Learn how to make Paneer Stuffed Mirchi Bajji/Pakoda ~ Spicy mashed potato and paneer/Indian cottage cheese stuffed chillies coated in spicy gram flour batter and deep fried till crisp
Coming here after months is deja vu all over again! The feeling is same as unlocking the house that has been locked for months. My feet makes an imprint on the thin coat of dust on the floor as I gingerly step inside the house which at the m. My eyes well up from sneezing uncontrollably as I
lift the dust covers from the furniture.The house starts to feel like a home as the cobwebs are brushed off and the floor is wiped sparkling clean… And finally the sense of belonging hugs me as I sit back and look around the familiar surrounding. I am home… Finally!
I have been away from blogging and social network for a very long time now. Although it wasn’t intentional, a long break from social media was simply rejuvenating and helped me clear my mind from the narcissist world of social network! This break helped me in rekindling my love affair with books, yoga and meditation. We as a family have been spending more time with one another, rediscovering the forgotten lanes of Bangalore, visiting our old favourite food joints, finding new favourites, introducing Lil Dumpling to the vibrant Indian culture, visiting family and friends, making new friends and of course, cooking family meals together.
With the winter month slowly wrapping us in its cold blanket, my craving for deep fried food has bounced back like Lil Dumpling jumping on his trampoline. The more I resist the temptation and try to push it away, it hits back me like a boomerang! So finally I found myself succumbing to the deep fried sin and decided to make some Paneer stuffed Mirchi Bajji/Pakoda at home. When you sin, you sin with complete abandon!
The Paneer Stuffed Mirchi Bajji/Pakoda is one of the simple but also tastiest recipes which I usually reserve for celebratory days like birthdays and Diwali. The green chillies that are used are a larger variety of chillies which are milder than the smaller spicy ones. These chillies are light green in colour and are sold as Bajji or Bhajiya chillies in Indian grocery stores. They taste similar to green bell peppers and have similar texture.
For the spicy stuffing I have used boiled and mashed potatoes and grated paneer flavoured with aromatic spices. The stuffing is quite simple with no overpowering spices. If you are cooking for kids, simply skip the green chillies and reduce the amount of red chilli powder and garam masala to suit their mild taste buds. The spicy paneer and potato filling is stuffed in to green chillies and coated in spicy gram flour batter before deep frying to crisp and golden perfection. The crisp coating and melts in mouth paneer stuffing makes these hot Paneer Stuffed Mirchi Bajji/Pakoda a fantastic appetizer to treat your taste buds. Do make them when you want to treat your special guests or just when you want to treat yourself to some fantastic food! Trust me, this is one sin you will not regret of committing. :)
Ingredients for Paneer Stuffed Mirchi Bajji/Pakoda
Stuffed chillies before deep frying
Stuffed chillies after deep frying
Paneer Stuffed Mirchi Bajji/Pakoda (Spicy mashed potato and paneer/Indian cottage cheese stuffed chillies coated in spicy gram flour batter and deep fried till crisp)
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cooking Time: 15 mins
Recipe Level: Easy/Beginner to Intermediate
Spice Level: Medium
Serves: 6-8 People
Shelf Life: Best served fresh but can be refrigerated for a day or two (Read notes)
Serving Suggestion: As an appetizer with any chutney or sauce or tomato ketchup
8-10 Bajji Chillies
Oil for Deep Frying
For the outer coating:
1 cup Besan/Gram Flour
1 tbsp Rice Flour
½-1 tsp Red Chilli Powder (Adjust as per taste)
A generous pinch of Hing/Asafoetida
½ tsp Carom Seeds
¾ tsp Jeera/Cumin Seeds
A pinch of Baking Soda (Optional)
¾-1 tsp Salt (Adjust as per taste)
For the filling/stuffing:
1½ - 2 cups cooked and mashed Potato
1½ - 2 cups Paneer/Indian Cottage Cheese, grated
2-3 Green Chillies, finely chopped (Optional. Adjust as per taste)
1 inch Ginger, peeled and finely chopped or grated
1 tsp Jeera/Cumin Seeds
2 tsp Dhania/Coriander Powder
1 tsp Amchur/Dry Mango Powder
½-1 tsp Red Chilli Powder (Adjust as per taste)
½ tsp Haldi/Turmeric Powder
1/2 -1 tsp Garam Masala (Adjust as per taste)
2 tbsp Fresh Coriander Leaves, finely chopped
Salt to taste
Prepare the Spiced Paneer and Potato Filling:
- Take grated paneer and mashed potatoes in a bowl and add all the ingredients listed above (finely chopped green chillies, ginger, dry mango powder, red chilli powder, turmeric, cumin seeds, garam masala, chopped coriander leaves) along with salt to taste.
- Mix them well with a help of spoon or fingers so that all the ingredients are evenly mixed.
- Keep it aside until needed.
Prepare the Gram Flour Paste:
- Take sifted gram flour in a mixing bowl and to this add rice flour, baking soda, cumin seeds, carom seeds, red chilli powder, hing and salt to taste. Mix them well with a help of whisk or your fingers.
- Pour little water at time to make fairly thick paste. This paste is little thicker than the usual pakoda batter. Whisk the paste well to remove any lumps. Keep it aside until needed.
- Heat oil in a deep fryer or pan on low to medium flame.
- Cut the bajji chillies into two equal sized pieces. Slit the bajji chilli on one side and carefully discard the seeds and membranes. Take care not to break the chillies.
- Carefully stuff the green chilli with the spiced paneer and mashed potato mixture and arrange them on a plate.
- Once you have stuffed all the bajji chilli pieces dip them in a spicy gram flour paste. Make sure that the chillies are coated well with the paste on all the sides.
- Gently drop them in heated oil and deep fry them in batches of 2-3 pakoras at time until they turn golden brown and crisp.
- Once cooked, remove the Paneer Stuffed Mirchi Bajji/Pakoda using slotted spoon into a bowl lined with kitchen towel to remove excess oil.
- Serve these delicious Paneer Stuffed Mirchi Bajji/Pakoda with any chutney or tomato ketchup for tea time snack and enjoy!
Paneer Stuffed Mirchi Bajji/Pakoda ~ Spicy mashed potato and paneer/Indian cottage cheese stuffed chillies coated in spicy gram flour batter and deep fried till crisp
- Although it tastes best when served fresh, you can refrigerate for 2 days in air tight container. When needed, place them in a baking tray and pop them in an oven heated at 180 deg C for 10-12 minutes, turning once after 6 minutes to crisp both sides.
- To test if the oil is hot enough, drop of gram flour paste into the oil. Ideally it should slowly float to the surface of the oil. If paste ball sinks to the bottom and stays there, then the oil is not hot enough. Similarly, if it quickly floats to the top as well as browns quickly, then the oil is too hot.
- Always deep fry the Pakodas on medium flame so that it cooks evenly from every side.