Masala Paneer Bites

Masala Paneer Bites

Ever been gripped by short-term hunger? Ok you might recognise the symptoms…becoming ‘hangry’, the short fuse you’re on was lit 2 minutes ago, distraction has possessed your very being and you’re seriously thinking about demolishing a maxi bag of ‘radioactive coloured crisps’.

My condition took a severe downturn, panic set in and amidst the haze I was struck by a vision of clarity. A block of paneer, Indian cheese lay supine in the fridge waiting to be demolished. I had the seen the light..literally.

A few deft moves with chilli powder, turmeric, salt and some larder ingredients led to a happy accident, crispy masala paneer bites dusted with the sour allure of chaat masala. These paneer snacks are the perfect antidote for hunger’s Jekyll and Hyde.

Snack for 2

  • 225g Paneer, cut into 2cm cubes
  • 1tsp chilli powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • dash of salt
  • 2 tsp rice flour
  • 1 tsp semolina, preferably coarse
  • Pinch of baking powder
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1tsp nigella (onion) seeds, optional
  • Enough sunflower or rapeseed oil to deep fry the paneer
  • 1tsp chaat masala
Masala paneer bites

How To Make Masala Paneer Bites

In a mixing bowl, tip in the chilli and turmeric powder and squish in the garlic, with a dash of salt and mix well. Dust in the flour, semolina, baking powder and drizzle in the olive oil, mix until you have a thick paste. Now it’s time for the paneer to make an appearance, coat the cheese cubes thoroughly and sprinkle in the nigella seeds.

Using a wok or deep frying pan, heat enough oil (roughly to a depth of 3-4cm) over a medium high temperature, test with a single piece of paneer and if it bobs back up to the surface and starts to fizz, crisp and brown almost straight away then it’s hot enough to cook the rest in batches.

Drain on kitchen paper, dust with Chaat Masala and serve with sweet chilli sauce.

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