Paneer Pakora

5 from 3 votes

Paneer Pakora is a deep-fried Indian snack made using paneer (Indian cottage cheese, Indian spices, and chickpea flour. Learn to make the best paneer pakoda using my simple and easy recipe.

If you are looking for more pakora recipes, I have you covered: Aloo Pakora, Chicken Pakora, Chawal Ke Pakode, Moong Dal Pakoda, and Onion Pakoda.

Paneer pakora served on a plate.
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About Paneer Pakora

Paneer Pakora is a popular Indian deep-fried snack recipe where soft paneer (Indian cottage cheese) pieces are coated with a spiced gram flour batter and then deep-fried. These paneer fritters are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

In North India, if you are vegetarian, paneer is somehow a part of your life. I have come across very few North Indian vegetarians who say that they don’t eat paneer. Many people might not like it as much, but life without paneer looks difficult.

I have mixed feelings about paneer. I like it in some forms and detest it in others. Mohit, however, loves it. He likes to eat it raw, just sprinkled with chaat masala powder or made into curries or this paneer pakora.

During our Bangalore days, I made various pakoras as the weather was always perfect for pakora and chai. This paneer pakoda recipe was also perfected during that time. I tried making it with rice flour and without, with baking soda and without, and with turmeric and without. Now, I have a foolproof recipe that works every time and for everyone.

Serve them with spicy, tangy green chutney and masala chai for an unforgettable Indian-style snack experience.

Ingredients

Paneer – Buy paneer slabs from the refrigerator section of any Indian grocery store. Do not buy the cubed frozen one, as the cube size is sometimes very small and not ideal for making pakoras.

For The Batter – The base of the batter to make the outer covering of paneer pakora is made using besan (gram flour, chickpea flour).

Ingredients like Kashmiri red chili powder, turmeric powder, ginger garlic paste, carom seeds (ajwain), salt, and Kasuri methi are added to flavor the batter. Carom seeds not only add to the flavor but also help with digestion.

You will also need rice flour for extra crispiness. Cornstarch can be added in place of rice flour.

Oil – You can use any cooking oil to fry the pakora. Canola oil, sunflower oil, or even mustard oil work fine.

Chaat Masala Powder – Once the pakoras are ready, sprinkle some chaat masala powder. It adds a nice tangy taste. You can try my homemade Chaat Masala Powder recipe. It’s easy to make and super economical.

How To Make Paneer Pakoda

Prepare The Paneer

Rinse a 250 g paneer slab with water and wrap it in a kitchen towel. Press the slab using a weight for 10-15 minutes to remove any moisture. This step is very important for crispy pakoras.

Cut the paneer into small cubes or rectangles. Keep the size of the pieces the same so that they fry evenly.

Make The Batter

Stir together the following ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 2 tablespoon rice flour
  • ½ teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon carom seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Kasuri methi
  • ½ teaspoon salt
All the batter ingredients added to a bowl.

Add water (approx ½ cup) little by little and whisk to make a thick but runny batter. The consistency of the batter is very important for perfect pakoras. It should be slightly thick to hold and coat the paneer cubes well.

Let the batter rest on the counter for 10 minutes.

Ready batter.

Fry The Pakora

Heat oil for frying in a skillet over high heat.

Once the oil is very hot, reduce the heat to medium.

Add the paneer pieces to the batter and coat them well.

Coating the paneer pieces with the batter.

Drop a few pieces in hot oil and fry on medium flame until nicely browned and crispy 6-8 minutes). Do not overcrowd the pan; fry the pakora in batches.

Paneer pakora frying in hot oil.

Drain the pakoras using a slotted spoon on a plate lined with a kitchen towel.

Note – For extra crispy pakoras, double fry them. Fry them on medium heat until lightly browned and drain on a plate. Now heat the oil again until it is very hot. Drop a few pakoras in hot oil and fry on high heat until nicely browned. The first frying cook the covering but leaves some moisture in the oil, which can hamper the crispiness. When we heat the oil once again, all the moisture evaporates, and when the pakoras are fried a second time in very hot oil, they turn out very crispy and crunchy.

Fried paneer pakoda.

Sprinkle chaat masala powder all over the pakora and serve them hot.

Chaat masala sprinkled over ready paneer pakora.

Pro Tips By Neha

The consistency of the chickpea flour batter is very important. It should neither be too thick nor too thin. It should have a medium consistency, easily sticking to the paneer cubes.

