Crispy Thread Paneer is a very famous Indo-Chinese appetizer. This dish is not only tasty, but looks really interesting too. Logs of paneer are marinated in hot sauces, covered with shredded filo dough and deep fried. Generally served with either hot sauce or a sweet chili sauce, this appetizer is a common dish in most Indo-Chinese joints in Mumbai.
However, after moving to US, I have not seen this dish in any restaurant in the Bay Area. Then I was on a lookout for shredded filo dough. I finally laid my hands on a box of Kataifi in a near-by Indian store. If you want to look at how Kataifi is, Check this out on Amazon. You can find it in the frozen aisle at a Mediterranean or Indian store. The box is a pretty huge one, and can be used for multiple dishes.
To store the kataifi, keep it in the freezer. Before using, place the box in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. Then place it on the kitchen counter till it is completely thawed. Use the kataifi as required and wrap the remaining in a ziplock bag and store in the freezer.
Crispy thread paneer is such a cute dish to make from filo dough. It essentially has a lot of crispy strands and at the centre is a marinated piece of paneer. The fried dish is tasty and crispy on the outside, with a soft and flavorful centre. Enjoy it as a snack or serve it as an appetizer.
Paneer 1 block (250 grams)
Kataifi (shredded filo)
Corn Starch ½ cup
Sriracha Hot Garlic Sauce 4 tbsp
Schezwan Sauce 2 tbsp
Vinegar 1 tsp
Soy Sauce 1 tsp
Oil to fry
Spring Onion greens to garnish
Remove Kataifi from the freezer and place it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. Then, rest the kataifi on the kitchen counter.
Thaw the paneer and cut into logs of half inch thickness and 4-5 inches length. In a large bowl, mix sriracha garlic sauce, schezwan sauce, vinegar, soy sauce and some salt. Add a pinch of sugar too. Mix it well with ¼ cup corn starch. Dip the paneer pieces in the sauce and coat them on all sides. Let it rest for 20-30 minutes.
After that time, sprinkle the rest of the corn starch on the paneer pieces. Remove kataifi from packaging and take a quantity of the strands that will cover one paneer piece completely. Wrap the strands around the paneer and use the cornstarch mixture to seal the edges.
Repeat the process for all the paneer pieces. Heat oil in a wok and once hot, fry the paneer wrapped in kataifi. Garnish with finely chopped spring onion greens and serve hot with Sriracha chili sauce or store bought sweet chili sauce.
For other Indo-Chinese dishes, click here.