Paneer Cigars


Paneer Cigars, such a fun appetizer for Christmas. It’s filled with so much flavor. Paneer mixture is minty, spicy, cheesy, and lemony. It is wrapped in phyllo sheet and baked until golden brown. The cheese gets ooey-gooey and the crust is golden and flaky! I served the paneer cigars with green chutney and it was soooo delicious.  Paneer Cigars are such a fun fusion appetizer that will surely be a crowd pleaser!! You can even pretend it was a real cigar and you were smoking it in Cuba if you wish… no? okay then I’ll keep my lame jokes to myself 😂

You can premake this mixture up-to a couple of days and assemble on the day of. Paneer Cigars also go great with some chai or coffee! My ginger spiced latte and a Paneer cigar on a rainy afternoon is match made in heaven. Try it and let me know what you think, but I can almost guarantee that you won’t be disappointed. I hope you enjoy these paneer cigars as much as we did. I can’t wait to see your recreation, so tag me @zheelicious

P.S, head over to my IG, I’m showing you a step by step of this recipe!!

Stay happy, stay hungry!


Prep time: 10 minutesCook time: 20 minutesTotal time: 30 minutesMakes: 15 cigars

Ingredients:

  • 1 pack of phyllo pastry sheets, thawed
  • 2 ½ cups paneer, shredded or crumbled 
  • ⅓ cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 4 green chilies 
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 3 large cloves of garlic
  • ½ cup onion, finely diced 
  • ⅓ cup red bell pepper, finely diced 
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise 
  • ½ cup cheddar or mozzarella cheese, shredded 
  • 1 ½ tsp chaat masala 
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp garam masala 
  • ½ tsp red chili powder 
  • ½ tsp amchur powder 
  • 1 tbsp mint powder or ¼ cup fresh mint, finely chopped
  • Salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

    In a grinder, grind ginger, garlic, and chilies together until it’s a paste. Set aside until ready to use.

  2. mHeat a pan, add some oil, then add cumin seeds. Once they splatter add in your chopped onions, then add the ginger garlic and chili paste.

    Cook for a minute or two.

  3. Add in the red peppers, cook for about a minute.

    Turn off the stove and set it aside until ready to use. 

  4. In a bowl add your shredded paneer, mayo, the cooked pepper onion mixture, cilantro, cheese, add all your spices/ masalas.

    Mix everything really well until it is all incorporated.

  5. Take about 2-3 phyllo sheets (cover the rest with a cold towel so it doesn’t dry out). Put about 1-2 tbsp of the paneer mixture on there, roll the sheets like a little burrito, seal it with water or butter and put it on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. 

    Repeat this step until all the ‘cigars’ are filled.

  6. Spray the cigars with cooking spray. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until it is golden brown.

  7. Sprinkle more chaat masala and enjoy with green chutney or chai!


Notes:

  • You can use vegan mayo if you don’t eat eggs. 
  • I used cheddar/ mexican blend cheese. 
  • You can use butter to seal the cigar instead of water. 
  • You can also air fry them at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, just make sure to check on them halfway. 
  • I used Athen’s brand Phyllo dough, which can be found at most grocery stores. 

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