Potato Cheese Poppers are scrumptious snack loved by all. These delicious cheese snack balls are non fried but they taste super crispy and full of flavors. These gourmet poppers are going to rock and roll your next party. I am including Air fryer and Appe Pan instructions to make them at home.
Along with Masala Papad, Masala Boondi Chaat and Savory Rice Krispies Chivda, I often make these Cheese Poppers for tea time snack or party appetizer. They are such crowd pleaser and even kids love it… especially the stretchy cheese pull !
Easy Party Appetizer
What’s so fabulous about this recipe? Everything !!! And I mean it. These poppers are fancy enough for party appetizers yet simple enough to make for an afternoon snack.
They are easy, loaded with flavors, crispy- with melt in your mouth texture. And guess what? You can make them in Air Fryer or Appe Pan. So they can be made with very little oil. Non fried snack never tasted SO good !
You can serve them as croquettes for indulgent gatherings or kitty parties. They are perfect fusion Desi Haute Poppers for game day gatherings like Cricket or Football watch parties
These fun poppers are kids approved so you can dish them out for fun birthday parties too. Or how about a healthy fun after school snack for those hungry warriors?
We have a feeling that you’re going to fall head over heels for these Potato Croquettes/ Poppers. We know because we just did it ourselves 🙂
You will love this Cheese Potato Snack Balls recipe because
- It’s easy, cheesy and finger licking yummy
- Perfect for entertaining or every day snack
- It’s exotic, addictive and guilt-free low calorie gourmet 🙂
This recipe originated by the accident. We were expecting a family visitor and I planned to make our favorite pohe and dry potato bhaji-poori for them. So I meal prepped by washing and soaking pohe and boiled potatoes.
However, our guests had to rearrange their plans due to delayed flight and I had to think of creative ways to use those potatoes and soaked pohe . And voila!! This recipe thus was happened in the kitchen.
And I am excited almost to the level exuberance that my creative thinking process resulted in such a delectable fabulous recipe. It also avoided the food waste. Surely a win win !
These cheese poppers are crispy crusty on the top, soft and cheesy from the inside, The tingling bite of jalapeno pepper adds a wonderful hint of spiciness.
Perfect Use of Leftover Mashed Potatoes
You can also use all the leftover mashed potatoes from the holiday dinners like Easter or Thanksgiving to make this yummy appetizer. Along with Crispy Aloo Tikki recipe, a whole lot of leftover mashed potatoes can be used to make savory scrumptious snack.
- Boiled and mashed potatoes – We start off with boiled potatoes. peel and mash them up nicely so they form a pliable dough. Alternatively you can use leftover mashed potatoes.
- Soaked Pohe or Panko Style Breadcrumbs – We use soaked pohe ( flattened rice) to get the crispy texture. You can also use “Panko Style Breadcrumbs” if you don’t have pohe easily available. Panko bread crumbs are crispier than regular breadcrumbs and they retain their texture better even after cooked.
- Ginger, garlic and cilantro for spicy flavors and extra zing to these poppers.
- Cheese cubes – I cut the chunk cheese in bite size pieces. You cover the cheese pieces with the batter. Once heated, cheese melts and makes a yummy popper. Use Mozzarella cheese for the nice pull. Colby jack or Monterey Jack cheese also works. DO not use soft cheese like cream cheese for this recipe.
- Jalapeño Pepper slices– you can hide these slices with cheese for extra kick. For kids, keep it optional.
- Spices – Chat masala, turmeric powder, red chili powder and salt – usual suspects for making these poppers bold, zesty, spicy and delicious.
- Oil – If you make these cheese balls in air fryer , use oil spray . If you make them in Appe Pan (also called Ebelskiver pan ) each mold needs literally a drop of oil each side. You can use any cooking oil for this.
What Cheese Should I use?
Any hard chunk cheese cubes will work for this recipe. Mozzarella cheese gives nice gooey stretchable feel that kids like. It flows when heated. You can also use Monetary Jack cheese for extra flavor. This cheese doesn’t stretch as much though. I often cut the string cheese into 4-6 pieces. And this is how it turns out when you make the poppers.
How to make Potato Cheese Balls?
