Who doesn’t like Spring Rolls? Seriously, Asian or not, you are bound to order this favorite appetizer when you go to any Asian restaurant, not because there’s nothing else to order, simply because these babies are so good you just can’t keep your hands off these! Traditionally, Spring Rolls are made in wonton-style wrappers, filled with a choice of your favorite veggies and meat, then deep fried to make crispy yummy appetizers.
Being an Indian, I couldn’t help myself to add some Indian twist to this recipe – so I thought, why not throw in some deliciously crumbly paneer to? And instead of taking the easy way out of suing pre-made wrappers, i decided to go the more traditional way that uses pastry flour as a base for making the dough for the wrappers, similar to what you’d use in making Samosas or Kachoris in India. Dhivya’s recipe for Paneer Rolls and my craving to make some Vegetarian Thai Spring Rolls led to this culinary inspiration that I aptly call Vegetarian Paneer Spring Rolls:) The end result is so good, even the non-Indians would yearn to try these. The paneer when fried makes for a yummy cheesy filling that nicely binds together the other ingredients, while the cabbage, mushrooms and shallots combined with the garlic and ginger give it the authentic Asian taste that makes them worthy of being labeled as Delicious Indo-Asian Appetizers. [Photo by Dhivya Kartik]
Vegetarian Paneer Spring Rolls
For the wrapper
2 cups all purpose flour (or use wheat flour)
1 tbsp ghee/oil (optional)
salt to taste
** You can use Spring Roll wrappers/sheets instead
For the Stuffing
3/4 cup crumbled Paneer
3/4 cup green cabbage, chopped into thin pieces
2 medium carrots – grated
4 shallots – finely chopped
2 green onions – chopped
3/4 cup shiitake or portabello mushrooms, sliced thin
1-2 green chillies, chopped finely (or as per taste)
1-2 cloves of garlic, finely minced (or as per taste)
1 inch ginger, peeled and grated
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
salt for the filling – add to taste
Add all the ingredients for the wrapper together in a bowl. Add enough water to make it into a pliable dough. Knead well until smooth.
Meanwhile prepare the filling. Take a wok, add 1 tbsp sesame oil, and toss in all the ingredients for the filling. Saute until the vegetables are soft, but not too cooked. Add seasoning and soy sauce according to your taste. Remove from heat and toss until well mixed.
Making the Spring Rolls
Take the dough (divide into two or three smaller pieces) and roll it out into a large rectangle. Then cut them into smaller rectangles, about 3-4 inches wide and 6-8 inches long.
Take one rectangular strip. Add the stuffing on one end of the rectangle making sure to leave about 1 inch near the edges. Roll it twice, then pinch the edges on both sides of the roll to prevent the filling from seeping out during frying. Now continue rolling until you reach the other longer end of the roll. Apply a finger tip of oil, or egg wash, or flour-mixed-in-water before folding over the last part so that the edges stick to one another and won’t fail while frying.
If you need some photos to show you how to do it, here’s a Photo Tutorial on How to Make Spring Rolls. Just follow the steps, until you are ready to fry them.
Heat oil in a pan and fry the spring rolls up in hot oil until crisp and reddish brown in color.
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