Jim Pizer is more Indian than a lot of Indians I know. While growing up he was in and out of his Indian friends’ houses in Birmingham, eating their mums’ home cooking, and was so disappointed with the state of Indian food in restaurants in the UK that he decided to set up his own, the Thali Café in Bristol. It did so well that, ten years later, one restaurant has grown into five.

This is one of the most popular dishes on the menu and always has been. Although you might not find it on menus in India, it’s one of the finest ways to eat paneer that I know.

Makes 6 to 8 kebabs (enough for 4 people)

3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons chickpea flour
1¼ pounds hard paneer, cut into 1½-inch cubes
1¾-inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
6 cloves of garlic, crushed
1¼ teaspoons ground red chile
2 tablespoons mango chutney
1½ teaspoons ground black pepper
1¼ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1½ red bell peppers, cut into 1½-inch chunks

Put the oil into a small pan over medium heat. When hot, add the chickpea flour and stir into the oil. Reduce the heat to low and stir until the oil is absorbed and you have a paste. Don’t allow it to burn, but aim for a nutty brown color—this is where the deeply savory flavor of the marinade comes from. Allow the paste to cool for 3 minutes.

Put the chickpea flour mixture into a bowl with the paneer and all the other ingredients apart from the red pepper. Mix well and leave to marinate for at least 15 minutes (the longer the better). If you’re using wooden skewers, soak them in a bowl of cold water and leave to one side.

When you’re ready to cook, thread the paneer pieces alternately with the red pepper onto the skewers. Meanwhile, heat up a griddle pan, frying pan, or grill. Cook the kebabs for around 8 minutes, turning them every couple of minutes, until they are lovely and chargrilled on each side.

Serve immediately, with naan or rice, cucumber and mint raita, and a salad.