Good morning everyone,
In Punjab and Kashmir I really enjoyed a dish called Paneer Bhurji. At my other home, in Canada, I learned to make Paneer Pakora from a recipe inspired by the great chef Sanjeev Kapoor. The bestie and I have enjoyed this dish over and over, with a little spicy tomato sauce or garlic chutney on the side. It’s fried and so not the healthiest choice but all things in moderation – it makes a great treat!
You can find the recipe for paneer here.
Stuffed Paneer Pakora
Pakoras are little fried snacks served as street food and in homes in Punjab. Almost anything can be made into a pakora – bread, paneer, carrots, onions, spinach, chickpeas. If you can think it up, you can probably turn it into a pakora. These are not the healthiest of foods, given that they are fried but they make a delicious treat every once in a while – or you know, whenever the bestie comes over for tea. These pakora have a filling but you can easily skip the filling and have plain paneer pakora, if you like.
For the filling:
1/2 tsp ajwain seeds (also known as carom seeds, available in Indian markets), dry roasted and ground
1/4 cup grated red onion
1/4″ ginger, peeled and grated finely
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 chili, crused
1/2 tsp garam masala (available in Indian markets)
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp amchor powder (available in Indian markets)
2 tbsp tomato paste
Salt, to taste
For the batter:
1 cup besan (chickpea flour, available in many Canadian supermarkets and in Indian markets)
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Pinch of asafoetida (also known as hing, available in Indian markets)
1 tbsp canola, bran or extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
Salt, to taste
2 cups of paneer, cut into 1 1/2″ cubes
Sufficient oil for deep frying
To make the filling, blend all of the filling ingredients together in a blender until a smooth paste forms. Add a tiny amount of water if necessary. Set aside.
To make the batter, stir all of the batter ingredients together in a bowl with a little water until a thick, smooth batter forms. Set aside.
To assemble the pakoras: Slit each cube of paneer about two-thirds of the way through to make room for the filling. Do not cut all the way through the cubes. Stuff a little of the filling into each cube with a butter knife. Press the cube together and continue with the remaining cubes of paneer.
Heat the oil in a deep pan or a deep fryer over medium-high heat. Dip each paneer cube into the batter and deep fry until golden brown. Do not overcrowd the pan or deep fryer, making the pakora in batches. Remove and drain the pakoras. Serve with any chutneys you like, a little spicy tomato sauce or even salsa. Whatever you like. Serve hot though, these lose their good flavour when cold.
Until next time,
Peace & love,