1. Make the Balls – In a mixing bowl, mash the boiled potatoes to smooth consistency. Add rinsed pohe (or Panko Style Breadcrumbs) and all spices. Mix well and create a smooth dough by kneading it a few times.
Portion the dough into 12 equal portions. Scoop each portion of the mixture on your palm and make round cups. In the middle of it, place the cheese cube. You can add a jalapeno slice with it if you wish.
Cover the top with the rest of the dough and make smooth round balls. I make roughly 1- 1.5 inch round balls since they are easier to hold and bite into.
2. Air Fry Them : Spray some cooking oil on the air fryer basket. Arrange these balls in a single layer in your air fryer basket. Make sure to leave some space between each one of them for proper air circulation. Choose 380° Fahrenheit for 15 minutes. Mid way through, open the air fryer, gently shake the basket. spray some more oil and continue to air fry . The poppers done when they get golden brown and crisp from all around.
3. Serve : Serve immediately. They taste their best when they are freshly made and fresh off the air fryer . If they sit too long , cheese won’t stretch as much as it happens when they are nice and warm. I like serve them with chili garlic sauce and mint cilantro chutney. You can serve it any sauce of your choice.
Can you make these snack balls ahead of time?
Yes! You can make them ahead of time. However just roll them into balls and then au=ir fry or bake them just before serving. Do not store cooked poppers for too long since they will get soggy and loose their crispiness.
Our Popular Indian Appetizers
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Cheese Potato Poppers - Croquettes- Snack Balls
- 2 medium boiled potatoes
- 1 cup rinsed pohe or Panko Style Bread Crumbs
- 1 teaspoon Turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder
- 1 teaspoon Chat Masala
- 1 Tablespoon ginger garlic paste
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 12 cheese cubes- 1 cm each
- 1 jalapeño pepper- thinly sliced optional
- Salt per taste
- 1 Tablespoon oil or Oil Spray
Prepare the poppers
- In a mixing bowl, mash the boiled potatoes to smooth consistency. Add rinsed pohe or panko bread crumbs and all the spices. Mix well and create a smooth dough by kneading it a few times.
- Portion the dough into 12 equal portions. Scoop each portion of the mixture on your palm and make round cups.
- In the middle, place the cheese cube. You can add a jalapeno slice with it if you wish .
- Cover the top with the rest of the dough and make smooth round balls. Size of balls should be about 1-1.5 inch round.
- Spray some cooking oil on the air fryer basket. Arrange these balls in a single layer in your air fryer basket. Make sure to leave some space between each one of them for proper air circulation.
- Choose 375 ° Fahrenheit for 12 minutes. Mid way through, open the air fryer, gently shake the basket. spray some more oil and continue to air fry . The poppers done when they get golden brown and crisp from all around.
If using Appe Pan/ Ebelskiver pan or Takayoki Pan
- Heat the appe/ ebelskiver pan on a medium heat and grease all the cavities using drops of oil.
- Fill each cavity with prepared balls. They will start sizzling in couple minutes. Check to see if they are golden brown from bottom. Using a skewer or chop stick, flip them upside down.
- Add another drop of oil from the top. Poppers are done when they become crisp golden brown from all sides. If couple spots remain raw, rotate them around in the cavity. Remove from the pan and serve immediately with your choice of sauce or dip.
- If You Want To Bake them in the OvenPreheat oven to 400° F. Take about spoonful of mixture in your palm and make cylinder like shape. Evenly place them on baking sheet .
- Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes, flip and bake the other side for 10-15 minutes (until golden brown)
- Pohe is Indian style flattened rice. If you don't have it easily available, use Panko Style Bread Crumbs instead.
- Chat Masala is an all purpose Indian spice powder that is tangy, flavorful with touch of spicy. You can substitute any seasoning of your choice like garam masala, curry powder or even all purpose taco seasoning. It's a fusion appetizer so customize it your liking.
- You can make them ahead of time. However just roll them into balls and then air fry or bake them just before serving. Do not store cooked poppers for too long since they will get soggy and loose their crispiness.
- Serve immediately. They taste their best when they are freshly made and fresh off the air fryer . If they sit too long , cheese won’t stretch as much as it happens when they are nice and warm. I like serve them with chili garlic sauce and mint cilantro chutney. You can serve it any sauce of your choice.