Red Rice Poha Panko-Crusted Paneer

Panko crumbs are what make all your deep fried restaurant favourites crisp and crunchy. These are typically made from sliced bread, usually white. We’re using the flavourful, whole grain red rice poha instead of bread to make a stock of ready-to-use “panko” crumbs that can be used to crust meats or croquettes (nearly anything that you like crumb-fried). Here’s how to use the crumbs in a simple recipe for Panko-crusted Paneer!

Ingredients:

  • 100 grams Red Rice Poha
  • 200 grams firm paneer
  • 1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind paste
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin seed powder
  • ½ teaspoon coriander seed powder
  • ¾ teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
  • 1 large pinch Kasuri Methi
  • ¼ teaspoon chaat masala
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons mustard oil

Method:

  1. First, make the Red Rice Poha crumbs: in a thick bottomed pan, place the Red Rice Poha and dry-roast for 4-5 minutes on medium heat until the poha crisps up and begins to just change colour. You could also do this in an oven at 120 degrees centigrade for 10-12 minutes.
  2. Remove from the pan and allow to cool for 5 minutes; then, using your hands or a mortar and pestle, simply crush the roasted poha to desired consistency. It’s a good idea to stop before it becomes too powdery or the crumb will burn while cooking.
  3. Now, cut the paneer into big pieces—the shape doesn’t matter—and keep ready.
  4. Mix all the dry spices, tamarind paste and ginger-garlic paste with 1 tablespoon of mustard oil.
  5. Coat the paneer in this marinade.
  6. Dredge the paneer in the poha crumb.
  7. Heat the remaining one tablespoon of oil in a pan. Place the crumbed paneer into the pan and pan-grill for 2 minutes on medium heat. Then, flip and cook on the second side until you have a light golden colour and a crisp crust.
  8. Remove and serve immediately as part of a main course or on its own as a starter.

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