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Paneer rolls: An easy to make tea-time snack for rainy season

They are now happily married and settled in Australia. Today, in their 60s I wonder if they ever think back and recollect how they first met. I wonder if it was her paneer rolls which she had contributed to the potluck dinner or her amazing doe-shaped eyes which won Terence’s heart. The dancing and music which started at 9 pm went on till 5 am.

Paneer rolls: An easy to make tea-time snack for rainy season
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Chennai

NASIK’S RSI club was only  for the defence personnel  and we celebrated all the festivals there. For the Christmas celebration in 1976, we decided to break the tradition.

Instead of going to the RSI ball, we went to the Railway Club. We had just staged a successful fashion show for the Deolali Army Unit for their annual day. Two models, who were part of the show, Gina and Lorraine had invited us for a party. It was a mix of the Airforce and Army as the Nasik base had both. LT Chand, Lt AJ Singh, Lt HB Singh, Flying officer Terence Dsouza, Flying officer Rakesh Kacker, Flt Lt Madhukar Verma, Mrs Kelly, Gina and myself drove to the railway club carrying hampers of food and drinks.

My friends started dancing, except for Terence. The quiet and good looking pilot stood near me sipping his drink. The music changed to slow melodies and the singer put all her feelings into the songs. I suddenly saw Terence's eyes transfixed on a pretty young Lorraine. Both stood transfixed staring at each other. It was love at first sight for Lorraine and Terence.

They are now happily married and settled in Australia. Today, in their 60s I wonder if they ever think back and recollect how they first met. I wonder if it was her paneer rolls which she had contributed to the potluck dinner or her amazing doe-shaped eyes which won Terence’s heart. The dancing and music which started at 9 pm went on till 5 am.

Seeing Terence and Lorraine dance to the tune of The Last Waltz brought tears to my eyes. How wonderful is the world with love, good friends and great food. The dinner table was laden with goodies and food of all kinds. Plum cakes, dumplings filled with Indian spices, tarts, roast chicken, biryani, stew, aloo dum, bebinca, vindaloo and the paneer roll which won Terence’s heart.

Persian and Afghan rulers introduced paneer to India in the 16th century. Made from goat or sheep rennet, cheeses were the predecessors of modern paneer. Later, Portughese introduced chenna or paneer in Bengal in the 17th century by squeezing lime in hot milk.

PANEER ROLLS RECIPE

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4
Calories: 210 per roll


INGREDIENTS

Butter: 1 tbsp
Paneer/cottage cheese: 1 cup of small cubes or grated
Sesame or any oil of choice: 1/2 cup
Onion: 1 big, finely chopped
Ginger garlic paste: 1 tsp
Turmeric: 1/2 tsp
Kashmiri chilli powder: 1 tsp
Roasted coriander powder:1tsp
Cumin powder: 1 tsp
Garam masala: 1tsp
Bangalore tomatoes pulp: 1 cup
Salt: to taste
Capsicum: 1 sliced
Coriander: 2 tbsp, finely chopped
Cashew nuts: ½ cup roasted and powdered
Chaat masala: 1 tsp
Amchur: ½ tsp
Maida: 1 big cup
Ghee: 3 tbsp
Red chillies: 5 roasted and ground with oil Potato: 1 boiled and
cut into tiny bits or smashed
Cabbage: ¼ cup,
shredded Carrots: ¼ cup
shredded Ajwain: ¼
tsp Curd: ½ cup

METHOD
 
*Marinate the small pieces of paneer in the freshly-made chilli powder with salt and lemon juice for 10 min In a non-stick or heavy bottom kadai, pour 1 tsp ghee and 1 tsp oil. When hot, fry onions, ginger-garlic paste.

*When it turns brown, add cashew nut powder, potato, capsicum and carrot. Add some more oil & saute
 till almost done and then add cabbage Saute everything for 3 mins.

*Then add cumin powder, salt, Kashmiri chilli powder, garam masala, coriander powder and turmeric powder.

*Saute well for 2 more minutes.
 
*Now add the paneer and saute for 3 min on medium flame. Paneer cooks very fast.
 
*In a separate kadai, add ghee and cook the tomato puree with ajwain and salt.
 
*When condensed, switch off and add to the paneer mixture. It will be more like a sauce.

*Keep the entire mix on the stove, add chaat masala and amchur. Switch off after one boil.

*The filling is ready Take a bowl and knead maida with water, ajwain, turmeric , amchur and salt. You can use curd to the kneading to make it even tastier.

*Knead well and keep covered with wet cloth.

*After ten minutes, roll out like rotis and cook on a tawa with ghee Once rotis are done, take each roti, stuff the paneer filling, roll it, seal with a toothpick and apply butter on top Places on tray and grill in the oven for 5 minutes at 220 degrees.

*If the oven is not there, grill directly on gas on a mesh or tava.

*Serve hot with any chutney or sauce of your choice
 
KITCHEN TIPS

*Homemade paneer tastes best. While boiling milk, squeeze a lime in it.

*When it splits, tie it in a muslin cloth - you’ll get soft creamy paneer Never overcook
paneer.

*It becomes hard Paneer can also be substituted with shredded chicken
or soy.
 

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