These Paneer and Pomegranate Parcels are filled with spicy paneer and bursts of sweet pomegranate. Encased in filo and served with chutneys.
I love flavour, and I love dishes that are visually bold but also take you on a bit of a journey with every bite.
And that’s one of the reasons I’m always obsessed with chaat. For anyone unfamiliar with chaat, it is an Indian style of dishes that are incredibly popular.
Chaat is bold, with flavours of spicy, sweet, salty, and sour. Combined with textures of crunchy, smooth, hot, and cold. It’s a mix match of everything in the most bold and beautiful way.
This recipe is another version of a chaat dish, but using Paneer and Pomegranate Parcels as the base.
Paneer and Pomegranate Parcels
These parcels are filled with spiced paneer filling, with bursts of sweet and juicy pomegranates. All encased in layers of buttery, crispy, flaky filo.
It’s a mouthful of flavour when you get the salty and spicy paneer along with the fresh sweetness from the pomegranates. All in a crispy bite with hints of chaat masala.
I’m genuinely craving these as I type this out, and I can’t wait to make them again. You’ll feel the same way once you’ve tried them!
The real key step here is the chaat masala butter, it’s game changing.
Chaat masala butter
You heard that right! Chaat masala butter is everything we need, and more.
Butter infused with chaat masala provides another layer of seasoning between the filo sheets. Chaat masala is salty, sour, and there’s also a hint of sweetness.
For anyone unfamiliar with chaat masala, it is a spice mix made from a combination of ground spices. Usually containing dried mango powder (amchoor), coriander, cumin, black salt, pepper, and chilli powder.
It adds multiple dimensions to dishes as it provides a sour, sweet, peppery flavour that’s essential for Indian street food. It really does bring out the street food-esque vibe here.
But if you can’t get a hold of it, use melted butter between the filo layers, it will still be great!
How did this recipe come about?
We’re huge chaat people in my house, we absolutely love anything and everything chaat related.
This recipe actually came about when I was in charge of Diwali appetisers. I always try to make it fun and bring something a little new to the table. But something that also stays true to what we love.
Anything wrapped up in filo and served as a parcel always goes down well. It’s easy to serve, easy to eat, and there’s always a little surprise as you wonder what’s encased within those golden, flaky layers.
It just made perfect sense to turn these parcels into chaat. Not only is it visually appealing with all the bright colours, but each chutney adds another dimension.
There are layers upon layers of flavour and texture, which come together to form something that is delightful to eat.
What you’ll need
The full recipe can be found at the end of the blogpost
(I’ll run through some of the more niche ingredients here)
- Filo pastry – a thin pastry that consists of just flour, water and oil. It’s unleavened and hence does not rise. It comes pre-packaged in thin sheets. It’s used in some pastries and desserts (e.g. baklava) and takes on a golden appearance once baked. It CANNOT be substituted, short crust and puff pastry will not work here.
- Paneer – An Indian cheese that’s made by curdling milk with some form of acid. The whey is then strained out and the curds are compressed to form a cohesive block. Because it hasn’t been seasoned, it’s pretty flavourless on its own. It also has quite a rubbery texture – though fresh paneer is much softer and more creamy. Most large supermarkets will stock paneer in the refrigerated section, however it can also be found in Indian supermarkets. You’ll normally find it sold in blocks, but if you really struggle then make your own. There are some great recipes online and videos on Youtube.
- Kasuri methi – Dried fenugreek leaves, a popular Indian herb. They have a flavour profile somewhere between celery and fennel. They’re bitter if used in large amounts but enhance many dishes when used appropriately. Can be purchased online or from Indian supermarkets but feel free to omit if you can’t get hold of it.
- Chaat masala – A spice mix made from a combination of ground spices. Usually dried mango powder (amchoor), coriander, cumin, black salt, pepper, and chilli powder. It adds multiple dimensions to dishes as it provides a sour, sweet, peppery flavour that’s essential for Indian street food. If you can’t get a hold of it, just use melted butter between the filo layers
How to make these Paneer and Pomegranate Parcels (photos)
Let’s start with the paneer filling
1+2) In a pan sauté the red onion, garlic, and green chilli for around 1 minute over a medium heat
3) Then add in the peppers and sauté for a further minute
4) Next add in the tomato paste, chilli powder, garam masala, kasuri methi, and salt
5) Continue to sauté until the peppers have softened
6) Then add all the grated paneer and mix to combine
7) Pass the steamed/boiled potato through a potato ricer or a grater and add this in. This helps to prevent lumps
8) Mix the filling until completely combined
9+10) Add the pomegranates and mix in until they look evenly distributed
Now let’s fold the parcels
1+2) Start by infusing the butter with chaat masala. Place both the butter and chaat masala on a low heat and allow it to infuse until it becomes fragrant. This will only take several minutes
3) Cut the filo pastry into thirds, and then halve them. Leave the sheets covered in a lightly damp towel to prevent drying out whilst you’re not using them. Take a sheet of filo and brush with the chaat masala butter
4) Then take a second sheet and place this slightly rotated to form a star like shape. Brush once more with chaat masala butter
5) Take a third sheet and repeat at another angle one again. You should end up with 3 layered filo sheets all at different angles
6) Place a heaped tbsp of the filling into the centre of the sheets
7+8) Hold the parcel in the palm of your hand whilst scrunch up the pastry to seal. Pinch the top slightly to ensure it is completely sealed
9) Don’t worry if they don’t look perfect or if they all look different. The beauty of filo is all in those rough edges which will get super crispy and flaky
10) Place the parcels on a baking tray and bake
11) Once they’re golden all over, your parcels are now done
To serve these up as Paneer and Pomegranate Parcel Chaat
1) Do this right before serving to avoid the parcels becoming soggy. Start by drizzling the cumin yogurt all over the parcels
2) Then drizzle over the vibrant coriander and mint chutney
3) Next drizzle over the tamarind and date chutney
4) Followed by plenty of sev to garnish
5) And finally some more pomegranates
How to make these Paneer and Pomegranate Parcels (video)
Frequently asked questions
Can I prepare the Paneer and Pomegranate Parcels in advance?
