It’s back to school and one of the highlights of my day is to fix a super quick, super delicious and nourishing after school snack in my 3pm coffee break. The older boy catches a train and bus back from high school while the younger one either catches the bus or walks home. By the time they get home, they are ravenous. The mid-day lunch is history after nearly a hour playing soccer or walking around. My boys love a hot savoury snack and it requires a bit more effort than the pre-baked muffins or a cheese platter but I love the challenge of coming up with something tasty in a short amount of time. These Paneer Chilli And Charred Corn Fritters are just that. A quick snack that is based on the famous deep fried Corn Pakoras from India, my version is lighter and healthier. It also ticks off all the major food groups. Pair it with a quick nourishing smoothie and the afternoons suddenly become super charged. When I shared this on my Instagram, so many of you asked for the recipe so here it is.
One could argue that using frozen corn kernels (thawed in hot water for a minute) could cut down on the preparation time and they would be right. I often use this method when I make Corn and Zucchini Fritters or am pressed for time. But for this particular recipe, the charring of the corn brings a new depth of flavour to the paneer and spices. Redolent of street side snacks with their gritty rustic nature, the smell of corn on an open fire is just absolutely divine. I cook on an induction cooktop but have a cheap portable burner like this one for my corn charring needs. I also use it to char eggplant for baba ghanoush, fire roast red peppers and make rotis. Best kitchen investment ever. I also have this amazing corn stripper that makes the kernel removal process a breeze.
You put all ingredients in a bowl and mix. The batter is now ready to be pan-fried. It cannot get quicker or easier than that. And while I sip my coffee and wait for the boys, a plate full of hot fritters is ready to be devoured. The boys love having it with ketchup or a green chutney. I love it with my beloved Sriracha. Just make sure that you season the batter well with salt. One important thing I have learned about making fritters is that if the batter tastes just right, chances are the finished product will be slightly bland. So I season it a bit more and the fritter turns out perfect every single time. This keeps well in the fridge for a day and makes a great lunch when the spices have become more complex. If you make and love this, don’t forget to rate and comment below. I would love to hear your feedback.
- 2 corn cobs, shucked
- 150g paneer, crumbled
- 70g corn meal (or polenta)
- 30g besan (chickpea flour)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon ginger, grated
- 3 spring onions, sliced (green only)
- 1/4 cup packed fresh coriander leaves, chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried red chilli flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt flakes (extra to taste)
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons Greek yoghurt
- olive oil, for pan frying
- 120 ml warm water
- Place shucked corn on an open fire and roast until kernels start charring all over. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Using a shark knife or corn stripper, remove the kernels into a bowl.
- Add paneer, corn meal, besan, garlic, ginger, spring onions, coriander, chilli flakes, garam masala and salt. Toss lightly to mix.
- Add egg, yoghurt and warm water. Stir until just combined. Taste and adjust seasoning (salt). It should taste a bit salty as the taste will mellow after pan frying.
- Drizzle olive oil in a medium 20-24 cm shallow frying pan on medium low. Scoop 1/3rd cup batter into the pan. Pan fry each side for 3-5 minutes, turning gently until golden on both sides. (I use a tablespoon of olive oil for 3 fritters at once in one batch). Repeat with the remaining batter.
- Serve hot with a fresh salad, salsa or your favourite sauce with a wedge of lime on the side.
If you don’t have corn cobs, use 1 1/2 cups of frozen corn kernels. Thaw them in hot boiling water for a couple of minutes and drain.
You don’t have to use all the corn but an abundance of it means a textural, juicy fritter.