rice balls

Paneer Arancini

This summer, we’ve been swimming religiously and you know how you get these hankerings for protein right after a good swim? My favorite vegetarian protein source is Paneer. Its amazing as a kebab, or grilled with some spices with a salad on the side, and of course, as a curry! I generally eat an egg for protein or make myself lentil salads, but I’d made Paneer Butter Masala the previous day, and had half a chunk of the cheese left, which I didn’t want sitting in the fridge for too long, only to end up trashing it.

So, to salvage my paneer, I fried up these yummy Paneer Arancini balls to treat myself and here’s the recipe:

Ingredients (makes 10-12 balls):

  • 2 cups grated/crumbled Paneer
  • 1/4 cup Grated Carrots
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cabbage
  • 1/4 cup coarsely crushed green peas
  • 1/4 cup coarsely crushed corn
  • 1/2 cup cooked brown or white rice (your main binding agent)
  • 2 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 2 tsp coriander powder (optional)
  • 1 tbsp corn starch (also a binder)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  • Steam the carrots, peas, corn and cabbage and squeeze out the water from the steamed veggies
  • In a bowl, combine the paneer, steamed veggies and all the condiments. Add or subtract spices according to taste
  • Mash the cooked rice and add it and the corn flour to the mixture and start forming balls. We’re making vegetarian balls, which is why I’m using rice and corn starch as a binding agent. You can totally substitute the rice for an egg also. Oh, cooked quinoa works too!
  • heat a pan with some oil and fry the balls in it. These don’t need to cook a lot, so as long as an even golden coloring appears on the balls, you’re good.

There you go, treat yo’ self to these golden beauties (and then go work out)! Quick note – If you’re vegan, you could try substituting the paneer for some firm tofu. You can have these just as is with some ketchup, or toss them in some szechuan sauce and pair ’em with some vegetable hakka noodles.

Typically, arancini balls  have gooey cheesy centers, which I’ve omited here. If you want a cheesy center, add a cube of mozarella or fontina when shaping the balls.