Paneer Pakora the Versatile, Anytime Go-To Meal For Your Home

Paneer Pakora
Image credits: Anusha A via Unsplash

When it comes to cooking paneer, paneer can adapt to most meals even though it may look bland when uncooked. Paneer is also a high protein provider, which is perfect for vegetarians. Check out how we make the delicious homemade meal called paneer pakora, which is excellent for any occasion. 

What Is Paneer Pakora? 

Paneer pakora is a favorite, and it originated on the Indian subcontinent. The cuisine is also the first choice in Pakistan, and it is made with cottage cheese (paneer) covered in batter and deep-fried. Usually, people have it with some chutney.

Paneer pakora is also known as bhaji, panako, paneer pakoda, bora and also spelt as “pikora”.

Once you’ve tried the paneer pakora recipe, we’re confident that you’ll enjoy it as much as we did. It is also a favorite with street food vendors and easy to eat and quick to prepare.

Advantages of eating paneer 

There are some excellent health advantages when you eat paneer. Some benefits of eating paneer include a good calcium and vitamin D intake. 

Paneer is also a good source of protein without all the calories. For example, one medium-sized paneer square is about 20g of protein, reducing the health risks that meat-rich cuisine contains.

Paneer is abundant in calcium, and it also contains vitamin C and D for extra nutrition. Vitamin C helps strengthen the immune system, while D caters to bone health, helping the body to absorb calcium.  

Phosphorus and magnesium assist with digestion while also containing good fatty acids.  

How To Make Paneer Pakora Recipe

Paneer pakoda recipe may vary in every region, and you can adapt either one you prefer. In this recipe, we’re showcasing a classic paneer pakora. Getting the basics is all you need to make this delicious cheesy fritter.

Easy Paneer Pakora Recipe Instructions

Ingredients 

  • 1 teaspoon of ginger and garlic paste 
  • ½ red chilli pepper 
  • ¾ chaat masala
  • 1 teaspoon kasuri methi 
  • Salt to taste 
  • 8 – 10 paneer (cottage cheese) cut in cubes 

For the batter 

  • ¾ besan 
  • 2 tablespoons rice flour 
  • ¼ kashmiri 
  • ¼ turmeric 
  • 1 pinch of hing 
  • ¼ salt 
  • ½ cup water 
  • Oil to deep fry the battered paneer

Method 

Add chaat masala, garlic and ginger, kasuri methi, and salt using a large mixing bowl. Combine the spices to create a paste.

Add the paneer and cover it with the spicy mix.

In another bowl add besan and rice flour. Also, add salt, turmeric, hing, chilli powder and chaat masala. Next, combine these spices with water to create a batter texture.

Also, add baking soda and mix gently to combine everything.

Next, coat the paneer in the batter mixture and fry it in oil until they become golden brown.

Once they are all fried, you can let them drain on a paper towel and then serve with some chutney or dipping sauce of your choice.

Try the paneer variations

Stuffed paneer

When it comes to making paneer pakora recipe, you have many options. You can stuff the inside with greens, chillies, pepper and spice. You can slice it partially through, not going all the way as to cut it completely open.

When making a plain or less spicy version, you can reduce the chillies and spices used in the plain stuffed pakora. 

Baked or fried – you decide

You can fry or bake the pakora. Many people deep fry theirs but to reduce the calories intake, we recommend baking it. You could bake in an oven at about 180º (356ºF). Bake it until the batter turns light brown or slightly golden. You shouldn’t overbake these fritters as they could dry them out. 

Serving suggestions

Apart from different dipping sauces, you could also serve the paneer pakoda with roti. Remember to serve it hot as this is when it tastes really delicious. You can have it as a starter or as a side and even as a quick snack. 

Estimated nutritional Value 

While not all pakora are made the same, you can use these estimates as a guideline.

Calories 481kcal, carbohydrates 29g, protein 18g, fat 33g

Cholesterol 41mg, saturated fat 11g, sodium 1286mg, fiber 5g, 

sugar 4g, potassium 367g, calcium 329g, vitamin A and vitamin C

Quickfire Tips 

Tip #1 – Before cooking the paneer, wipe it down to drain some of the moisture since water can cause the oil to splatter.
Tip #2 – Some people also prefer making an incision into the paneer to add the spices inside. This will pack an even bigger flavor punch.
Tip #3 – If you don’t want to use cheese or paneer, you could use vegetables instead. You can also spruce it up and make it with variants of vegetables and paneer.
Tip #4 – When preparing your batter, make sure that the consistency is thicker than runny as this will help to coat the paneer and fry it without breaking or splitting during the process.
Tip #5 – Pakora should be mild to balance the flavors. You could probably spice it more if you wanted it to be hotter, but paneer pakora is usually mild and complements the dipping sauces.
Tip #6 – You can use baking powder to help give the batter a fluffy texture.
Tip #7 – If you’re making paneer from scratch, be careful not to allow the milk to curdle as this will create a harder rubbery texture. Sometimes even a grainy texture is eminent when the milk has curdled. If the curdled milk continues to be used in the cooking process of the paneer, it will become grainy. 

FAQ 

Can we tawa fry pakoda instead of deep fry it?

Yes, you can shallow fry pakoda in a tawa if you want and even try baking it for fewer calories. It won’t come out exactly the same as when it is deep-fried, but ensure it is cooked through.

For how long should we marinate the paneer before we make paneer pakoda? 

Paneer pakoda doesn’t have to marinate too long, you can leave it for 30 minutes to three hours or overnight.

Why does my paneer split while making paneer pakoda? 

Sometimes the heat may cause this when deep-frying it. It’s also good to store it in the refrigerator during the marinating process so that the paneer doesn’t become brittle and break while it is cooked.

What goes well with paneer pakoda?

You can enjoy paneer pakora with green chutney, ketchup or green coriander chutney. You can have it with other sauces too and pair it with additional vegetables to add extra nutrition to the meal.

Conclusion To Paneer Pakora 

Some people may also call these cheese fritters paneer bread pakora and you could probably make this variation or something that includes a vegetable stuffing. You may adapt the recipe to suit your dietary needs and eat it with other nutritious extras.

Have you tried and enjoyed this delicious paneer pakoda? Tell us all about your experience and your tips and tricks.