Yes, you can prepare the parcels in advance PROVIDING that the filling is completely dry. Any moisture will seep through the base and you’ll end up with a broken, soggy parcel.
You can freeze these immediately after assembling, but you do also run the same risk – just make sure your filling is dry. To freeze, place them in a single layer on a lined flat tray and pop into the freezer until frozen.
Then transfer to a freezer safe bag – bake straight from frozen for ~22-25 mins or until golden.
What can I serve these with?
You can serve these Paneer and Pomegranate Parcels as a chaat with yoghurt and chutneys – as I have. I added a coriander chutney and a tamarind and a date chutney.
They also work really well with some sweet chilli sauce or your favourite hot sauce. Honestly you can even enjoy these as they are without any sauce or chutney too.
If you enjoyed this recipe
Please do let me know! Leave a review and a rating below, I’d love to know how you got on.
Until then, happy cooking!
Paneer and Pomegranate Parcels
- 1 250g pack filo pastry (Cut into thirds, and then halved)
- 250 g paneer grated
- 1 small white potato steamed/boiled and grated
- 1 small green pepper finely chopped
- 1 small red pepper finely chopped
- 1 red onion finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 green chilli minced
- 1 tsp dried kasuri methi
- 2 tbsp tomato paste/puree
- 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder or paprika
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 2 tbsp oil of choice
- 1+1/2 tsp salt
- 5 tbsp fresh pomegranate plus extra for garnishing
- 4 tbsp butter
- 3 tsp chaat masala
Coriander and Mint Chutney
- 60 g fresh coriander
- 25 g fresh mint
- 1 inch piece of ginger
- 1/2 lemon squeezed
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 25 ml water
- 3 ice cubes
- 5-6 tbsp ground nuts/ground daal this will thicken the chutney. Ground urad/chana daal/peanuts/cashews will all work for example
Tamarind and date chutney
- 100 g tamarind I use wet seedless tamarind which is a lot easier
- 100 g dates seeds removed
- 2 tbsp jaggery or sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 6 tbsp natural yogurt
- 1 tsp roasted ground cumin
- Pinch caster sugar
- Pinch salt
To serve as chaat
- sev these are small pieces of crunchy 'noodles' made from chickpea flour, for garnishing
- pomegranates for garnishing
For the Paneer and Pomegranate filling:
- In a pan, sauté your onions, garlic, and green chilli for around 1 minute over a medium heat
- Then add in the peppers and sauté for a further minute
- Next add in the tomato paste, chilli powder, garam masala, kasuri methi, and salt
- Continue to cook until the peppers have softened, around another minute. Then add the grated paneer and mix to combine
- Pass the steamed or boiled potato through a potato ricer or a grater and add this in. This helps to prevent lumps. Mix until completely combined
- Finally add in the pomegranates and mix in until they appear to be evenly distributed
To fold the parcels:
- First preheat your oven to 180'C fan/200'C conventional
- Begin by infusing your butter with the chaat masala. Simply melt the butter on a low heat along with the chaat masala and allow it to infuse and become fragrant. This will only require several minutes
- Cut the filo pastry into thirds, and then halve them. Leave the sheets covered in a lightly damp towel to prevent drying out whilst you're not using them
- Take a sheet of filo and brush with the chaat masala butter. Then take a second sheet and place this slightly rotated to form a star like shape. Brush once more with chaat masala butter. Take a third sheet and repeat at another angle one again. You should end up with 3 layered filo sheets all at different angles
- Place a heaped tbsp of the filling into the centre of the sheets and then hold the parcel in the palm of your hand whilst scrunch up the pastry to seal. Pinch the top slightly to ensure it is completely sealed
- Place the parcels on a baking tray and bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden all over
Coriander and mint chutney
- Place all ingredients in a blender including the ice cubes, and blitz till smooth. Then place in the fridge for 1 hour
Tamarind and date chutney
- Place the tamarind and dates into a pot of boiling water. I'd recommend around 1L of water. Simmer on medium heat with the pan partially covered until the tamarind and dates have softened
- You may need to check this periodically to ensure there is enough water
- Once softened, pass through a sieve to remove any flesh or skin
- Season to taste, if more sweetness is desired grate in the jaggery or add the sugar
- The chutney can be thinned out by adding more water, or thickened by simmering further
- Simply mix all ingredients together
To assemble these parcels as chaat
- (Do this right before serving)
- Drizzle the parcels with the cumin yogurt, followed by the coriander and mint chutney, and then the tamarind and date chutney
- Top with crunchy sev and more pomegranates