Paneer pakoras are Indian paneer cheese cubes or slices fried in a gram flour (chickpea flour, also sometimes just called "besan") batter. Ah fried cheese, is there anything more indulgent? Fried Indian paneer cheese, battered and fried like a traditional Indian pakora is absolutely delicious.
Enjoy these little vegetarian fried paneer pakoras as is, with a chutney or barbecue sauce. They make a great snack or appetizer, though you cold also serve them as a side dish to a full Indian meal, though paneer pakoras are not traditionally served as a side dish.
Paneer pakoras are made with chickpea flour, which is "stickier" than regular flour when making pakoras. For this reason, I don't recommend making it with regular flour. Check in a large health food store or take a trip to a local Asian grocer if your regular grocer doesn't stock it. It's a common ingredient in vegetarian Indian cooking, and, since it keeps well, you can also always order some chickpea flour online.
If you don't want to use the traditional cooking method of using ghee (Indian butter), any high-heat cooking oil will do - you can use peanut oil for a nice flavor, canola oil, safflower oil or sunflower oil, or, just use a generic vegetable oil.
- 1 package Indian paneer cheese (250-300 grams, sliced about 1/2 inch thick)
- 1 cup chickpea flour (also called gram flour or besan)
- 2 tsp high-heat cooking oil or ghee (Indian butter)
- 1/2 tsp garam masala (optional)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 - 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste)
- 1/3 - 1/2 cup water
- oil for frying
Whisk together the chickpea flour, oil or ghee, garam masala, salt and chili powder. Slowly incorporate water, adding just enough to form a thick batter.
Dip each paneer slice in batter, turning to coat well.
Fry in hot oil just until lightly golden brown. These fried paneer slices are best when they're fresh, so enjoy your paneer pakoras hot.
It just doesn't get much more indulgent than fried cheese!
Like making homemade Indian food? Here's a few more vegetarian and vegan Indian food recipes to try:
- Vegetarian lentil sambar recipe
- Baked vegetarian samosas with peas and potatoes
- Vegetarian coconut curried lentils
- Homemade vegan naan (Indian flatbread)
- Mixed Indian-spiced vegetables (subji)
- Indian tandoori-spiced grilled tofu
- Aloo matar (Indian spiced potatoes and peas
- Even more vegetarian Indian food recipes