Cooking up an appetizer this time for my girl pals at Free Spirit Bloggers!
Nags picked the theme this month and wanted us to prepare a savory appetizer that can be made in advance if needed but should be a recipe that can easily be made for upto 50 people. And this came to my mind immediately. I infact also made it for a party at home for 25 people. But, unfortunately, we all got so engrossed in the party that I totally forgot to take pictures of the final huge plate of about 75 -80 paneer pakodas. Thankfully, I had just a few leftover and was able to click the pictures the next day of the finished product. So, please excuse me for not having great pictures this time. I do love the recipe and have already made it a few times now - so its still worth publishing this.
Two thin layers of paneer are sandwiched with a thin layer of spicy green chutney in the center and is then dipped in batter and deep fried. That's pretty much the recipe. And yes, it is totally devoured after that.
To make the green chutney filling, here's what we need -
Coriander Seeds - 2 tbsp
Cumin Seeds - 1 tbsp
Ginger - chopped into small bits (about 1-2 tbsp)
Green Chilli - 2-3 roughly chopped
Red chilli - 1-2 (optional)
Onions - about 1/2 cup
Fresh Mint - 1 1/2 big bunch
Fresh Cilantro - 1 big bunch
Fry all the spices together in a tsp of oil until for a couple of mins. This includes coriander seeds, cumin seeds, green chillies, red chillies and ginger.
Then, add the onions and fry till translucent.
Add the fresh washed mint leaves - these are leaves just plucked from my garden. As fresh as they get. From plant to pot in 30 secs. Fry for a min till the mint leaves wilt.
Wash a bunch of cilantro - leave tender stems as is - its going to get ground up anyways. Add the cilantro leaves to the pan as well and fry for a min.
Cool down everything and then grind to a coarse paste by adding just a few drops of water (if needed). This will be the filling in between the paneer pieces.
I used fresh homemade paneer - that's why its a little crumbly but it also was supersoft. Cut even sized thin slices of the paneer and set aside.
Pick two pieces and stuff 1/2 tsp of filling in the middle and press together well. Do this until you have used up all the paneer and set aside. You can cover this with a moist cloth just to preserve the moisture if needed. This can also be covered and stored in the refrigerator for upto 2 days before the party.
There's my one set of paneer pieces ready to be dunked and fried.
Now for the batter. Here's what goes in here -
Besan - 1 cup
Rice Flour - 2 tbsps
Salt - to taste
Red Chilli powder - about 1 tsp
Hing - a pinch
Mix all ingredients together and make a semi thick paste. The batter should be just thin enough to form a perfect coating over the paneer.
Dip each set into the batter and fry in hot oil until they turn golden.
Again, I'm so sorry that I don't have the final picture of the 75 pakodas! I really wish at least one of us had clicked the picture that day. We were all so busy chatting and partying -and the food just flew into everyone's mouth - no time for pictures!
Anyways - I have at least a couple of pictures to show you guys.
Cut them up and you see the little green tenderness in the middle. If you want to be more creative, you can also add another colorful layer of maybe a tomato based chutney - then we'll have all the colors of the Indian flag in here!
Enjoy some perfect pick me up paneer pakodas!
Check out all the other awesome posts from my gal pals at FSB. Nags, Dhivya, Siri, Lata, Deepthi, Mads, Mridhu,
Can't wait to cook next month with you gals!
Enjoy. Peace out!