NFL Draft Round 1 is a holiday in my house, and we always make Football Food to celebrate! This particular one is inspired by a very close friend (of Kenneth’s Nacho Tower fame). Last weekend, we attended his and his beautiful bride’s wedding…but the night before the big day, they had their rehearsal dinner at an Indian Buffet. One of the appetizers was Paneer Pakora (which I’d never had before). It’s a paneer morsel that’s dredged in a seasoned chickpea flour and fried. As I enjoyed the an inordinate number of them, the cogs in my noggin started creaking and turning. A little less than a week later, and we had these fried morsels on our plate as a fun Fusion component to our dinner. It worked really well, especially because paneer doesn’t melt, so it holds up strongly to cooking.
Normally, we like to pair Buffalo Sauce with Blue Cheese, but since this recipe is essentially fried cheese bites, we figured we’d not over-cheese the evening. We did however double down on Buffalo Sauce and make Buffalo Cauliflower Tacos as our entree. Go Bills!
Time: 20 Minutes
- 1 Cup All Purpose Flour
- 1/2 Cup Warm Water
- Celery Salt (although regular salt will work in a pinch…pun intended)
- Garlic Powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
- Buffalo Sauce
- Slice your paneer in half longways to make two large squares of half the thickness. Then, cut each half into four squares, and cut each of those into two triangles.
- Add your flour, salt, garlic powder, and baking powder to a large bowl. Then, stir in your water while beating with a fork to fully incorporate. It should generate a thick paste.
- Heat some oil in a cast iron pan.
- As the pan and oil heat, work a few pieces at a time to coat your paneer bites in the batter, and place them in the oil. Then, work on your next batch of paneer.
- When your paneer bites are golden brown on the bottom, flip, and cook on the other side.
- When both sides are crispy, remove, and set aside. If making a large batch, have your oven set to 200 degrees F, and place your paneer on a baking sheet in the oven as it comes out of the oil to keep hot as the rest cook.
- When all of your paneer is done, toss the bites in buffalo sauce in a large bowl to coat.
- Plate, devour, and enjoy!