My latest experiment with paneer was inspired by Mansi's recipe for Spinach and Paneer Cutlets. Also known as tikkis, vegetable cutlets, often bound together with bread soaked in milk, are a popular treat in India. Never content to simply follow a recipe, I left out the bread and flour, added some chickpeas and came up with a baked tikka that closely resembles a kofta, which is essentially a vegetable dumpling.
Serve with a chutney or sauce such as Hot Green Chili Sauce.
This is my contribution to the next Monthly Mingle. The theme this month is Indian cuisine. How could I not participate?
Paneer and Chickpea Cutlets
1/2 cup of dried chickpeas (roughly 1 1/4 cups cooked)
2 cups of paneer, shredded
3 large handfuls of fresh spinach
1 large potato
1 cup of peas
1/2 cup of fresh coriander or parsley, finely chopped
2 - 3 cloves of garlic, finely minced or crushed
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of garam masala
2 teaspoons of turmeric
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne
2 teaspoons of ground coriander
juice from one lemon
1 - 2 teaspoons of sea salt
2 - 3 green chilies, minced
1 inch piece of ginger, minced
Soak the chickpeas in enough water to cover overnight. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cook until the chickpeas are tender - about 1 hour. Drain, and process in a food processor until the chickpeas resemble coarse crumbs. Set aside.
Boil the potato until tender. Boil the peas until tender. Blanch the spinach, pat dry with paper towel and finely chop. In a large bowl, mash together the potato and peas. Add the ground spices and paneer and mash together with the peas and potato. Stir in the fresh coriander or parsley, along with the onion, garlic and ground chickpeas. Using a mortar and pestle, make a paste with the ginger and green chilies and stir it into the mixture, along with the lemon juice and salt.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the palms of your hand with some oil and shape the dough into small cutlets and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes, gently flip each cutlet and bake for another 15 - 20 minutes. Place under the broiler for another 5 minutes if desired.
Makes 16 - 18 cutlets. Serves 6 - 8.