Arun Kapil's baked paneer sandwich with fig, lemon, almond and mint paired with a zingy tikka sauce and tangy puffed rice 'chaat' salad.


I’m serving it here with a dipping sauce and a puffed rice salad typical of any street vendor in India, but feel free to serve with anything you might like, fries, a jacket potato, basmati rice pilau or a crunchy salad.

Great tastes, textures; something delicious for your Friday night fakeaway, or indeed to transport you to somewhere far away on a voyage of flavour discovery. Vegetarian, gluten free, high protein, high fibre. Enjoy!

Serves 2

  • 2 x 200g paneer cheese blocks


  • 2 tblsp natural Greek yoghurt, full fat
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • 2 tsp Green saffron tikka spice blend
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper


  • 4 dried figs, finely diced
  • 6 dried apricots, finely diced
  • 2 tblsp diced red onion
  • ½ lemon, juice and zest
  • Small handful fresh mint, finely sliced
  • 2 tblsp whole blanched almonds, roughly chopped

Tikka sauce

  • 1 medium brown onion, diced
  • 1 tblsp sunflower oil
  • 20g ginger, finely grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely grated
  • 3 tsp Green Saffron Tikka blend
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 150ml almond milk

Puffed rice salad 

  • 1 half cucumber, peeled, deseeded, 20mm dice
  • ½ red onion, peeled, 5mm dice
  • 2 garden tomatoes, deseeded, 20mm dice
  • ½ green Bird’s Eye chilli, 5mm slices on bias
  • Good handful coriander leaves and stems, finely sliced
  • 30g puffed rice, lightly roasted to only just crisp up


  • 20g lime juice
  • 10g lemon juice
  • Spices: 3g Chaat Masala, 2g black pepper, ground, 2g cayenne pepper, 3g roasted cumin, ground
  • 2g sea salt
  • 5g sugar
  • ½ tsp dried mint


  1. Set your oven to gas 6, 190°C.
  2. Slice each paneer block in half lengthwise. Mix the marinade in a shallow dish, pop the paneer slices into the marinade, coat well, cover and set aside in your fridge. Ideally leave for a couple of hours, but 15 mins is fine when you're in a hurry.
  3. Mix the stuffing ingredients together, set aside. Cut a square of greaseproof paper slightly bigger than the length of the paneer, pop it onto a baking tray.
  4. Place 2 slices of marinated paneer on the sheet. Spoon the stuffing onto the slices as evenly and neatly as you can. Pop the remaining two slices on top to make two sandwiches, skewer a couple of cocktail sticks into each sandwich then pop onto a middle shelf of your oven and bake for 10 to 12 mins or until the edges just begin to charr and scorch.
  5. Using a fish slice, carefully scoop up each sandwich onto warmed plates; serve immediately whilst still nice and hot with the sides of your choice.
  6. Try my Tikka dipping sauce and puffed rice salad, or basmati rice and a crunchy salad works really well too.

Tikka sauce

  1. Gently fry the onion in the oil until soft, then stir in the ginger, garlic and Green Saffron Tikka blend.
  2. After approx. 30 seconds, add the tomatoes and almond milk, bring to a bubble, simmer for a couple of minutes, then take off the heat and blitz to a smooth sauce.
  3. Set aside and serve warm.

Mix all the salad ingredients EXCEPT the puffed rice, set aside. Keep chilled.

  1. Whisk the dressing really well in a separate bowl.
  2. Decant into a plastic squeezy. Keep chilled.
  3. Spoon some of the salad into a SS mixing bowl, then same amount of puffed rice, squirt of dressing to only just coat the ingredients. Toss and serve immediately.