Paneer 65 is one of the best, tasty Indian vegetarian appetizer. The soft chunky pieces of paneer inside a crispy, flavorful outer layer is such a delight to the taste buds. Cumin powder and chaat masala used, imparts awesome flavors to the recipe. This paneer 65, serve as sides or appetizer or even as snack, just serve with some lemon wedges and onion slices. You can replace paneer with tofu also, just see that you marinate tofu in masala atleast few minutes prior to frying, as it tends to be blander than paneer. These appetizers can be made in minutes with ingredients already available from the kitchen pantry. If you are an ardent fan of paneer, then you should definitely try this crispy, flavorful paneer fry.
INGREDIENTSMakes Side-dish for 1 to 2 people
Total Preparation Time - 15 minutes
- Paneer - 200 grams (Homemade or store bought; I used milky mist)
- Maida / All purpose flour - 3 tablespoons
- Corn flour - 2 tablespoon
- Red chilli powder - 2 to 3 tablespoon (according to your spice tolerance)
- Cumin powder - 1 teaspoon (If you do not have cumin powder, take 1 tsp of cumin seeds and grind along with ginger garlic and use it)
- Ginger - 3 inch long piece
- Garlic - 4 pods
- Curry leaves - From few sprigs (Optional)
- Red food color - 2 pinches (optional)
- Salt - As required (approximately 1 and half teaspoon)
- Chat masala - 1 teaspoon
- Baking soda - 2 pinches (optional)
- Oil - For deep frying
- Take home-made paneer and chop into cubes or smaller rectangles and set aside. If you are using store bought paneer then remove package, wash in running water and then proceed.
- Now add the chopped paneer cubes in warm water (not hot water) leave soaked for about 10 minutes. Then drain water.
- Peel garlic and scrape of ginger skin. Chop into smaller pieces and grind into fine paste and set aside. (If using cumin seeds instead of cumin powder, you can grind it along with ginger and garlic)
- To a bowl, add maida, corn flour, red chilli powder, cumin powder, ginger garlic paste, red food color, salt, baking soda and mix well. Add some water and make a thick batter of dosa batter consistency.
- Now add the paneer cubes into the batter and mix gently, until the batter coats the pieces well.
- Now place a pan on flame and pour enough oil into it for deep frying the paneer pieces.
- When the oil turns hot gently drop the paneer pieces into it and fry until it turns reddish and crisp. It will take just 2 o 3 minutes. Do not fry for long, else paneer pieces will become hard, also do not keep stirring it will cause the outer layer some off from the paneer pieces.
- Fry in batches do not crowd the pan as the pieces will get stuck to each other. (You can also fry a few sprigs or a handful of curry leaves with each batch of paneer 65 to get a nice aroma if you wish)
- Remove from oil using a slotted spoon and place on a tissue paper to blot out extra oil.
- Serve hot!!
TIP 1: The oil should be at the right temperature. When the oil turns hot just drop a small piece of the batter, if the batter rises up immediately then the oil temperature is right, if it settles down at bottom the oil is not yet ready, wait for a few more minutes. Your palm should feel the heat when you keep it nearly 15 cms above the pan. If the batter piece comes up immediately and turns brown or black or if you find smoke raising immediately, that means the oil is too hot. Then switch off the stove and wait for a few minutes for the oil to cool down. Paneer is very delicate and gets cooked in minutes so it is necessary to fry at right temperature, else your dish will become a disaster.
TIP 2: Baking soda makes the fry very fluffy and crispy, but you can skip it and add 1/2 tablespoon of rice flour instead.
TIP 3: See that you have enough oil to deep fry the paneer pieces. And do not overcrowd the pan as the pieces will get stuck to each other.
TIP 4: If you have excess batter, slice some potatoes and mix it up with the batter and fry it. It will taste too good.
TIP 5: Serve hot as paneer tends to stay softer when hot.
Crispy and tasty paneer 65 is now ready!! Serve hot with some lemon wedges and onion slices!!
Check out some of my other paneer dishes!!
- Paneer Bhurji
- Paneer Tikka
- Paneer Tikka Kathi Rolls
- Simple Chilli Paneer
- Paneer Butter Masala
- Scrambled Egg Paneer Rice
- Chicken Paneer Balls
- Rasagulla (Includes how to make home-made paneer)
- Strawberry Rasagulla