Paneer 65 fry recipe – Paneer 65 is a vegetarian appetizer made by crisp frying paneer and then tossing it in a spicy masala. There are a few different variations of this dish. I have roughly adapted this recipe from this popular Chicken 65 & Gobi 65. There are different 65 dishes available on the Indian restaurant menus and this paneer 65 is one such from the vegetarian section.
65 dishes are quite popular in South Indian Cuisine and is also eaten as a side in a special meal. This paneer 65 fry is moderately spicy, flavorful and tastes delicious. It goes well as a party snack too along with masala tea.
About this recipe
Paneer 65 is a spicy Hyderabadi appetizer made with paneer, flour, yogurt, curry leaves and spices. Firstly paneer is batter fried until crisp and then tossed in a spicy tempering masala.
There are a few different ways to fry paneer for this recipe. The first one is to deep fry. The second one is to shallow fry in little and last one is to bake or air fry.
Many years ago I first posted this recipe showing deep frying method. Years later I moved to shallow frying which I have also shown below. In the recent times I have been using my air fryer to air fry the paneer cubes.
Deep frying not only gives great results with perfect crisp texture but also cooks the paneer inside to a fluffy texture. I somewhat can compare this to the texture of rasgulla where paneer becomes very porous. Here is a picture of the same. This is great if you are making paneer 65 for an occasion.
But with this method, rather than making batter, coating paneer with flour works better as it gives great perfect crisp results without soaking up oil. So for shallow frying, baking and air frying I follow the same.
But the results are much different if the paneer is deep fried. However I have shared all the 3 ways to fry paneer in this post.
Paneer 65 tastes different in each restaurant. Some use yogurt while frying and no tempering is done. Some add soya sauce to the tempering while some add tomato sauce etc. This recipe uses yogurt to make the spicy masala & is a typical Hyderabadi style.
1. Add paneer to a bowl. Add ginger garlic paste and salt. Toss for a while so that the ginger garlic coats the paneer.
2. Add flours, chili powder and garam masala.
3. Toss for the paneer to get coated with the dry flour. Then sprinkle water little by little as needed to coat the paneer with flour.
4. Shallow frying: Heat oil in a pan. When the oil turns hot, add the paneer cubes to the oil one after the other. Do not disturb for minute then flip and fry till golden. Drain them on a kitchen tissue.
How to make paneer 65 fry
5. Transfer the left over oil to a bowl and keep a tsp oil in the pan. Add cumin. When it sizzles, add garlic and fry for a while. Add curry leaves, onions and chilies.
6. When the onions are lightly fried, add 3 tbsp yogurt and chili powder. Mix well and saute until masala becomes thick like a paste. Immediately add fried paneer. If you want more moist masala add more yogurt. But it will soften the crisp fried paneer immediately.
7. Saute on a high flame till the masala coats the paneer well. Switch off the stove.
Paneer 65 is ready to serve.
As mentioned in the introduction of this post, this is a very old picture where I would deep fry the paneer to get the crisp results. I follow the same method to coat the paneer. Just that these are deep fried on a medium high flame so the paneer turns porous from inside and crisp from outside.
Remove the fried paneer to a colander. If you want you may double fry but I don’t.
For the tempering blend together 4 to 6 soaked Kashmiri red chilies (or red chilli powder), 2 garlic cloves, 3 to 4 tablespoons yogurt & little beetroot juice for color (optional, this won’t change the flavor). For the rest I follow the same.
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- 250 grams paneer cubed (2 heaped cups)
- 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
- ¼ to ⅓ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
- 4 tablespoon cornstarch (white corn flour)
- 3 tablespoon all-purpose flour (maida) or rice flour
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon red chili powder (low heat chilli powder)
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon garam masala
- 4 to 5 tablespoons oil (or as needed for deep frying)
- 2 to 3 garlic cloves chopped finely or paste
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- 1 to 2 green chilies (slit or chopped)
- ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds (optional)
- 1 medium onion cubed, layers separated
- 3 tablespoon yogurt
- ½ teaspoon red chili powder (low heat chilli powder)
- ⅓ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
- Add to a mixing bowl, paneer, ginger garlic paste and salt.
- Toss for the ginger garlic to coat well.
- Add all-purpose flour, corn starch, red chili powder and garam masala.
- Toss everything well. Sprinkle water as needed and toss.
- The flour should coat the cubes well evenly. Do not use lot of water. We want the paneer to be coated well with the flour and spices. The batter coating has to be thick and not runny.
- If needed can sprinkle more flour if more water has been added accidentally. Set this aside for 5 minutes.
How to fry paneer
- Shallow frying or deep frying: Heat oil for shallow frying or deep frying. Check if the oil is hot enough by dropping little batter to the oil. It must rise without browning. This is the right temperature
- Gently drop the paneer cubes one by one to the oil. Make sure they are spaced apart in the oil so they don't clump up.
- Do not disturb them for a minute. Then stir them and fry until golden and crisp. Remove to a colander or plate. Transfer the left over oil to a bowl and retain just one tsp oil in the pan.
- Air fryer: Place the paneer cubes on a perforated tray or wired /mesh rack and air fry for 12 minutes at 180 C or 360 F. I do not turn them to the other side as they get done easily on both the sides on the rack. If needed you may do it after 10 minutes and air fry for another 2 to 3 minutes until dry and crisp.
- Do not try to turn the pieces when the batter is still moist. Let it dry out completely only then turn them to the other side.
Making paneer 65
- Add chopped garlic and cumin to the hot oil. Allow the cumin to splutter and garlic to fry lightly.
- Next add onions, chilies and curry leaves. Fry just for 2 minutes until the onions turn transparent yet remain crunchy.
- Then add yogurt and red chili powder. Stir and fry till the yogurt becomes thick like a masala paste.
- Add fried paneer and toss in the masala.
- Serve paneer 65 as an appetizer or side in a meal.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
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