food to glow

feel good food that's good for you

malaysian paneer & vegetable kebabs with brown coconut rice // food to glowHappy Monday from Edinburgh, where wits and wags note that, “summer was on a Tuesday.”

It is has not been the sunniest of summers. I have recently dared look back at a few 2011/2012 summer posts (hiding behind my hands) and saw words like “the sun is splitting the rocks,” and “long, warm days” and, my personal favourite for its high cringe factor: ” it’s el scorchio here at casa food to glow.”

So, bearing in mind the less than inflated temperatures of late (summer really was on a Tuesday; sometime in May, I think), salads have had to compete with soups, bakes, cooked grains and seared proteins for our affection.

Speaking of cooked grains, I had oat porridge this morning, accompanied by fuzzy socks and – this is no word of a lie – a scarf. Andrew came downstairs early this morning, bleary eyed and slightly befuddled before his shower, to be greeted with me sat on the sofa, cat on my lap, warm bowl of peachy porridge in hand, and a scarf around my neck. The trail of scarves in our bedroom as I pulled one away in the dark should have prepared him.

malaysian paneer & vegetable kebabs with brown coconut rice // food to glowThe grains we have been eating have mostly been hot or room temperature, as in this bowl of chewy, coconut-infused whole grains.

In this Malaysian-inspired and easily knocked-together dish the brown, whole grain rice is cooked with coconut milk and toasted coconut, then topped with seared and spiced vegetables and paneer – that deliciously high-fat Indian cheese that barbecues and griddles so well. I have cheated with bought sambal oelek, but the cheese is homemade and nearly as supple as its doppelgänger, tofu – the latter of which you could use instead. And the baby vegetables are quite cute, but if you have none to hand then of course do use sliced vegetables. One hint on the cooking: start a bit hot to get those glorious grill marks, then lower the temperature to cook the vegetables all the way through. Or slather veggies in the sauce and lay on crumpled foil and bake in a 200C/400F oven to glistening perfection: no kebab sticks required.

How has your summer weather shaped up? Are you hot and bothered, or cool as a cucumber? What recipe best epitomises your summer weather and mood? Share your best link. 🙂

malaysian paneer & vegetable kebabs with brown coconut rice // food to glow

Malaysian Griddled Paneer and Vegetable Kebab Bowl with Brown Coconut Rice

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

I’ve used paneer here, but why not change out the paneer for tofu or tempeh? Can’t find sambal oelek? Use good ol’ sweet chilli sauce, Chinese garlic chilli sauce or sriracha as options. Oh, and the amounts of everything here are really up to you: what’s listed is a minimum!

You will need: 4 skewers and a stovetop griddle pan, or foil-lined baking tray; small lidded pot for hob or oven (I bake my rice)

8 okra OR baby sweet peppers

8 baby zucchini/courgettes OR 10 rounds of larger ones

10 cherry/grape tomatoes

120g paneer cheese (half a usual pack, or my recipe) OR firm, pressed tofu or tempeh – cut into 8 cubes

4 tbsp sambal oelek sauce (or see header note) – here’s a good looking recipe too. This as well.

1 tsp runny honey – optional (only use if the sambal has no sweetness)

1 tbsp lime juice

1 tsp liquid coconut oil or other oil of choice

1 medium carrot, grated or spiralized

The Rice

½ onion, finely chopped

1 tsp coconut oil or oil of choice

½ c brown rice or brown and wild rice mix (I use the latter) –  or quinoa if you don’t eat grains

½ cup coconut milk

¾ cup water

1 lime leaf or strip of lime peel

¼ cup toasted coconut – optional

Extra lime, to serve

1. Mix the sambal oelek with the honey, lime juice and coconut oil. Wipe the griddle pan with a little oil and heat over a medium-high. You could also do this on the barbecue.

2. Thread the vegetables and cheese onto the skewers and paint with the sambal oelek sauce, keeping the extra sauce handy to dab on as needed.

3. While the griddle pan is heating sauté the onion in oil, add the rice, lime leaf, coconut and cover with coconut milk and water. Bring to the boil, then lower to a bare simmer and cover. Cook very gently until the liquid is absorbed – about 45 minutes. I do my rice in a cast iron pot in the oven, starting it on the stove/hob and baking in the oven for about 45 minutes at 200C/400F.

