Indian Mexican Fusion: Paneer Tacos!
Published January 26, 2020; Updated July 6, 2020 and May 1, 2021
Mashing up two of my favorite cuisines today to make Indian fusion paneer tacos. The best part is they come together in under 30 minutes. About 20 minutes to be more precise!
To make it true Indian fusion, I used paneer without the usual Indian spices you find it paired with. All simple ingredients you likely already have at home!
Wait a minute, what is paneer?
Paneer is a cheese used in many popular Indian dishes. It is made by curdling milk with lemon. Paneer does not melt like mozzarella or cheddar. Because it does not melt, it can be baked or crisped up easily without losing form. When crisped on a pan it has a crunch on the outside but stays soft and delicious on the inside.
It has a texture that allows it to absorb flavors. The recipe I have outlined used store bought paneer. It can be found in Indian grocery stores and I have seen it at my local Wegmans and Whole Foods.
How to make paneer filled tacos?
- Prep paneer: The paneer is cubed and made with garlic infused oil and spices. It is crisped up in the pan to give it a yummy texture with a soft inside.
- Add toppings: These tacos also include jalapenos, garlic, onions, corn and bell peppers. I’ve used spices that are not typically used with paneer and that is what gives this a fun new twist.
- Lime Spice Crema: They are then topped with a quick lime spice crema. The lime spice crema is an easy, quick mix of sour cream, cumin, chili powder, lime juice, garlic and salt.
Substitutions For Indian Fusion Paneer tacos
- Use garlic in place of garlic infused oil – I love the extra boost of flavor that this offers but if you do not have it, no worries. I would just use olive oil and 2-3 cloves of minced garlic. In Step 1 of the recipe I would heat oil in pan, cook minced garlic 2-3 minutes then add in paneer. Rest of the directions would be the same. Here is the link to the garlic infused oil I used:Garlic Gold Oil
- Crema substitutions: The tanginess of the creama adds a nice zest to the tacos but you could use greek yogurt in place of sour cream! Or really any other topping of your choice. I would squeeze some lime juice on top if you opt out of the lime spice crema for the zing.
Can you freeze paneer?
Yes, you definitely can for 2-3 months. So this makes this easy for meal planning or just saving leftovers. Place paneer in airtight bag or container. It will lose a bit of texture and become softer, but you can just heat up on a skillet before serving. I would move it from freezer to fridge the night before using to help it defrost.
Multiple uses for filling
The filling is super yummy on its own and tastes great in wraps or even in a panini. I’ve even used leftover crispy paneer and thrown it into a stir fry the next day.
Here is a quick video of how I made the paneer tacos:
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Jalapeno Paneer Corn Tacos with Lime Spice Crema – Indian Mexican Fusion
- 12 taco shells
- 2 medium bell peppers chopped
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 8 oz paneer package cubed
- 2 tbsp garlic infused oil Or olive oil and 2-3 cloves minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp red chili powder (lal mirch)
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp crushed cumin powder jeera powder
- 2 tsp oregano
- 1 small jalapeno chopped
Lime Spice Crema
- 1 cup sour cream (for lime spice crema)
- 1 lime juiced (for lime spice crema)
- ½ tsp garlic powder (for lime spice crema)
- 1 tsp cumin powder (for lime spice crema)
- ¼ tsp salt (for lime spice crema)
- ½ tsp chili powder (for lime spice crema)
- shredded cheese, jalapeno slices, salsa (optional, toppings)
- Heat oil in pan. Add paneer and let cook 3 minutes on medium. Add in jalapenos and cook additional 2-3 minutes until paneer is browned. Stir in between so all sides get crispy edges.
- Put heat on low. Add 1/2 of spices (1/4 tsp red chili powder, 1 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp oregano, 1/4 tps cumin powder) and mix to combine. Remove and set aside paneer.
- Repeat same process with veggies. No additional oil needed in same pan. Add onions, cook 3 min. Add peppers, cook 2 min. Add in spices and mix.
- Mix together lime spice crema ingredients in a small bowl.
- Mix veggies with paneer or keep separate if you prefer. Then use mix to build tacos!