As far as vegetarians go, paneer is said to be the crème of ingredients. It adds a little ‘royal’ touch to the dish. A paneer dish is a much for any occasion and if made during a normal day, it makes it special.
Paneer cutlet or paneer tikki is a snack dish that is popular with both adults and children. For children, the soft paneer doesn’t take on too much flavour making it non-spicey and easy to it. For adults, paneer is loved by one and all. The good part is that paneer is a great source of calcium and protein for vegetarians so it is is a must to include it in your children’s diet too. If you are a vegan, you can try using tofu as the base instead of paneer. It will give a similar taste but may not be as soft.
Paneer cutlet works as a great lunch box dish. You can make it in different and attractive shapes using a cookie cutter and the kids will be happy to find small bears and star shaped tikkis for their lunch. It is also a great after-school snack as the protein keeps the kids going when they rush to an after school activity or tuition. This cutlet can also be make slightly bigger and thicker to be used as a burger pattice. Another option is to make a paneer tikki chaat with the pattice.
- Paneer 150 grams
- Boiled Potato 1 ( medium sized )
- Rice flour 2 to 3 tablespoons
- Salt to taste
- Red chilli powder ½ teaspoon
- Green chilli 1
- Fresh coriander leaves 1 tablespoon
- Rawa 2 tablespoons
- Ginger-Garlic paste 1 teaspoon
- Oil 2 tablespoon
- Optional vegetables Boiled peas, carrot and corn, 1 cup
Chop the fresh coriander leaves and the green chilli. Grate the paneer and the boiled potato. (Paneer used should be cold so that it is easier to grate it.)
In a bowl or a big plate, take the grated paneer and the potato. Add the Ginger-Garlic paste and the rice flour.
In place of rice flour, any binding agent like bread crumbs, dry roasted besan can also be used.
Season with salt and red chilli powder. Put in the chopped chilli and coriander leaves.
With a gentle hand, mix it all up.
At this point, boiled vegetables like peas, carrot and corn can be added, if using.
If the mixture feels very soft, additional 1 tablespoon of rice flour can be added.
Divide the mixture into equal size balls. Roll each gently and slightly press to flatten. Ready all cutlets similarly.
Roll them in the rawa and again press them so that rawa sticks well on each.
Now, these cutlets can be shallow fried, deep fried , baked or air-fried as per preference.
For shallow frying, heat a nonstick pan on low flame. Spread about 1 to 2 tablespoon oil.
Place a few cutlets at a time and let cook on each side till golden brown in colour.
Fry all the cutlets and remove on paper towels when done.
Serve hot with chutney, dip or sauce.
The key ingredient in this recipe – paneer – is best when made at home with whole fat milk. This yields the creamiest paneer. When making paneer, it is important to follow a few tips so that the paneer is soft.
- Boil the milk completely and then cool it for 5 minutes.
- The milk should be hot and should should be able to touch the surface slightly.
- At this temperature, add the curdling agent – vinegar mixed with water or lemon juice and stir slowly until the milk solids separate.
- As soon as you see that the paneer is formed, add normal water to the mix so that the paneer cools down.
- Now strain this using a muslin cloth / napkin and a colander. Wash it multiple times with ice cold water to remove any taste of vinegar or lemon.
- Wring the cloth multiple times to fully drain out water. You can also hang the paneer for a few hours for the water to drain on its own.
Paneer made in this way is best for home use, especially in making tikkis. You can make the tikkis with any vegetable of your choice but it is important to include potato in the mix to hold the tikki together.