Crispy paneer fingers with a spicy cilantro-mint chutney is the perfect recipe for an evening snack or party food. Vegetarian, keto-friendly and so yum!
Another great party starter is this paneer pepper fry. Do check it out:)
How on earth do you resist a snack that makes you drool at first sight?
Sigh! You don't.
These paneer fingers are that snack. Paired with a fresh and very healthy green chutney, they are totally and one hundred percent addictive. I can think of so many excuses to make them: they are perfect as a party appetizer, as finger food for game day or as a quick snack for kids in the evening. Paneer recipes for kids were never this easy or tasty.
If you're not familiar with paneer, it is a delicious Indian cottage cheese that is easily available in most markets. Unlike many varieties of cheese, it doesn't melt when it is heated but retains its chunky and firm texture. Yet, it is very soft to bite into and melts in the mouth, literally. What's more, you can make it at home if you're even a wee bit adventurous. Here's an easy paneer recipe if you're in the mood to make it from scratch. If not, just head to any Indian store and ask for it. These days, even big supermarkets like Walmart or Superstore in Canada carry it right alongside the other cheeses.
Anyhow, back to paneer fingers. Here's what you need if you're making them.
ingredients for making paneer fingers
1. Paneer - available in 350 or 375 grams packaged slabs in the chiller section of supermarkets.
2. Mint and cilantro leaves - a bunch each of both will suffice
3. A small tomato, chopped
4. A few pods garlic, peeled
5. A green chilli or fresh crushed red chilli or red chilli powder - in this recipe, I have used fresh red chilli
6. All-purpose flour or maida
8. Crushed black pepper
10. Cooking oil for deep frying (or shallow frying if you so prefer)
And you need salt, of course.
how to make paneer fingers
Like most of my paneer recipes, this is an easy one. There are four basic steps to making it.
Step 1 - make the green chutney
This chutney or dip serves a dual purpose. Half of it is added to the batter we'll make in step 2 and half is used as a dip with the paneer fingers. To make the chutney, all you need to do is to put the cilantro, mint, garlic, tomato and green chilli (or red chilli) in a blender and whizz. Add salt and mix well. Divide it into two bowls.
Step 2 - make the batter
Take the all-purpose flour, cornflour, black pepper and salt in a shallow bowl and add one cup water to make a thick batter. Add half of the green chutney above to it and mix well. Your batter is ready.
Step 3 - prep the paneer
Take the slab of paneer and cut it into long pieces. Dip a piece in the batter, then coat with breadcrumbs. Repeat for all the pieces.
Step 4 - deep fry the paneer (or shallow fry)
Heat some oil in a skillet or frying pan and drop the paneer fingers in it, taking care not to overcrowd the pan. Wait for them to turn brown, then flip. It is not necessary to deep fry though. Deep frying gives a more even golden-brown colour to the paneer, but if deep-frying stuff gives you the jitters (like it does me), shallow fry the pieces by all means.
Take out the hot paneer fingers on a platter and serve with some cilantro-mint chutney.
More Indian snacks and appetizers you will love
- 1 bunch mint leaves stalks removed
- 1 bunch cilantro leaves
- 1 tomato small, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic peeled
- 1 green chilli
- 4 tablespoon flour
- 2 tablespoon cornflour
- ½ teaspoon black pepper crushed
- ½ teaspoon salt adjust to taste
- 12 oz paneer
- ½ cup breadcrumbs
- 1 cup cooking oil for frying
- Put the mint, cilantro, tomato, garlic and green chilli in a blender and whizz until smooth. Add salt. Divide the chutney equally into two bowls.
- Take the all-purpose flour, cornflour, black pepper powder and salt in a bowl and add 1 cup water. Mix to a thick consistency.
- Add half of the green chutney that you set aside earlier to the batter above. Add more water if required.
- Cut the paneer into long fingers.
- Dip the paneer pieces in the batter first, then roll in breadcrumbs.
- Heat oil in a pan until smoking hot and carefully slide in the battered and breaded paneer pieces. Fry until golden brown. Take them out on absorbent kitchen paper and serve hot with green chutney.
- Instead of a green chilli, you can use one teaspoon red chilli powder or crushed fresh red chillies. Whatever you may have at hand will do.