Rainy days and pakoda! Well I say that is just an excuse. Who wants to wait for a rainy day to have garmagaram pakoda. Pakodas are a regular thing for us Bengalis. It is our “bikeler chaa khawar”. Roughly translated it means that after a heavy duty lunch of rice, sheddo (boiled vegetable), dal, torkari (vegetable dish), maach (fish), chatni and topped off with at least two rosogollas, we need some sustenance in the evening with our tea. If nothing else muri (puffed rice) will do. Of course that muri has to be garnished with achar oil, chopped onions, fried peas and chanachur. And if you have guests coming over then it definitely has to be some pakoda on the side.
If you go out to the market you will invariably come across shops selling pakodas like aloopakoda, beguni, kofipakoda, mirchipakoda, bread pakoda(yes that too).
150 gms panner, cut into fingers
½ cup besan
5 tbsp cornflour
2 tbsp poppy seeds
1 tsp kalonji
¼ tsp baking powder
Salt to taste
½ tsp turmeric powder
Make a thick batter of the besan, cornflour, salt, turmeric, kalonji, poppy seeds and baking powder. Keep aside for 20 minutes. Now dip the paneer fingers in the batter and deep fry.