Stuffed Paneer Pakoda

Stuffed Paneer Pakoda

Pakoda, also called pakora, pakodi, fakkura, bhajiya, bhajji or ponako, is a fried snack (fritter). Originating from the Indian subcontinent, it is a popular snack across the Indian subcontinent, especially in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal.

 

Pakodas are very crisp on the outside and medium soft to crisp inside. They are dipped in a batter made from gram flour (also known as chickpea flour or besan) and then deep-fried. The most popular varieties include pyaaz pakora, made from onion, and aloo pakora, made from potato.

 

Other variations include palak pakora, made from spinach, and paneer pakora, made from paneer (soft cottage cheese). When onions, on their own, are prepared in the same way, they are known as onion bajji.

 

Paneer (cottage cheese) pakodas are one of the yummiest pakoras usually made on some special occasions. Paneer pakora can be made with some stuffing of green chutney (Stuffed paneer pakoda) or can be made without any stuffing (paneer pakoda). Sometimes red chutney can be used as stuffing for paneer pakodas.

 

Cubes or thick fingers shaped paneer slices are stuffed with some spicy green chutney, then dipped in gram flour batter and then deep-fried to make one of the most perfect and delicious starters. They are crunchy from outside and soft from inside and this is a definite hit snacks for all the paneer lovers.

 

You can enjoy hot and delicious paneer pakodas with hot Indian tea (chai), as an evening snacks or tea time snacks. In some states of India, pakodas are also served as breakfast.

 

In India when it rains, people make pakodas and enjoy it with hot Indian tea.

 

Pakoras are usually served as a snack or appetiser. They are also often served with Masala chai to guests arriving to attend Indian wedding ceremonies, and are usually complemented with tamarind, chutney or raita. In the United Kingdom, pakoras are popular as a fast food snack, available in South Asian restaurants.

 

Here I am sharing with you the recipe of stuffed paneer pakoda, which is stuffed with green chutney. This is one of my favourite pakodas.

  Recipe Servings: 4
  Cooking time: 20 Minutes

Ingredients

 

  • Cottage Cheese (Paneer) - 250 grams

 

For Batter

 

  • Gram Flour (Chickpea Flour or Besan) - 1 cup
  • Red Chilli Powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Garlic Paste - 1 tsp (optional)
  • Water - as required

 

For Green Chutney (Green Coriander Chutney)

 

  • Fresh Coriander Leaves - 1 cup
  • Lime Juice - 1 tsp
  • Green Chillies - 2
  • Garlic - 2-3 cloves
  • Salt - to taste
  • Water - if needed

 

For Deep Frying

 

  • Oil - as required

 

To garnish

 

  • Chaat Masala - as required

Preparation

To make the Green Chutney (Coriander Chutney)

 

  • Clean coriander leaves and wash them properly with water. Now add coriander leaves in a blender jar. Pour in lime juice to it and add green chillies, garlic cloves, and salt as per your taste to it.

 

  • Pulse and grind the chutney, stop occasionally then open the lid and wipe down the chutney from the sides of the blender jar, to a chutney consistency. Add up to 1/6 cup of water if needed, being careful while adding water to the chutney so that it does not become too fine or watery.

 

  • Green Chutney or coriander chutney is ready. Keep it aside for later use.

 

  • Take paneer (cottage cheese) and cut it into pieces of size 2" x 2" squares with a height of approximately ¾".

 

  • Place each piece of paneer (cottage cheese) flat on a cutting plate/board and by keeping the knife parallel to the board, slice each piece in half. This process will reduce the height of each paneer piece into half. Keep it aside for later use, but keep the halves together.

 

To make the batter:

 

  • Add besan (gram flour/chickpea flour) in a medium sized bowl and add water into it, add sufficient water in small batches. Whisk well to make a batter of a coating consistency and ensure that the batter is smooth and has no lumps.

 

  • Now add garlic paste, salt and red chilli powder into it and mix it well. The use of garlic paste is optional. I like it in pakodas so I normally add it in the batter.

 

  • To stuff the paneer pieces with the chutney, separate the 2 halves of each paneer piece and put 1⁄2-1⁄3 tsp of already prepared green chutney (coriander chutney) on the top one half. Place the other half on top of it and press very gently. Repeat this process with the remaining paneer pieces.

 

  • Place a kadai or a wok on high flame and add oil to it for deep frying the pakodas. Once the oil is hot, but not smoking, pick up one sandwiched paneer piece, dip it well in the besan (chickpea flour) batter, and take out from the batter, let the excess batter drip off, and place carefully in the hot oil.

 

  • Place 4-5 battered pakodas in the kadhi or wok, without overcrowding and overlapping. Adjust the heat to medium and deep fry till it gets golden brown. Flip them gently when one side turns golden brown and fry till it gets golden brown colour on both the sides. It will take approximately 1.5-2 minutes on each side.

 

  • Once done take them out and put on a kitchen tissue paper so that it will absorb the excess oil. Repeat the same process in batches with the remaining pakodas till all are done.

 

  • Now cut the pakoras diagonally into halves and deep fry them again for 1-2 minutes.

 

  • Once done with re-frying the paneer pakodas, take them out and put on a kitchen tissue paper so that it will absorb the excess oil. Repeat the same process with the remaining pakodas till all are done with re-frying.

 

  • Hot paneer pakodas are ready to serve.

 

  • Place them on a serving plate and sprinkle paneer pakodas with some chaat masala. Serve hot with extra chutney and/or ketchup and with hot Indian tea (chai).