Baked Paneer and Chickpea Cutlets

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
Baked Paneer and Chickpea Cutlets

If you haven't tried paneer cheese, you are missing out on one of the tastiest delights of Indian cuisine. This versatile unripened cheese can be used in a variety of dishes, including soups, salads, main dishes, and even desserts. It has a texture much like firm tofu or ricotta and unlike many other cheeses, does not melt during the cooking process. It is readily available at Indian grocery stores, though you can also make it yourself. Because it has a fairly mild taste, it takes on the flavoring of the ingredients it is paired with.

Also known as tikkis, vegetable cutlets — often bound together with bread soaked in milk — are a popular treat in India. Serve with a chutney or sauce such as hot green chili sauce.

Baked Paneer and Chickpea CutletsBaked Paneer and Chickpea Cutlets
Recipe by
Cuisine: Indian
Published on April 22, 2008

Soft and spicy chickpea, potato and vegetable patties with paneer cheese, baked to a golden brown

Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour

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  • 1/2 cup dried chickpeas (1 1/2 cups cooked or 1 14 oz can)
  • 1 large potato
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 3 large handfuls of fresh spinach
  • 2 cups paneer cheese, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro or parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
  • 2 to 3 green chilies, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger, minced or grated
  • juice from 1 lemon (3 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Rinse the chickpeas and soak for 8 hours or overnight in several inches of water. Drain and rinse, then transfer to a medium saucepan and cover with several inches of fresh water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until the chickpeas are tender. Drain and process in a food processor until the chickpeas resemble coarse crumbs. Set aside.

  • Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables. Roast or boil the potato until tender, and add to a large bowl. Boil the peas for 2 to 3 minutes or until tender, and add to the potatoes. Finally, blanch the spinach by placing in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds or until the spinach turns bright green, before draining and plunging into ice water for a few minutes.

  • Transfer the spinach to the bowl with the potato and peas. Add the paneer cheese, garam masala, ground coriander, turmeric and cayenne, and mash the mixture with a fork or potato masher. Stir in the fresh cilantro or parsley along with the onion, garlic and ground chickpeas.

  • Using a mortar and pestle, make a paste with the ginger and green chilies and stir into the mixture. Finally, stir in the lemon juice and salt.

  • Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat an oven to 350°F. Grease the palms of your hand with some oil and shape the chickpea and potato mixture into 16 to 18 small 2-inch patties and transfer to the prepared baking sheet.

  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, gently flip each cutlet, and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes or until both sides are golden brown. Place under the broiler for another 5 minutes if desired to achieve a deeper brown.

  • Serve hot or warm with your favorite chutney or sauce.

Makes 16 to 18 cutlets or 6 servings

Baked Paneer and Chickpea Cutlets


Anonymous said...

I have to admit that when I read "chickpea cutlets" in my Google Reader, I thought you had made those ubiquitous Veganomicon ones! Thankfully, no. . . these are something I could go for. They look great!

Lisa Turner said...

Interestingly enough, a copy of Veganomicon arrived at the library for me today. I flipped through it quickly and have already considered ways of adding dairy to many of the recipes :)

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

I agree that you absolutely had to participate. I see so many wonderful Indian dishes on your blog:D

Anonymous said...


I never knew you could make such delicious and tempting tikkis baked!!! Thanks for the recipe.


Lisa Turner said...

Baked when not fried is my specialty :)

indosungod said...

Lisa, they look awesome. Do love your chick peas don't you and incorporate them every chance you get :) I am not complaining I love them too and the fact you baked them doubly love it.

Siri said...

the cutlets look delish Lisa and combo of paneer and chickpeas is divine.. isn't it.. great entry!!


test it comm said...

Spiced chick pea, spinach and cheese cutlets sound good! I imagine that they would go well with the green chili sauce.

basil said...

These will be served in heaven.

Frances said...

Lisa - these look fabulous. I can't wait to try them. A friend just told me of an Indian shop nearby that has fresh paneer - these cutlets will be just the excuse for me to try some there!

Jamie said...

Lisa - I just came across your blog this afternoon as I was looking for information regarding your No Croutons Required event. I saw this posting and I absolutely had to comment...this looks amazing! I am a huge fan of anything with paneer in it. I am definitely going to try this and bookmark your blog!

Lisa Turner said...

Thanks very much for that Jamie. I too am a huge fan of paneer. I plan on making butter paneer masala quite soon. I hope you will participate in the next edition of No Croutons Required too! We will be announcing the theme at the end of this month.

LisaRene said...

This is my kind of recipe. I really like foods in "cutlet" form, I find them very satisfying :) So many delicious herbs and spices in these cutlets, they sound wonderful!

Mansi said...

these look very tempting Lisa! thanks for trying out my recipe and adding a lovely chickpea variation to it! I will try this myself:)

TBC said...

They look perfect. And I liked that these are baked...they would be so good with that sauce.

Veda said...

wowww!looks great lisa. i just bought some paneer yesterday. will surely try them and let u know how they turned out!!


Unknown said...

paneer is made from milk soured with lemon juice, isn't it? it tastes like feta. great for fry like this. lovely recipe!!

Lisa Turner said...

Hi Arfi;

There are a few different ways to make paneer, but yes, essentially that is correct. I have linked to a recipe for making paneer in this post.

Unknown said...

Lisa, this is awesome. I will try it soon.
I have a bok from yamuna devi and i remember a cream sauce in the book. I am travelling and my book is in storage. If possible can you send me that recipe because I think that will go well with this. Thanks.
My email is