Healthy paneer recipes for weight loss – healthy paneer popcorn recipe with step-by-step photos and video. Completely oil-free and baked. low-fat, low-calorie healthy snack/appetizer which is suitable vegetarian diets especially if you are trying to lose weight or counting calories.
Healthy Paneer popcorn is a baked version of the popular paneer popcorn recipe which was inspired from KFC popcorn chicken suitable for vegetarians, especially for paneer lovers.
Paneer popcorn is a popular appetizer or snack usually deep-fried in oil to get the crispy outer layer. I love paneer and making a healthy version of paneer popcorn has been on my list for a long time.
Ths recipe of healthy paneer popcorn is ideal for weight loss and calories counting diets. The best part about this the paneer popcorn recipe is that they remain crunchy even after several hours(if only you ever need to store them for that long lol)
This recipe for healthy paneer popcorn or paneer nuggets can be weight loss friendly because it
- satisfies your cravings for deep-fried food without extra calories and fat.
- is extremely crunchy and tasty(think of those mid-meal snack cravings!)
- guilt-free snack as it is oil-free and baked making it a healthier option and everyday food.
- is protein-rich and calcium-rich.
Paneer for weight loss
Paneer is a variety of Indian fresh cheese made using curdling milk with the help of an acidic agent like lemon juice or vinegar. It is usually non-melty and doesn’t contain any animal products other than just milk. It is difficult to imagine Indian vegetarian cuisine without paneer.
Paneer Tikka, Matar Paneer and Paneer butter masala are some popular paneer dishes that usually people are afraid of eating when trying to lose weight. But these popular dishes can be made healthy easily at home.
Paneer is a good source of protein especially for vegetarians who do not get their intake from meat products. Since it is full of protein, it is beneficial for muscle repair and slow energy release making it ideal for weight loss. It also helps strengthen the bones and teeth.
Indian takeaways in Britain will not do enough justice to any paneer dishes in my views. The restaurants that offer you tasty paneer dishes use loads of oil and cream.
Where to get Paneer?
It is usually sold in Indian/Asian grocery shops all over the UK but lately big giant supermarkets like Tescos and Asda have also been selling these Indian cottage cheese blocks. They are available in the cheese section or sometimes in the yoghurts isle. just like normal cheese, check the date carefully before purchasing.
Making Paneer at home
It is very easy if you have little patience, The paneer you get in shops is usually hard and added with preservatives to increase the shelf life. homemade paneer is more crumbly and softer than the store-bought paneer.
any homemade stuff, It tastes amazingly fresh. I am trying to create a tutorial for homemade paneer but there are many amazing recipes on the internet already for your reference. I recommend this recipe from one of my blogger friends that is quite popular.
Ingredients and substitutes
you can use the paneer pop corn recipe as a base for any kind of nuggets.
Paneer cheese – either homemade or store-bought but you need them in little bite-size cubes. You can use tofu in place of paneer for a vegan version. I am yet to experiment on cheddar cheese.
Eggs for Coating – I used egg wash before rolling them on breadcrumbs. You can use a mixture of cornflour and white flour or besan(chickpea) flour instead of egg.
Breadcrumbs -Now to the interesting part, I actually used crumbled Weetabix as breadcrumbs for my healthy paneer popcorn recipe. I added a very small portion of store-bought breadcrumbs but can easily skip from my experience.
You can also use no-sugar cornflakes, blitzed oats, whole meal bread blitzed instead of store bought breadcrumbs.
Spices – I used Kashmiri red chilli powder for less spice, freshly ground pepper and mixed herbs for coating the paneer as well as seasoning the breadcrumbs. turmeric powder is optional.
Ginger garlic paste – add nice flavor and taste to the paneer and I highly recommend to use to get that Indian flavor.
Tips to get crunchy paneer popcorn
- Assuming you are using store-bought paneer, make sure you soak it in warm water for at least 10-15 minutes which helps in making the paneer soft.
- Cut the paneer into small bite-sized cubes to ensure the inside is baked into golden crispy evenly properly and crispy.
- Do a double coating if you can. Roll in eggs or flour mixture and breadcrumbs, then repeat the process again so it forms a nice and thick coating that turns very crunchy when baked.
- Once you coat the paneer pieces keep them in the fridge for at least 15 minutes so the coating will be set properly.
- Place the paneer pieces on the baking sheet evenly and not crowded absolutely.
Here is how the coated paneer pieces looked before they go into the oven.
Step by step photo recipe for paneer popcorn
- STEP 1 Soak the paneer cubes in warm water for at least 10 minutes. Drain the water and pat dry them using a kitchen tissue. Make sure there is absolutely no excess water.
- STEP 2 Beat an egg into a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Keep it aside. If not using egg, take roughly 2 tablespoons each of white flour and cornflower, add little water and make it into thin batter consistency.
- STEP 3 Add in ginger garlic paste, red chilli powder/paprika, salt, ground black pepper, mixed herbs, coat the paneer pieces well.
- STEP 4 Quickly dip each paneer cube in beaten egg and roll on breadcrumbs. Repeat the process once more which will ensure a dense coating yielding in crispy paneer nuggets.
- STEP 5 Optionally refrigerate them for at least 10-15 minutes while the oven is getting pre-heated.
- STEP 6 Line a baking tray with baking paper and arrange the coated paneer cubes without touching each other.
- STEP 7 Bake them at 180-degree Celsius for 15-18 minutes by checking in between.
Some other delicious healthy snack recipes to maximize your weight loss efforts.
How to know paneer popcorn is baked completely?
After 10 minutes or so(in a pre-heated oven ideally) the paneer cubes start turning crisper. then after 5 minutes, the colour changes into golden brown indicating the paneer popcorn is properly baked.
How to serve Paneer Popcorn
- Serve it with optional ketchup by minding your daily calorie limit, there is no use if you eat the healthy paneer popcorn or any low-fat foods with high-fat accompaniments if losing weight is your aim.
- I personally eat them without ketchup and they taste very satisfying and crunchy. A glass of diet coke if you prefer.
- Make the healthy paneer popcorn as light lunch too along with some nice salad made of cucumbers, onions and tomatoes.
How to make for vegan and gluten-free diets?
- Replace paneer with tofu cubes. Make sure the tofu is pressed hard to remove any excess moisture.
- Instead of egg, use 2 tablespoons each of white and cornflour mixed with little water, salt and pepper to make it as thin batter.(but not watery). You can also use besan flour.
- Use gluten-free breadcrumbs instead of Weetabix or regular breadcrumbs.
Video recipe for paneer popcorn
Storage and Freezing instructions
Paneer popcorn stays crunchy for at least 3 hours and can be kept in room temperature for a day. It is not suitable for refrigerating as the coating may lose it crunchy texture.
If you want to freeze the nuggets, you could do so by lightly baking them for at least for 5 minutes. Store them in a flat box than ziplock bag as the coating with Weetabix will be very crumbly. But I bet you never need to freeze this recipe as it is absolutely hard to resist them not making immediatey!Print
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