Indian Vegetarian Chicken Drumstick (Paneer Lollipop) Recipe
One of the main aims of this blog has always been to make a vegetarian or Vegan version of a non-vegetarian dish possible. Instead of going for the obvious "mock meats" as an substitute, I choose to use more natural and organic substitutes. Nothing against mock meats except that long list of artificial ingredients at the back of those boxes which scares me away! There is enough toxic in the body without even trying - why go and invite more trouble? Then to rectify we pop in more pills which pave way for more side effects. Its an infectious circle which I try hard to stay away from.
Indian Vegetarian Chicken Drumstick (Paneer Lollipop) Recipe
To me, having never tasted meat, the idea is not to recreate a vegetarian version for the flavor nostalgia. Its more about having an protein option since these are almost always very protein rich. I remembered these drumsticks that I had in mind to be tried for a long time. This recipe is from famous Indian Chef Sanjeev Kapoor. It is a vegetarian version of the famous Chicken Drumstick or Chicken lollipop. The vegetarian version uses Indian cheese "Paneer" and potatoes to substitute the chicken. Like I have mentioned many a times, Paneer matches close to the texture of chicken (at least, that's what my non vegetarian friends tell me! I wouldn't know better)
Indian Vegetarian Chicken Drumstick (Paneer Lollipop) Recipe
I made v slight modification to the process of the recipe to suit my laziness :) Other than that the recipe remains verbatim. I have given few tips to making the perfect crunchy yet free of all that clingy oil! You don't want a soggy lollipop. Its delicious and great for evening snacks or for entertaining sudden guests. Its sure a hit among kids.
  • Cook time:
  • Prep time:
  • Serves: 4 people
  • Yields: Makes around 12-16 pieces
  • about 2 cups grated Paneer (200gms)
  • 1 inch ginger, peeled and grated
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2-3 green chillies, thinly sliced (or as per taste)
  • 2 large potatoes,chopped
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped v finely
  • 1/2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • salt to taste
  • 13-16 pieces of baby corn (i used the canned variety since I dont get fresh)
  • 2-1/2 tbsp Cornstarch (or you can use cornflour/soyflour etc)
  • about 1/4 cup of all purpose flour (maida)
  • few springs of cilantro/coriander leaves, chopped
1. Steam the potatoes with the skin. If you desire, you can peel it - I like to retain it for the nutrition value.
2. Once steamed, mash it well and add it along with the rest of the ingredients except all purpose flour.
3. You should get a thick. tight dough. Too tight, it will be crumbly so add few drop of water. Too soft, you wont be able to shape it into drumsticks. Add more paneer or cornstarch. Make small rounds of the dough. make sure its smooth.
4. Now pierce the dough round with the thicker end of the baby corn.
5. Slowly using your hands, shape them into drumsticks. Press down the dough over the baby corn so that the edges smoothens out along the edges of the baby corn - like a cone
6. Shape them all likewise.
7. Depending on the amount of dough you use for each drumstick, you will make around 12-16 pieces. Place them in the fridge for some time - like 20 minutes. Though this step is unnecessary, I find that doing it this way before frying not only helps to keep the food intact without disintegrating but also seems to soak up oil less than norm. Remove from the fridge and meanwhile heat some oil for deep frying.
8. Place the all purpose flour in a plate and dust the lollipop with some flour. Remove excess flour by tapping it gently against your hands.
9. Now fry the lollipop/drumstick in batches in oil. make sure its evenly browned it all the sides. Too hot a oil will burn the outside faster. Too low, will make it soggy with oil. Med-high should work perfectly.
10. Drain onto a kitchen/paper towel.
Now serve them hot either with ketchup or with some chilli garlic sauce. You can also use sichuan sauce.
Indian Vegetarian Chicken Drumstick (Paneer Lollipop) Recipe

Recipe Reference

slightly adapted from sanjeev kapoor's recipe

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14 Member Reviews

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By Jyothivalaboju on Jun 1, 2012

I made paneer lollipop just four days back for my food column. I had seen this recipe in a tv show long back. The same proceedure of boiled potato, ginger garlic paste, onion, coriander leaves, grated paneer, cornflour, soya sauce, green chillies, pepper powder. made lollipop with baby corn and rolled in maida and deep fry. It was just awesome..

Recipe Image

By natatscha on Feb 10, 2012

Hi every one

I made them by adding a little bit more paneer and i also added some cheese to the flour and some kentucky flour.

