peppers on top of the cheese slice.

12- Now, place another cheese slice on top of the paneer mixture. Again I used 1 and half Amul cheese slices to cover the entire length of bread. If you want you can skip two layers of cheese and just do 1. It’s up to you.

step by step picture collage of making tandoori paneer sandwich

13- Now place the other slice on top and close the sandwich. Using a butter knife, generously spread butter (preferably use Amul butter) on top of the bread facing the top. Heat a skillet on medium heat.

14- Place the sandwich on the skillet with the buttered side placed down. Now, also butter the other side, the one that’s facing the top now.

15- Press with a spatula and cook until both the sides turn golden brown in color and the cheese melts.

16- Remove the sandwich from the skillet. Cut into half and serve with chutney, ketchup. Make and toast the remaining sandwiches similarly.

step by step picture collage of making tandoori paneer sandwich

Tips & Notes

  • Use the right bread for best taste. I highly recommend using sourdough or a rustic white bread.
  • Use good amount of butter so that it’s well toasted and perfectly golden brown when toasted. I use amul butter to toast the sandwich as well.
  • You can use more or less cheese depending on your taste and also the size of the bread. The size of the bread that I use fits around 1 & 1/2 cheese slice and I did two layers of cheese so ended up using 3 cheese slices per sandwich.
  • Add paneer to hot water for 15 to 20 minutes before using in the marinade. This is especially important if you are using store bought paneer as it will help soften it.
two sandwiches stacked over one another

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use any other cheese?

Sure, you may. I recommend Amul cheese slices but if that’s not an option, cheddar cheese slices also work well.

Can I make the sandwich in advance?

You can make the chutney and the filling in advance. The paneer filling will harden up if refrigerated so sprinkle some water over the filling and heat in a microwave to soften it up before using in the sandwich.

How to re-heat the sandwich?

If you have some leftover sandwich, the best way to re-heat is the air fryer. 300 F degrees for 10 to 15 mins in the air fryer or in the oven at 350 F degrees for 10 to 15 minutes.

What kind of charcoal is used for the dhungar method?

You can find this charcoal in the BBQ/Grilling section in the grocery stores. Just make sure it’s not the self-ignited kind.

If you’ve tried this Recipe then don’t forget to rate the recipe! You can also follow me on FacebookInstagram to see what’s latest in my kitchen and on YouTube to watch my latest videos.

Smoked Tandoori Paneer Sandwich

stack of paneer sandwiches cut into half to reveal the inside
Manali
Tandoori Paneer Sandwich has layers of spiced & smoked paneer, cilantro chutney and cheese all enclosed in a crusty bread! Perfect for brunch!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Resting Time 15 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4
Calories 736 kcal

Ingredients

  • 8 oz paneer 226 grams, cut into 1.5-2 inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt make sure it's thick yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon mustard oil
  • 2 teaspoons tandoori masala
  • 1 teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder not hot, used mainly for color
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder or to taste
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt adjust to taste
  • 1 medium red onion thinly sliced
  • 1 medium green pepper thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro chutney
  • 1/2 cup sriracha mayonnaise see notes to make it at home if you can't find it at stores
  • 8 bread slices use sourdough or rustic bread for best results
  • 10-12 cheese slices I recommend using Amul cheese slices
  • butter to toast the sandwich, I recommend using amul butter

