This dish is a “Matrimonio Mixto,” Spanish for Mixed marriage. Serve it hot and it’s something that you can definitely use to impress people with your culinary skills. The appetizer, I am talking about can be categorized as fritter, which are made of cheese, but it’s not just another Paneer Pakora. It is the scrumptious union of two amazing cultures. I bring to you “Queso Frito de la India” (The fried cheese from India;) or simply Paneer Pakoda with Mexican Twist. It’s a marriage of Mexican cheese (Queso Fresco) with special Indian ingredient Gram flour (or Besan.)
Now, you know these Paneer Pakoda (Cheese Fritters) is a combination of Queso fresco and gram flour and some other ingredients. Queso fresco, means fresh cheese and we will be using “Casero,” which stands for homemade. Homemade fresh cheese is our main ingredient, but this time not made in our homes. For now buy it from some local grocery outlet like Safeway or Costco.
The Hispanic Cheeses are in and there are many kinds with some differences. Interested in finding more about these Cheeses; Go to the links given; http://www.specialcheese.com/queso.htm
The other main ingredient is Gram flour or Chickpea flour. It is frequently used in cooking in India and Bangladesh. It is also a good facial exfoliant. One can easily buy it in an Indian market. Now comes all the other ingredients and procedure for this dish.
1 Block Fresh Cheese “Casero” (Cut into 1 inch rectangular pieces)
- ½ Cup gram/ Chickpea flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ salt
- ½ tsp red chili powder
- 1 tsp oregano leaves
- 1 tsp oregano seeds (Ajwain)
- ½ cup milk
- 1 Cup bread crumbs (seasoned)
• Sift Gram flour, baking powder and salt in a medium sized bowl. To this crumbing mixture add chili powder and both oregano leaves and salt. Make sure that the mixture remains dry at all times.
• For coating, dip the cheese pieces in milk and then put in the gram flour mixture. Move the piece around so that a thin layer of gram flour is formed all around the cheese. Do not drip milk in the crumbing mixture. Coat all the cheese pieces and let them dry for about 30 mins.
• Once dry, Dip each piece in milk and apply breadcrumbs to it and put it in the hot oil for frying. Fry until brown. Serve hot with green cilantro chutney. And Enjoy!!!