Recipes, Vegetarian
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Paneer Tikka Arancini Balls

Here’s the recipe for my twist on Arancini, fabulous little breaded balls of creamy risotto. Paneer Tikka Arancini balls are filled with spiced biryani and delicious Indian Paneer cheese, which is similar to mild halloumi when cold and oozes like mozzarella when hot. You’ve just gotta try them.

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For the paneer tikka biryani:

  • 1 onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3 inch piece of ginger
  • ½ red chilli
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • a pinch of saffron
  • 100g risotto rice
  • 200ml hot chicken stock
  • 1 tin of coconut milk
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 packet of paneer
  • 1 small bunch of coriander

For dredging:

  • 1 egg
  • 75g flour
  • dried breadcrumbs (not golden)
  • oil, for deep frying

Finely dice the onion, then bash and chop up the ginger and garlic, and finely chop the chilli. Dry fry the mustard, coriander and cumin seeds in a frying pan on a medium heat until the mustard seeds pop. Remove and grind up in a pestle and mortar to make a rough powder.

Add a glug of oil to a sauce pan and cook the onion on a medium heat for about 4 minutes until they start to go golden. Then add the ginger, garlic, chilli, toasted spices and curry powders and cook for another minute.

Pour in your risotto rice and stir through all the ingredients for about 30 seconds. Mix the saffron with your hot stock, add a ladle and stir through until it is absorbed. Keep adding the stock a ladle at a time until it is absorbed into the risotto.

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Crumble up all the paneer into smallish chunks. Then add half of the paneer to the risotto with the coconut milk and keep stirring for about 15 minutes until the risotto is rice and thick. Season with salt and pepper. Finely chop the coriander and add. Mix through the remaining paneer and lay the risotto out flat on a baking tray so that it cools quicker and pop in the fridge until completely cold.

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Take three oven dishes – pour flour into one, the egg into another and the breadcrumbs into a third. Vaguely whisk the egg in the dish.Remove your risotto from the fridge and divide it into equal side balls, rolling between your hands. The mixture should hold together but be a little sticky and wet. Once these have all been made, put back on the tray in the fridge to firm up.

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Take the risotto balls and one at a time roll in flour, then in the egg, then finish in the breadcrumbs.

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Heat up your oil in a saucepan until a cube of bread fizzes and goes golden in 15 – 20 seconds (not too hot). Deep fry your arancini balls gently for about 4-5 minutes until they are golden all over.

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