Cook This: Kesong Puti Tikka Skewers

January 17, 2017

Science says some people are psychologically wired to resist change while others adapt easily; the rest fall into a grey area between these two radical ends of the spectrum. Skepticism keeps people from trying new food, which is usually drawn from unfamiliarity with the cuisine.

Indian food seemingly differs too much from what locals know. A departure from the bareness of the local cuisine, Indian food contrastingly relies on a heady mixture of intense spices, like cumin and turmeric, to flavor the dish. But with some scientific research—and by “scientific” I mean eating barrel loads of food—I learned that Indian food shares a few similarities with local fare, particularly in ingredients.


Among these ingredients are the local kesong puti and the Indian paneer. Both share a stiff texture akin to firm tofu’s crumbly but durable constitution and a mild salty flavor. In cooking, the two fresh cheeses retain its shape unlike its melty brethren—proving to be an easy cheese to cook with. In India, paneer has multiple preparations, one is by cooking in a tandoor oven. Inspired by this style of preparation, we apply the same treatment to local kesong puti.

In this recipe, we marinate kesong puti in chicken tikka paste and pan-fry the skewers until crisp. Traditionally, tikka is a dish of meat or paneer marinated in a mix of spices and yogurt. The mild curry flavoring used provides the tell-tale spice associated with Indian cuisine. An easy and approachable Indian inspired dish for those who are about to dip their toes into the pool of Indian cuisine.

Kesong Puti Tikka Skewers

Yield: 5 skewers
Time: 3 hours


  • 400g kesong puti, cut into 2cm cubes
  • 1 pc red bell pepper, deseeded and cut into 2 cm squares
  • 1 pc green bell pepper, deseeded and cut into 2 cm squares
  • 1 pc red onion, peeled and cut into squares
  • 5 pcs skewers
  • canola oil

Ingredients: Marinade

  • 2 tbsp chicken tikka paste
  • 2 tbsp yoghurt


  1. Mix marinade ingredients together and add kesong puti cubes.
  2. Marinade for at least one hour.
  3. Skewer and alternate with red and green bell peppers and onion squares.
  4. Heat a heavy bottomed pan till very hot. Add oil and wait until almost smoking.
  5. Place skewers a few at a time, turning when cooked side is brown.
  6. Remove skewers from heat and serve.
Bernice Escobar SEE AUTHOR Bernice Escobar

Bernice loves to get nerdy about food and making people hungry. In her free time, she attempts to play with her anti-social cat and fantasizes about all things sweet.

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