100gmixed green salad leaves(pea shoots, watercress, rocket, etc)
40gcherry or baby plum tomatoes(I used multi-coloured)
1smallred onionfinely sliced
1Pink Lady apple
1tbsphoney or agave(warm)
2tbspboondi (friend chickpea flour pearls)I used shop bought (optional)
For the crispy paneer:
200gmasala paneer(recipe linked below)
3tbspvegan mayo or unsweetened yoghurt
For the tamarind & date dressing:
25gtamarind and date chutney(recipe linked below)
20mlextra-virgin olive oil
For the coated paneer:
Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF.
Stir together the chickpea flour (besan), salt, ground turmeric, vegan mayo (or plain yoghurt) and water. Whisk well to form a smooth batter.
Cut the cold, pressed masala paneer into pieces. You can be as uneven and as rustic as you like with this. I like some cut into cubes, some in fingers and one large piece people can cut at the table. It makes for interesting eating.
Place the panko breadcrumbs on a large plate. Dip the paneer into the wet mixture and then into the panko breadcrumbs. Be sure to coat the paneer evenly. If you like, you can repeat the wet mix and breadcrumb dip to create a thicker layer of breadcrumbs. Coat all the paneer in this way.
Arrange the paneer on an oven-safe tray lined with baking parchment. Spray liberally with oil. Bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes. Turn the paneer half way through cooking time and spray the reverse with oil. The paneer is ready when it's crispy and golden all over.
For the grilled nectarines:
While the paneer is in the oven, halve the nectarines around the stone and twist to open. Remove the stones and brush them with warm honey or agave nectar.
Flace the nectarine halves face down on a preheated griddle pan. Press them down gently to ensure good contact with the griddle pan bars. Cook over a moderate heat for 2-3 minutes. Don't move them around at this point.
Turn the nectarine halves over and cook on the other side for a further 2 minutes. You can brush them with more agave or honey if you like.
For the dressing:
Whisk together the tamarind and date chutney and olive oil. Add a splash of water if necessary.
To build the salad:
Arrange your favourite mix of salad leaves on a large platter.
Top with cherry tomatoes (some halved, some whole), red onion slices, olives, the warm grilled nectarines, crispy baked paneer (warm), slices of apple, boondi, tamarind dressing and a sprinkle of chaat masala.
Take the platter to the table immediately and let everyone help themselves.
The masala paneer used in this recipe can be made up to 48 hours in advance. Store in the fridge until ready to breadcrumb and bake. I recommend breadcrumbing only up to 24 hours in advance. Bake the paneer just before serving.
Shop-bought paneer can be used in a pinch. Be sure it's a soft variety.
Plain paneer can be used in lieu of masala paneer but of course, it won't be as delicious. The joy of this salad is the contrast of spicy, sweet and tangy flavours.