Aloo paneer aur channa pakora

Aloo paneer aur channa pakora

Fried Indian cheese with potatoes and yellow split peas

Mr Todiwala's Bombay
Helen Cathcart

An interesting little street food item, made with nutritious channa daal (yellow split peas) which is ideal for a starter, a midday snack or for afternoon tea. Chaat masala is available from Indian stores and some supermarkets. Try haloumi or feta if you cannot get paneer but they are saltier. Other cheeses that give a good flavour are strong cheddar or red Leicester.


Quantity Ingredient
100g yellow split peas, soaked for several hours in cold water, then drained and dried
1 cm piece fresh ginger, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves
10 mint leaves
100g paneer
1 large floury potato, boiled, peeled and mashed
1 small red onion, grated or finely chopped
1 tablespoon coriander leaves, chopped
1 small green chilli, seeded, if liked, and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon chaat masala
a little chickpea flour
15-20 young spinach leaves, finely shredded
salt and coarsely crushed black pepper
vegetable oil, for deep-frying

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
sliced fresh tomatoes
or Hari chutney


  1. Blitz the split peas, ginger, garlic and mint together in a food processor until the mixture has the consistency of coarse breadcrumbs. Add the paneer and process again. Tip into a bowl.
  2. Stir in the mashed potato, chopped onion, chopped coriander, the green chilli, cumin, lime juice and chaat masala.
  3. Mix to a soft dough with a little chickpea flour, a spoonful at a time.
  4. Lastly add the shredded spinach leaves and mix them in gently, then season with a little salt and some coarsely crushed black pepper.
  5. Heat the oil for deep-frying. Take a tiny bit of the mixture and fry until golden. Drain on paper towels then check the seasoning and correct, if necessary.
  6. Shape the dough into 40–50 small balls and deep-fry a few at a time, so as not to cool the oil too rapidly, until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Reheat the oil between batches and keep the balls warm whilst cooking the remainder.
  7. Serve with fresh tomato or green chutney.
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