Fried Paneer Cheese Pakora

Fried paneer cheese pakora recipe

​The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii 

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
295 Calories
19g Fat
15g Carbs
16g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 295
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 19g 24%
Saturated Fat 10g 48%
Cholesterol 49mg 16%
Sodium 750mg 33%
Total Carbohydrate 15g 6%
Dietary Fiber 3g 9%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 16g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 366mg 28%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 280mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Fried cheese might be one of the ultimate indulgence foods and many cuisines have a tempting form of it, from Italian mozzarella en carrozza to Greek fried Halloumi. The Indian version for a crispy and savory fried cheese comes in the shape of paneer pakoras, or cheese cubes or slices fried in gram flour batter. Absolutely delicious, fried paneer makes a great appetizer and can also be served as a side dish in larger spreads of varied small dishes. Ready in 30 minutes, the fried paneer can also be a snack served with fresh roti and accompanied with various chutneys or savory tomato sauce. Easy to make, these tasty cheese cubes are also a great addition to salads and can make tasty finger food bites for cocktail hour.

Paneer is a fresh Indian cheese made by curdling milk with an acid, like lemon juice or vinegar. Paneer doesn't melt and keeps its shape when cooked, so it's also added to saucy preparations like curries or soups, or can even be grilled on skewers. Because it has a mild flavor, strong and bold sauces go really well with paneer. This cheese is easily available from Indian grocers and online retailers, but you can also make it at home with whole milk, water, and lemon juice.

Besan, the other name for the gram flour, is made out of split brown chickpeas—different than plain white chickpea flour—and can be easily found in Asian markets or online retailers. If you can't find it, then white chickpea flour is your second-best choice. Besan is stickier than regular flour, which helps to coat the cheese more evenly and deliver an all-around irresistible crust. This vegetarian recipe is also gluten free and suitable for wheat-free dietary preferences. With the perfect amount of spice thanks to the addition of garam masala and cayenne pepper in the batter, you can adjust the amount of cayenne you're adding if you prefer a milder flavor. For frying, we recommend using a high-smoke-point vegetable oil like peanut, canola, safflower, or sunflower oil, but using ghee is also a great and tasty option.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup besan brown chickpea flour, or white chickpea flour

  • 2 teaspoons ghee, or high-heat cooking oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala, optional

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste

  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup water

  • 250 grams paneer cheese, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick slices or cubes

  • Oil, for frying

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for fried paneer
    ​The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii 
  2. Whisk together the chickpea flour, oil or ghee, garam masala, salt, and cayenne pepper. Slowly incorporate water, adding just enough to form a thick batter.

    Whisk together chickepea flour
    ​The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii 
  3. Dip each paneer slice in batter, turning to coat well.

    Dip paneer in batter
    ​The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii  
  4. Fry in hot oil just until lightly golden brown.

    Fry in oil
    ​The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii 
  5. Serve immediately, as these fried paneer slices are best when they're freshly made and hot.

    Serve paneer slices
    ​The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii 
  6. Enjoy.