Paneer Pakora


It's not a party if Paneer Pakora aren't at the table



In my series titled “5 Party Foods from Around the World,” I learned about a delicious Indian dish called paneer pakora. Consisting of two thin pieces of paneer, a layer of green chutney, flour, and spices, this fried delicacy is a staple item at any Indian function. With a load of traditional ingredients you don’t see in Western cooking, paneer pakora may just replace your favorite Indian dish.

I was gifted this paneer pakora recipe from Japneet, who is from the Punjab region of India and Pakistan. Though she now resides in Seattle, this Indian classic is still one of her favorite party foods. When Japneet was younger, she was a picky eater, but these comforting fried snacks were available at any gathering. She therefore associates the dish with reliability, comfort, and home. 

Whenever I’m in India, paneer pakoda is one of my go-to party appetizers. Though I’d never made it myself, I found the cooking process quite easy! Paneer, a South Asian type of cheese, is a delicious primary ingredient in this dish. Between two slices of paneer, you’ll spread a layer of green chutney before dipping the entire piece in a mixture of gram flour and spices like cumin and coriander seeds. Once you deep fry these pieces until light golden brown, you can dust them off with chaat masala while hot and serve with imli or tamarind chutney. 

The final product is a crispy exterior fry that becomes soft in your mouth as you complete your bite. The eno used in this dish makes each piece very fluffy, allowing minimal crunch and a pleasant balance between crispness and softness. If you like paneer, you will love this dish. You can even make fresh, homemade paneer if you don’t have access to it. However, if you don’t eat cheese, tofu is an excellent replacement.

Trying paneer pakora may help you broaden your scope of Indian food, especially if your current favorites are samosas or chicken tikka masala. After all, there’s a reason this dish is eaten often and throughout India!

Watch the Video

Paneer Pakora


  • Deep Fryer


  • 250 grams Paneer Softened and cut into cubs
  • 2 tsp Chili Powder
  • 2 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1 tsp Chaat Masala
  • 1 tsp Kasuri Methi
  • 1/2 tsp Salt

Stuffed Pakora

  • 1/4 cup Coriander or Schezwan Chutney


  • 1 1/4 cup Besan Flour
  • 3 tbsp Rice Flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1/8 tsp Hing
  • 1 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste
  • 1/4 ts Eno or Baking Soda
  • 1/2 cup Water up to 3/4 cup
  • Oil for frying


  • If your paneer is hard, soften it in warm water for around 10-15 minutes.
  • For dry rub pakoras: mix all the masala ingredients in a bowl. Add the cubed paneer to this and toss. Leave for 10-15 minutes.
  • To make stuffed paneer pakoras, slice the cub in half but not the whole way through, leave attached at the end. Spread some chutney inside the "sandwich" and remove any excess from the sides.
  • Make the batter by adding the besan, rice flour, chilli powder, hing, salt, ginger garlic paste, baking soda and mix well. Once these ingredients have combined, add water little by little to make a thick but runny batter. It should stick to the paneer and not drip off.
  • Dip the paneer into the batter and immediately fry
  • The batter will puff up a bit, fry until they are a light brown, turning them halfway to ensure they cook on both sides!
  • Sprinkle with a little chaat masala and serve with chutney or Maggi Hot and Sweet!


Recipe inspired by My Food Story
Course: Snack
Region: Asia
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Keyword: Crowd-pleaser, Kid Friendly, Party Food


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