You can cut paneer in different shapes to make it look appealing.

Double fry to make extra crispy paneer pakora.

For a healthy version, you can either bake or air fry it. But the deep-fried ones taste the best!

Frequently Asked Questions

How to make baked paneer pakora?

Make the spiced batter as per the recipe. Coat the paneer cubes with the batter and arrange them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Spray or brush oil on top.  Bake them at 360°F (180°C) for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

How to make air fryer paneer pakora?

To make paneer pakora in an air fryer, make the batter as mentioned in the recipe. Coat the paneer pieces with the batter and arrange them in a single layer on the air fryer basket. Spray with oil.

Close the basket and air fry the pakora at 360°F (180°C) for 10 minutes. Make sure to turn the pakora once in the middle of cooking. Spray or brush more oil if needed.

Why are my pakoras oily?

Firstly, if the oil is not hot enough, the pakoras will soak up the oil. Secondly, if the gram flour batter is too thin, it will also soak up the oil. So make sure you get these two things right.

Variations

Chutney – Slather Green Chutney and Rajasthani Garlic Chutney between two paneer slices. Now coat with gram flour batter and deep fry.

Potato Stuffed – Stuff two paneer slices with spicy potato masala. Coat with gram flour batter and deep fry.

Tandoori – Marinate the paneer pieces with tandoori masala powder for 30 minutes. Dip them in the gram flour batter and deep fry.

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Paneer Pakora is a deep-fried Indian snack made using paneer (Indian cottage cheese, Indian spices, and chickpea flour. Learn to make the best paneer pakoda using my simple and easy recipe.
5 from 3 votes

Paneer Pakora Recipe (Paneer Pakoda)

Paneer Pakora is a deep-fried Indian snack made using paneer (Indian cottage cheese, Indian spices, and chickpea flour. Learn to make the best paneer pakoda using my simple and easy recipe.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Resting Time: 20 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients 

  • 250 grams paneer
  • 1 cup besan (chickpea flour, gram flour)
  • 2 tablespoons rice flour
  • ½ teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon carom seeds (ajwain)
  • 1 teaspoon Kasuri methi
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • oil (for frying)
  • 1 teaspoon chaat masala powder
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Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!
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Instructions 

Prepare The Paneer

  • Rinse the paneer slab with water and wrap it in a kitchen towel. Press the slab using a weight for 10-15 minutes to remove any moisture. This step is very important for crispy pakoras.
  • Cut the paneer into small cubes or rectangles. Keep the size of the pieces the same so that they fry evenly.

Make The Batter

  • Stir together chickpea flour, rice flour, chili powder, turmeric powder, ginger garlic paste, carom seeds, Kasuri methi, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add water (approx ½ cup) little by little and whisk to make a thick but runny batter. The consistency of the batter is very important for perfect pakoras. It should be slightly thick to hold and coat the paneer cubes well.
  • Let the batter rest on the counter for 10 minutes.

Fry The Pakora

  • Heat oil for frying in a pan over high heat.
  • Once the oil is very hot, reduce the heat to medium.
  • Add the paneer pieces to the batter and coat them well.
  • Drop a few pieces in hot oil and fry on medium flame until nicely browned and crispy 6-8 minutes). Do not overcrowd the pan; fry the pakora in batches.
  • Drain the pakoras using a slotted spoon on a plate lined with a kitchen towel. Sprinkle chaat masala powder all over the pakora and serve them hot.
  • Note – For extra crispy paneer pakora, double fry them. Fry them on medium heat until lightly browned and drain on a plate. Now heat the oil again until it is very hot. Drop a few pakoras in hot oil and fry on high heat until nicely browned. The first frying cook the covering but leaves some moisture in the oil, which can hamper the crispiness. When we heat the oil once again, all the moisture evaporates, and when the pakoras are fried a second time in very hot oil, they turn out very crispy and crunchy.
  • Repeat with the remaining batch.

Notes

Consistency of the chickpea flour batter is very important; it should neither be too thick nor too thin. It should have a medium consistency, easily sticking to the paneer cubes.

Nutrition

Calories: 320kcal, Carbohydrates: 23g, Protein: 16g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Cholesterol: 41mg, Sodium: 115mg, Potassium: 267mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 200IU, Calcium: 317mg, Iron: 2mg
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5 from 3 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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