4. As the rice is cooking griddle the kebabs, basting with more sauce and turning frequently to prevent burning. Serve over the cooked rice with a large pinch of spiralised carrot and a really good squeeze of lime.

Note: This recipe is easily doubled or tripled. You may cook the kebabs ahead of eating (the day before is fine) and gently warm in the oven while you cook the rice. I don’t recommend reheating rice, especially brown rice. This is why. I know from painful experience that this warning is valid. 

malaysian paneer & vegetable kebabs with brown coconut rice // food to glow

Grain Bowls and Paneer on Food To Glow:

Beetroot and Tomato Rogan Josh with Homemade Paneer 

Teriyaki Salmon Rice Bowl (with vegan option)

Related Recipes from Others:

Kale and Tomato Brown Rice Bowls – Amuse Your Bouche

Paneer Malai – Kavey Eats

Kale Rice Bowl – 101 Cookbooks

Paneer Amritsari – Indian Healthy Recipes

Baked Sriracha Tempeh Bowls – The Muffin Myth

Barley, Tomato, Paneer, Channa Dal and Cashew Nut Salad – Deena Kakaya

I have popped this over to a few sharing blogs:

Recipe of the WeekA Mummy Too

Meatfree MondaysTinned Tomatoes

Try A Bite TuesdayCaleigh’s Kitchen and Bowl Me Over

56 thoughts on “Malaysian Paneer and Vegetable Kebab Bowl with Brown Coconut Rice

  1. Haha it’s not been the warmest summer ever down south, but even I haven’t resorted to a scarf yet – I feel for you!! Loving the look of this dinner bowl though, I adore paneer and the coconut rice sounds yummy!

    1. Thanks so much. Coming from you, the high priestess of UK veggie recipes, I consider that an honour. 🙂

  2. laracmoyles says:

    This dish sounds and looks so delicious! I can’t wait to give it a try.

  3. estherjane13 says:

    Yum, this looks delicious. I’ve never cooked with paneer. Now might be the time to start. Thanks for the recipe.

    1. Do! Homemade paneer is *very* easy to make, if alarming looking in the early stages

  4. I love paneer, I made it once. A long time ago. When I returned to my flat from my spell in California my griddle pan had gone walkies, so this is reminding me even more that I need to go out and get a new one. Can’t beat those griddle lines. A deliciously vibrant vegetarian dish once again Kellie!

    1. It’s so easy to make, isn’t it? Say yes so anyone seeing this comment will be tempted to make it – so superior to bought kind. And yes, get a new pan. I wonder where it went?? 😉

  5. superfitbabe says:

    Uh, YUM! The brown coconut rice sounds delicious!!

  6. Looks excellent!

  7. lizzygoodthings says:

    Love this, Kellie… especially love that you make your own paneer! As do I… and, it has not been summery in your neck of the woods, at least, not in the last few days 🙂 XX

    1. Nope, it has not. It hasn’t improved much since you went to Sweden, although a bit warmer and not raining. Enjoy the rest of your fabulous trip! Thanks for taking the time to read and comment xx

  8. sylvche says:

    Looks delicious 🙂

  9. mbitproducer says:

    to glow, thank you for the tutorial and recipe, have to try this : )

    1. You are very welcome. 🙂

  10. Bre Lopez says:

    This dish looks so delicious!!!! thank you for sharing!

    1. I’m so glad you like it, Bre 🙂

  11. Wow! This meal looks amazing! A complete meal in a bowl 🙂

    1. It truly is, isn’t it? One is only limited by the size of bowl 😉

  12. BEAUTIFUL pictures! Sounds yummy and healthy!

  13. The flavours and colours look wonderful, a true picture of healthy on a plate 🙂

    1. Aw, thank you, Elaine. Glad to have your seal of approval 🙂

      1. Ha ha! As if you need it!!!

  14. bkumarrec09 says:

    Is this good for people with increased cholesterol numbers?

    1. You can ditch the cheese for tofu as indicated, or lessen the amount eaten (although it is pretty modest here). Cholesterol issues are primarily to do with the body over-producing cholesterol rather than from dietary intake, but usual doctor advice is to reduce higher-fat dairy. I hope this helps.