I used grated parmesan sheese

My friends really enjoyed them.

I served them with ketchup and green chatni

Read All 14 Reviews →


By Vinay Mudugal Krishna on Sep 27, 2018

Awesome is just the word.

By sonam on Apr 14, 2016

nice recipe surely going to try....

By Veronica Sheppard on Mar 22, 2015

How creative! I must give this a try. :-D

By ranjani on Jan 30, 2015

Hi.Just a quick question - can this be made in advance like say, couple of hours ahead and reheated while serving? Will it get soggy?It would be great if you can let me know By tomorrow morning (US zone) as I am expecting guests tomo night and would love to make this. Thanks in advance

I havent tried it but I would say prepare the recipe until step 7 in advance. You can fry them before the guests arrive and keep it warm in a preheated/warm oven. --DK

By tannu on Jul 2, 2014

I have tried this recipe for a small get together and it came out superb, everyone liked this idea and taste. hope will see more such innovative recipe from you -Tannu :)

By Ventair Modular kitchen on May 17, 2014

Awesome recipe! A great hit at any dinner party... :) Thanks for sharing such valuable post.

By Zeen on Jul 9, 2013

Can i use chikn mince in this recipie

By Best Simple Recipes on Jun 18, 2013

I am impressed with the concept of drumstick. I haven't heard about it or either for Paneer lollipop. I am excited to taste it and cook on my own.

By GREÇKA / PEYNİR LOLİPOP / İKİ RENKLİ KATMER TATLISI ve dahası.. :) Nasıl Yapılır ve Tarifleri ← on Mar 15, 2013

[...] mu yapsam diye düşünürken,şurada gördüğüm  Hint Mutfağına ait bir reçete,fikrimi değiştirdi.Etkinlik için biçilmiş [...]

By poornima philip on Dec 8, 2012

I was wanting to try something different. This dish seems very attractive and iam sure my husband will love. Thanks. Iam going to try it with a little minced chicked added to it!! :)

By Manashi Medhi on Nov 9, 2012

I like the different recipes you presented...this is the first time i visited your website via google search for homemade pav recipe, I myself is a shaukeen for cooking and is very much interested in learning new recipes..i feel red chillie flakes as well as good quantity of chopped garlic in manchurian recipes adds great taste... :)

By Suha on Oct 18, 2012

:-D Thank you so much for this recipe. I am planning to make it for a dinner. Can I make it in advance and freeze/ refrigerate it?

Form the dough into lollipop step 7 and then refrigerate it.I am not sure how long its good kept this way cos I never keep prepped foods for more than a day in the fridge. Hence personally have no idea. --DK

By judi on Aug 29, 2012

can these be baked in the oven rather than deep fried? this is the third time I have asked this question - still no answer.

I am sorry for the delay. Did not see it earlier. I haven't personally tried baking them hence dunno the exact details it entails, but I am sure you can bake them. I would skip the flour coating in that case. Probably apply some breadcrumb coating or a light coating of oil and bake for probably 15-20 minutes in a 350F oven. You would need to experiment around this to get it right...I will def. post my version when I try baking them next time.--DK

By Your Cookery Book on Aug 29, 2012

When I saw the picture, I thought it's chicken. Very innovative recipe.

By Anamika @ madcookingfusions on Aug 3, 2012

ohh this is so innovative, i really liked the baby corn infusion in it :) ..lovely!

By sanchita on Mar 21, 2012

8-O i thought it was chicken!!!

By Leena Naik on Mar 20, 2012

thanks DK i made this lollipops for my catering order .. n it was really very delicious.. i 'm very thankful to you for sharing such recipes... gt to learn so many things n tricks frm you ,, love you ...:-)

By Sujatha on Jan 18, 2012

Hi DK, Today is the best day ever like the song in Spongebob. I made Paneer Lollipop and it came out very good. I was so scared that the dough will disintegrate after dropping into the oil, it didn't happen. Thanks so much for the wonderful recipe. I owe you a thanks(long due)for one more thing. I came to know from your mysore pak recipe that we can use olive oil for making the same. And I tried and got a nice result , only it is oats mysurpa :-P . Thanks once again for all the nice recipes.

By Sarika on Dec 1, 2011

Tried Paneer lollipop recipe this morning… turned out really wow… added green peas from my side to this recipe

By nainu on Dec 1, 2011

wow looking yummy and innovatiove thanks :)

By priya on Nov 14, 2011

:lol: he recipe is fantastic made it for a party and was wiped out in seconds

By Deepa on Oct 24, 2011

Hi There,You are an awesome cook I have scrolled through lot of receipes of yours and everything is great. This is the best food blog I have been on. Thanks for bringing all the vegetarian goodness to our lives!

By judi on Aug 12, 2011

can these be done in the oven rather than fried?

By Aditi on Aug 12, 2011

i had them .. they were really nice!!!! will try them makin tomorrow...hope i am successful.

By Tried & Tasted – Chef In You Roundup | DesiFood Buzz - Exclusive indian food recipes straight from Indian kitchen. on Jul 15, 2011

[...] roundup..1-3)Sonal Agarwal of Palate Corner tried Baklava from here..Paneer Lollipops from here & finally Chocolate chips & Nut Muffins from here..4)Lata Raja of Flavours and Tastes tried [...]

By MsLynn on Jun 6, 2011

I like the idea- Mine will have black beans in the mash for protein- A Fried Potato Stick is not exactly the best choice for a meal.

By Priya on Mar 14, 2011

Hi Dk, I do remember posting this recipe in How I made this some time last year.Now I am not able to see it..will it get deleted? let me know. cos i have posted other recipes too...

No its does not get deleted Priya, provided you had either a photo or a feedback or both. If there is neither, then it gets deleted

By Judi on Mar 14, 2011

please, please, please - can these be done in the oven? Your site is the most fantastic I have come across! Thank you so much!

By Susan on Mar 9, 2011

you could also use carrot sticks or maybe even large green beans.

By Pari on Dec 23, 2010

Looks yummy ... i am a little no no for fried food can we bake this instead?

By Rajani on Dec 20, 2010

excellent recipe... going over your site now. loving it.

By Rajjesh on Nov 9, 2010

:arrow: I'am most definitly gonna do the paneer lollypop,but goin to put pcs of mozzarella so that once you bite into it the cheese oozes out. :lol: what a devil.............. :twisted:

By Sreelakshmi on Jul 26, 2010

Hi DK, Did not see any pics of Paneer Lollypop..Wanted them to get a clear step my step picture of the recipe..

By farah mohsin on Jun 27, 2010

what can i take instead of baby corn...i cn't get baby corn so plz tell me the substitute of baby corn.....bcoz i want to made this

One of Chef in you facebook page fan suggested using pretzels. Or you can probably try icecream stick?!

By marjorie zacharias on Jun 16, 2010

:-P Im gonna try this yummy recipe for the next party at home.Tnx DK

By Edeth on Jun 11, 2010

That is one of the meat-iest looking non-meat dishes I've ever seen! :) Will try that out in the next week or so.

By shipra on Jun 5, 2010

can we use something else instead of baby corn?

Oh yes! whatever strikes your fancy and creative juices :) --DK

By Priya on Jun 1, 2010

Hi Dk, I just made them today as a snack. It came out very well.My hubby and kid loved it and 2 of my suprise guests loved it.I tried to post it in " I Made This ". but it keeps saying error and was not able to post it :( .Anyways thanks for sharing this recipe and I love your site will keep coming back for more lip smacking dishes. 8) Thanks Priya Naveen P.s i have posted the pic in FB :wink:

By roopa on May 17, 2010

This one rocks DK :) Love the look (better than chicken drumsticks i must say), I am not so fond of the meat version of drumstick, hence this one will be in my thoughts the next time I make/buy paneer :) Lovely post and clicks :)

By Vandna Sohnvi on May 16, 2010

:wink: Good one, it really looks tempting...

By Happy Cook on May 15, 2010

I think every time i come here and look to a new recipe i want tomake them. And this is one of them. Mostly i make chicken lilipop for my carnivorous hubby and daughter. This jus tlooks so so good.

By Hetal on May 14, 2010

I had tried this sometime ago using Sanjeev Kapoor's recipe which was similar to yours. However, my potato mixture was not sticking to the baby corn. Do you know what can I do to avoid this? Thanks a bunch! Hetal

The only reason I can think is that the mixture was too dry. If it was then try adding some liquid (warm water) few trickles or oil so that the mixture is more pliable. If too wet, add more paneer to the mixture. Hope this helps --DK

By Susan on May 12, 2010

I love this idea! I want to do it! I dont know if I will find Paneer here. Its a kind of cheese, isnt it? Can I replace it with Mozarella or something else? This recipe looks like 'coxinha'. Brasilian potato dough stuffed with chicken.. YUMMY!

Oh yes you can replace it with some other cheese. Use a cheese which will not melt all over the oil while frying. :) --DK

By Sonia on May 9, 2010

Gal, it's neat idea! I especially love that 'punch/tail'. :) Will try to fool my hubby by making these chicken lollipop for him. ;) :lol: (p.s.:he's a big chicken lover.) :)

By Kim, Rambling Family Manager on May 8, 2010

I love your philosophy about mock meats and avoiding all those icky additives. I agree wholeheartedly and I'll be checking back for your recipes on a regular basis. These lollipops are making my mouth water!!!

By Cahide & Jibek on May 8, 2010

Looks very healthy and tasty!Greetings from Turkey!

By Elizabeth C. Domingo on May 8, 2010

:-P Clever Idea! Very creative. I really thought it was a chicken drumstick. Looks so yummy. I will try it myself too.

By veggie wedgie on May 8, 2010

How brilliant! :-P

By satya on May 7, 2010

Hi Dk, These look amazing.Just one to make them ahead of time and freeze them so that can use when needed. thank you.

I am not sure of how long is freezing time for these. but you can do so after you shape them into drumsticks. And instead of chilling time as suggested you can refrigerate them longer. but as I said, I dunno how long it will keep well in a freezer and if the consistency and taste will be the same since I haven't personally tried it myself. --DK

By Asha on May 7, 2010

Just saw your comments. Trisha came home last night, busy sorting and washing all the college stuff, took half a day. It's also the hottest day of Spring today, as you can imagine I am tired! Those Lollipops look amazing. I really thought they are chicken drumsticks. What a clever idea to use Paneer on a Corn stick.WOW!! Have a fun weekend. Hugs. Looking forward to Sunday. See you on Monday! :)

By Priya Mitharwal on May 7, 2010

Simply WOOOOOOOOOOOW !!! You are amazingly creative. What an idea of veg lollipops. Beautiful. I love it and will surely prepare it.

By Apu on May 7, 2010

Looks beautiful. Well done - will be great on a party platter.

By Swapna on May 7, 2010

Lovely and cool lollipop,this one makes the kids go crazy!!!

By Anu on May 7, 2010

What a neat Veggie dish! Loved it totally! I'm going to make this soon - really, maybe this weekend just for myself! No sharing allowed!

By Priya on May 7, 2010

Omg, wat a beautiful lollies, thanks for sharing, a real feast for that babycorn idea..

By gny parong on May 6, 2010

:) this recipe looks so yummy but i am a VEGAN and paneer is not acceptable to vegan people. i don't eat/drink any animal products including dairy. is it OK to remove paneer in this recipe? can you suggest any replacement for it?? *** Paneer is a type of soft, crumbly cheese native to India, although it is used in some parts of the Middle East as well. ***

You can easily make this Vegan by excluding the paneer. Just add in more potatoes to compensate for the paneer. That should be yummy too! I mean potatoes - whats not to like ;) You can also try adding TVP or Soy granules to the mixture. Soft soaked bread (in water and squeezed dry) would work too along with these potatoes :) Hope this helps --DK :)

By sonal on May 6, 2010

hi dk they r simply looking wonderful specially for vegeterain ppl like me...have bookmarked it..pls let me know can i use boiled and mashed potatoes instead steamng them ?? and if using fresh baby corn then do i have to boil them as they will be little hard ...actually have my potluck party so was planning to make this..

You can surely boil them - I am just fanatic about steaming and do it more often than not. You can boil them as well. I personally think its not necessary. But if you really want to be sure - You can try something - In the same frying oil, try dropping one baby corn for testing. If it fries well and gets crunchy, then use the fresh baby corn. It should help...otherwise boil it v lightly along with potatoes. Hope this helps :) --DK

By Timepass on May 6, 2010

So Innovative..great..very tempting too

By notyet100 on May 6, 2010

thy do look like chicken drumsticks...

By harini-jaya on May 6, 2010

luv this version...

By nags on May 6, 2010

love the idea!!! :)

By Radhika on May 6, 2010

This one is cool DK. It will make a wonderful Appetizer for the party. I am sure the guests will be surprised to know that it is all Vegetarian.

By SD on May 6, 2010

Lovely!!! Will try them with out the baby corn though!!!

By Usha on May 6, 2010

Aaaaaha, lovely recipe, definitely wud try ! Thanks DK 8)