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl or pan take some thick yogurt (if yogurt isn't thick, drain in using a strainer for couple of hours and then use). To that add mustard oil, tandoori masala, kashmiri red chili powder, red chili powder and salt.
    Use a wire whisk to mix it all together.
    pair of hand whisking a marinade
  • Then add the paneer cubes (make sure to add paneer to hot water for 20 minutes before using in the recipe), sliced onion and green pepper.
    Using your hands, toss it all together until the paneer and veggies are well coated with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 15 to 20 minutes.
    paneer and veggies marinated with spices
  • Heat up a grill pan on medium heat and spray it with oil. Place marinated paneer, onion and peppers on it.
    Cook until the paneer is lightly browned and has grill marks on it, turn the paneer pieces and veggies once or twice in between the cooking process. Remove into a large bowl.
    marinated paneer and veggies being grilled
  • Place a smaller bowl in the center of the large bowl. Using a pair of tongs heat a charcoal (make sure it's not the self ignited one) until it's red hot. Then carefully place it in the smaller steel bowl.
    Drizzle ghee on top of the hot charcoal.
    ghee being drizzle on hot charcoal to infuse smoky flavor
  • You will see fumes coming out, immediately cover the bowl tightly with a lid. Let it remain like that for 3 to 4 minutes for the paneer and veggies to get infused with that smoky flavor. Then remove the lid and set it aside. The longer you keep the lid on, the smokier the filling will get. I do not recommend going over 5 minutes.
    lid covering a bowl
  • Now take the 2 slices of bread. Apply cilantro chutney on one slice and the sriracha mayonnaise on the other one.
    Place a cheese slice on one of the slices. I used 1 and half Amul cheese slice to cover the entire slice of bread that I was using. then place the tandoori paneer, onion and peppers on top of the cheese slice.
    two slices of bread, one smeared with chutney, one with cheese and paneer
  • Now, place another cheese slice on top of the paneer mixture. Again I used 1 and half Amul cheese slices to cover the entire length of bread. If you want you can skip two layers of cheese and just do 1. It's up to you.
    two bread slices, one smeared with chutney and one with cheese slice
  • Now place the other slice on top and close the sandwich. Using a butter knife, generously spread butter (preferably use Amul butter) on top of the bread facing the top. Heat a skillet on medium heat.
    butter being applied with a butter knife on a bread
  • Place the sandwich on the skillet with the buttered side placed down. Now, also butter the other side, the one that's facing the top now.
    Press with a spatula and cook until both the sides turn golden brown in color and the cheese melts. Remove the sandwich from the skillet. Cut into half and serve with chutney, ketchup. Make and toast the remaining sandwiches similarly.
    sandwich being pressed with a spatula on a pan

Notes

  1. If you can’t find sriracha mayonnaise at store, it’s easy to make at home- take 1/2 cup mayonnaise in a bowl (make sure it’s eggless if you don’t eat eggs), to that add 1.5 tablespoons sriracha (or more if you prefer spicy), 1/2 teaspoon sugar, 1 teaspoon vinegar and salt to taste. Mix until everything is well combined and then use in the recipe.
  2. The amount of cheese in the recipe can be adjusted to taste and preference.
  3. You can make 4 to 6 sandwiches with this recipe, depending on the size of bread used.

Nutrition

Calories: 736kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 27gFat: 53gSaturated Fat: 22gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 84mgSodium: 1516mgPotassium: 301mgFiber: 4gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 1443IUVitamin C: 30mgCalcium: 741mgIron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @cookwithmanali or tag #cookwithmanali!

6 thoughts on “Smoked Tandoori Paneer Sandwich

  1. 5 stars
    Hi Manali – Made this and my kids loved it! I ended up forgetting to smoke the paneer (after buying an 8lb bag of charcoal!!). Used Cheddar cheese slices (Whole Foods), and Sir Kensington’s Special Sauce. Thanks for the awesome recipe.

    1. haha no worries, that bag will last for a long time and you can use it in several recipes over time. Glad you liked the sandwich, thanks for trying! 🙂

  2. Hey,
    Beautiful presentation. Your posts always make me hungry.😊
    Is there a tandoori masala you prefer or like. Haven’t found something that we like yet.

    Thanks
    D

  3. Hi
    Please tell me where can I find the charcoal!?
    By what name is it sold !?
    And please tell me which Tandoori masala u used!?
    Thank you

    1. Please check the FAQ section in the post, it’s already mentioned-
      What kind of charcoal is used for the dhungar method?
      You can find this charcoal in the BBQ/Grilling section in the grocery stores. Just make sure it’s not the self-ignited kind.

      And you can use Swad or Mother’s brand tandoori masala.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating