I like nothing more than a good spring roll. Add paneer to the mix and you’re halfway there.
I think a good spring roll is summed up by a well seasoned, well spiced filling, and a light, crisp pastry. But this recipe doesn’t make a good spring roll. It makes a whole lotta delicious, taste bud tingling spring rolls. Follow these steps and you won’t be able to keep your mitts off of them.
I made my own paneer by splitting (with ¼ cup lemon juice) around 3 pints of whole, boiling milk, then straining through a piece of cheesecloth. I then pressed the paneer in the cheesecloth with weights to remove excess liquid. If you don’t want to do this then you can buy a block of paneer from any good supermarket, and grate it to use in this recipe.
Peas, sweetcorn and coriander add a mouth-watering lightness that pairs beautifully with the dense paneer. For spicing, I use whole cumin seeds, sesame seeds and lots of coarsely ground black pepper; these ingredients are deliciously warming against the coolness of the fresh coriander, vegetables and paneer.
So, forget your diet, forget your rebellion against deep fried food, forget that you’re cutting out paneer. Forget it all. Okay, maybe I’ll allow you to go for a quick guilt-jog after scoffing a platter full of these, but that’s it. Just kick back, relax and roll.
Just in case you’re not too sure on how to fold spring rolls, I’ve included a simple step-by-step below. I always found the images on the backs of spring roll packets less than helpful when was looking for pointers on how to fold them, so I came up with my own foolproof way which never fails.
Paneer, Sweetcorn and Peas Spring Rolls
(makes 15-20 depending on their size)
1 cup paneer (fresh and crumbled or bought and grated)
1 cup peas (I used frozen petits pois)
1 cup sweetcorn
1 tbsp oil
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp sesame seeds
¼ tsp asafoetida (optional)
1 tsp white chilli powder (or to taste)
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp black pepper, coarsely ground
¼ cup fresh coriander, chopped
½ cup spring onions (including the green part which you must be mad to waste), chopped
Salt to taste
1 packet spring roll pastry sheets (available in the freezer section of all good supermarkets), defrosted
2-3 tbsp plain flour mixed with enough cold water to make a sticky paste
Oil to deep fry (I used sunflower)
1. Heat the oil in a large pan and add the cumin seeds, sesame seeds and asafoetida. Allow it to sizzle for a few seconds and add the paneer, peas and sweetcorn.
2. Sauté for a few minutes and add the white chilli powder, lemon juice and black pepper. Allow to cook for 5 minutes, stirring all the time.
3. Add the salt, coriander and spring onions, combine thoroughly and remove from the heat.
4. Transfer to a bowl to cool.
5. When cooled, used your pristine clean hands to bind the mixture into a well combined filling. This took me a minute or so.
6. Use up all of this filling to fold and roll your spring rolls (using the guide above if needed).
7. When you’re done, you can either put these in a lined tuppaware to freeze and fry later, or fry them straight away.
8. Heat enough oil in a deep pan to fry your spring rolls for a few minutes on a medium heat until golden all over. Drain them on absorbent kitchen paper.
9. Serve the spring rolls with tamarind chutney or just on their own.
-Always take care when deep frying.
-These spring rolls can also be made into samosas by simply changing the way you fold them. I’ve done a step-by-step on how to fold samosas below.