Many a movie sessions we have gathered round the television, laughed at the humor or cried when emotions got the better of us. Then there were days we debated for the hero or against the hero! Mom and dad on one side and sis and I on the other. Off the record, sis & I usually won!
Movie time means snacks are not far behind. Now I am getting to the point, right? 😉 And each weekend it was fun to try out new and interesting cocktail snacks. Sometimes its an elaborate recipe or on some days a quick one or maybe a bit traditional or its kebab theme occasionally. Interesting twists & surprises like this make movie time all the more fun and memorable! One such starter was this spicy Paneer Kohlapuri Dry! With rains pouring outside and a good movie awaiting, a spicy and tempting starter is a must on the menu.
Kohlapuri recipes are usually loaded with spices and bit on the spicier side. This Paneer kohlapuri one of those very more-ish and deadly cocktail snack with flavor of whole spices and chillies.
Spicy Maharashtrian spice blend in its dry version
- Paneer (Indian cottage cheese – 250 gms, cubes)
- Vegetable oil – to deep fry
To grind to paste
- Ginger – ½” piece (peeled)
- Garlic – 4 to 6 cloves
- Black peppercorns – 3 to 4
- Cloves – 2
- Seeds of 2 green cardamoms
- Cumin seeds (jeera – 1.5 tsp)
- Coriander seeds (dhania – 1.5 tbsp)
- Cinnamon – ½” stick
- Fennel seeds (saunf – 1 tsp)
- Red chilli powder – 1 tsp or to taste
- Salt – to taste
- Juice of ½ to 1 lime
- Gram flour (besan – 4 to 5 tbsp)
- Thick curd – 2 tbsp
- Cilantro – 1 tbsp (chopped)
- Kasoori methi (dry fenugreek leaves – 2 tsp)
- Oma/ ajwain/ carom seeds – a pinch
- Salt – ¼ tsp or to taste
- Red chilli powder – ½ tsp or to taste
- fresh chopped coriander leaves
- onion rings/laccha onions (lime wedges, mint chutney)
- Wash paneer. You may soak in warm water for 3 mins to soften them, if frozen. Drain.
- Grind together all the ingredients under ‘paste’ using just a dash of water if needed to blend. Taste & adjust salt.
- In a mixing bowl put the paneer cubes, paste. Mix gently so that masala coats paneer well. Cover and refrigerate till serving time.
- At serving time, heat oil in a kadai/ deep fry pan.
- Sprinkle the paneer with the coating ingredients and mix well to coat. Add some more besan if paste does not stick to paneer well.
- Deep fry few cubes of paneer at a time till golden brown.
- Garnish and serve hot!
The ground paste may seem a bit strong & spicy when you taste it but it reduces after adding coating ingredients. So adjust spice level as per taste.
Adapted from Nita Mehta