Paneer Masala Puffs

Hello friends!! We have wanted to share a recipe that I (the eldest and obviously best Kapoor sibling) worked on during quarantine. It’s a bit elaborate but the end results are yumilicious (Mama Kapoor’s words not mine)! We introduce to you, the paneer masala puff! The hotter cousin to our friendly neighborhood samosa. This puff is exactly the kind of pick me up you need during quarantine. I mean y’all this recipe has creamy PANEER, buttery flaky layers and is best enjoyed with a hot cup of chai, need I say anymore? Hope wherever you are in the world this dish brings a smile to your face during these quarantine times!

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seed
  • 0.5 onion diced
  • 2-3 cloves of fresh garlic chopped or minced
  • 3 tablespoons crushed tomatoes or 1 tomato chopped
  • 0.5 tablespoon turmeric
  • 1.5 tablespoon garam masala (we use MDH brands which can be found at an Indian store)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • 0.5 tablespoon chili powder (I usually use Indian red chili powder if that can’t be found please substitute with cayenne or paprika according to your spice level!)
  • Salt as needed or about 1 tablespoons
  • 1 block of paneer or firm tofu (About 12-14 ounces! Bonus fresh paneer recipe!)
  • 2/3 cup frozen peas (Any veggie of your choice can be used!)
  • 1 package puff pastry (I used Peperridge Farm)

Directions:

  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit before you start cooking the filling to ensure it is ready for you.
  2. Using your hands crumble up the block of paneer.
  3. In a pan, heat the oil on a medium flame.
  4. Once the oil is hot add cumin seeds (Tip: you can tell if the oil is hot enough by testing 1 cumin seed to ensures it sizzles but doesn’t burn).
  5. After the cumin has been toasted add the chopped onion and sauté until fragrant.
  6. Add the garlic and tomato to the filling and sauté until soft and cooked through.
  7. Add the turmeric, garam masala, cumin, red chili powder, and salt to the filling. Sauté until you see the oil separate from the tomatoes.
  8. Mix in the peas with the filling in the pan.
  9. Once the filling is well-incorporated add the crumbled paneer and put the lid on the pan for 2-3 mins. Make sure you stir the filling often so it doesn’t burn at the bottom and to coat all of the filling.
  10. In order to make 9 puffs, cut the puff pastry into 18 pieces and divide up the filling on 9 of those pieces. Close the puffs with the remaining pieces and crimp the edges with a fork.
  11. Place the puffs on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until golden. Don’t forget to check up on these bad boys!
  12. Rest the baked puffs for 10 minutes before eating. Enjoy!

Easy Paneer Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 gallon of whole milk
  • 3-5 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (lemon/lime juice/ or white wine vinegar can be substituted)
  • Salt to taste

Directions

  1. On a medium flame heat milk in a sauce pan till it boils. Stir often to make sure that the milk does not burn at the top. Tip: you can place the saucepans lid on top of the milk to get it to boil evenly and without burning the bottom however, be careful to avoid the milk boiling over and creating a mess.
  2. Once the milk has boiled turn off the heat and add the vinegar slowly by tablespoon (took me about 4 tablespoons). The milk should start to become curdled. Wait 5-10 minutes to ensure that the milk has fully curdled with white curds being clearly visible in the almost clear whey. Be patient. If you do not see curds forming try to add 1/2-1 more tablespoon of the acid. Depending on the potency of your choice you could need more.
  3. After the whey and curds have fully separated. Pour the mixture in the saucepan to a cheesecloth lined bowl.
  4. Squeeze out any excess moisture and salt the mixture to your taste.
  5. Once the curds have been squeezed to your desired consistency shape the paneer in a block form. If you feel your cheese is not solid enough please proceed with step 6 if not skip to step 7.
  6. Place the paneer block on a plate and put another plate on top of the block of paneer to press down on the paneer to rid it of excess moisture. If you prefer an even drier paneer place a weighted object such as canned vegetable/bowl/bag of beans. Press the paneer for 10-30 minutes depending on your desired consistency.
  7. Cover the paneer and refrigerate until it’s ready to be used!

***The above are recommendations and what we personally found to make this tasty for our taste buds. Please feel free to adjust to your taste. Cooking is about following your gut and knowing yourself and your taste buds!***

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