  15. Ooh, this bowl is enticing no matter the weather. I like your choice of vegetables with that lime sauce and paneer. Would be great in wraps too I’d imagine. We’re having a very warm summer to make up for the lack of summer last year, which sounded closer to what you’re having now. So I’m trying to stay cool with gazpacho especially! 😉

    1. Thanks Katie. Today is not a bad temp but so cloudy and breezy. Can you reply with your gazpacho link please?! Id love to share it here. 🙂

    2. Yes, I make more than we need and pop it in wraps (green *and* bread-based). With a dollop of yogurt to keep it all moist. Kate, can you just blow some of your nice Swiss weather over here, please? Thanks in advance 😉

  16. A scarf??? Oh dear! But this meal sounds soooooo good. You are a flavour maestro. I’m coming to live with you forever.

    1. You are too funny, Kate. Only if I can come round and eat all of your yummy cakes! Anyone reading this go and visit Kate’s site and see what wonders she does with vegetables. Amazing stuff.

  17. Kellie this looks amazing! I love the size of your image, it seems like I´m standing right there in front of the dish 🙂
    ps. thanks for stopping by on my site too!!

  18. Jo says:

    This looks amazing! I love paneer and sambal. I must make this!

  19. Zofia says:

    Just the photos make the meal look mouth-watering!

  20. Rita Lobo says:

    I’m cooking this tonight. I love love love paneer and NEVER cook with it. You have inspired me.

  21. stateeats says:

    Ahhhh, looks so yummy! Love the vibrant colors and flavors! – Kat

  22. Riz says:

    Looks great!! I love the way the red, orange, and the green elements contrast each other!

    Chocolates & Chai

  23. Kavey says:

    I love paneer but seldom think to use it in anything other than Indian dishes — but you’ve reminded me I could use it where I might normally think of halloumi or tofu! It’s easy to make your own, my mum has a recipe / guide on Mamta’s Kitchen, if you’ve not tried before! x

    1. I do make my own and it’s SO much nicer than bought, isn’t it? It is much higher in cals than tofu so we don’t have it often but a little of it is so good here.

  24. Sally says:

    I’m loving this summer – perfect for walking … and all those dramatic clouds and fresh air! That’s what becomes of living with sun all the time. The rice sounds right up my street and bookmarked for when I’m back in my own kitchen (which isn’t for a LONG time).

  25. We are HUGE fans of Asian food, but I’ll be honest and say that I don’t think I’ve ever had Malaysian food. This recipe looks delicious and sultry with its grill marks and beautiful veggies. Something perfect to warm you up right?! =)

    1. Ooh, I like the sultry description. Someone only yesterday (in print, so very public) described my actual site as sensuous! Hilarious! Anyway, I hope you make this – it’s too easy not to give at least a version of this a go. Thanks for commenting. 🙂

      1. Absolutely! Will do!

  26. laythetable says:

    Wow, amazing as always. Good idea to grill okra, I guess it doesn’t go slimy like this!

  27. Is paneer similar to haloumi? This sounds delicious. And your pics are so crisp and colorful!

    1. Thank you! Halloumi tends to a lot salter but a similar firm, grillable texture. Hope this helps!

  28. Cate says:

    Sounds delish! I’m going to give it a try!

  29. This is colour and flavour heaven. Fantastic, creative and basically I want it now. x

  30. Liv's Larder says:

    This dish sounds amazing, I’m definitely going to try and re-create it. Paneer is such a wonderful ingredient and so easy to find these days and I love the addition of the toasted coconut. Thanks for sharing!

    1. You’re welcome, Liv. A pleasure.

  31. This looks so beautiful – I could just imagine it on a hot summer day though I think I would love it any time of year which is just as well because we are having a very cold winter this year in Melbourne (though I shouldn’t complain as this afternoon I am being silly enough to have the heater on and just seen that the back door is open.

    1. Thank you, Johanna. I think our summer is rather like you winter 😉

  32. I am such a fan of paneer, and this bowl looks like the perfect blend of fresh and comfort food! I will have to give it a try!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: