Barnyard and Paneer Tikki


Tikkis are a popular Indian snack, often made with potatoes or paneer, seasoned with aromatics and spices. Ankita Jain, chef volunteer from the Millet Cooking Lab, has developed a unique version that incorporates barnyard millet, paneer, and pumpkin to create a tikki that is crispy and soft in the same bite. Using pumpkin instead of potatoes gives the dish a distinctly soft texture and a subtle sweetness. Ankita says this tikki pairs wonderfully with chole topped with chopped onions, or in a sandwich.

Barnyard millet, soaked overninght 250 grams
Paneer, crumbled 100 grams
Jowar flour 2 tablespoons
Garam masala ¼ teaspoon
Punjabi garam masala 1 teaspoon
Italian seasoning 1 teaspoon
Pumpkin, cooked and mashed 200 grams
Salt To taste
Oil, for shallow frying 5-6 tablespoons

A non-stick tawa.


To make the tikkis add the soaked barnyard millet in a pressure cooker with enough water to cover it. Cook for 2-3 whistles or until the millet is cooked through and soft.



Using a strainer, drain any excess water from the millets in the cooker. Then, transfer the millets to a mixing bowl.


Add crumbled paneer, jowar flour, garam masala, punjabi garam masala, italian seasoning, and salt to the mixing bowl. Mix well by hand to combine all the ingredients.



Add mashed pumpkin to the bowl and mix until everything comes together to form a dough.


Divide the dough into equal-sized portions. Shape them into small tikkis by forming a ball, and then flattening the ball between your fingers and palm.



Heat a non-stick tawa or frying pan over medium heat. Grease it with a little oil.


Place the tikkis on the tawa and cook on medium flame for 1-2 minutes on each side until golden brown on both sides.



Remove the tikkis from the tawa and serve hot with Chole, chopped onion, and your favourite chutney.


Tips and Variations

You may add chopped vegetables like carrots, peas, or corn to the dough to increase its nutritional value.


You may also add some fresh herbs like coriander, mint, or parsley to the dough to give it a fresh and herby flavour.


Paneer can be replaced with tofu for a vegan option.

Chef Ankita Jain has spent more than 15 years working as a chocolatier. While she enjoyed shaping the kitchen at Harsh Chocolates, her passion for healthier food led her to start Bicycle Kitchen. Over the past three years, she has experimented with millet-based recipes and perfected them.


This recipe is part of the Millet Revival Project 2023, The Locavore’s modest attempt to demystify cooking with millets, and learn the impact that it has on our ecology. This initiative, in association with Rainmatter Foundation, aims to facilitate the gradual incorporation of millets into our diets, as well as create a space for meaningful conversation and engagement so that we can tap into the resilience of millets while also rediscovering its taste.

Rainmatter Foundation is a non-profit organisation that supports organisations and projects for climate action, a healthier environment, and livelihoods associated with them. The foundation and The Locavore have co-created this Millet Revival Project for a millet-climate outreach campaign for urban consumers. To learn more about the foundation and the other organisations they support, click here.

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