Cheese Balls (Fail-proof Recipe)

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Crispy and golden on the outside, soft and creamy on the inside, these delectable deep-fried Potato and Cheese Balls are the stuff of dreams. My easy, fail-proof recipe for this popular Indian snack is also vegetarian and gluten-free, making it the perfect appetizer to share.

cheese balls served in a white tray on a blue board

Why This Recipe Works

There are many different ways of preparing cheese balls, many of which are incredibly frustrating. I found that when I tried the traditional method of making them, half of the cheese balls came out perfect (HOORAY!) and half of them broke in the oil (ARGH!).

I figured out that with the traditional recipe, the oil had to be the perfect temperature the entire time for all the balls to fry successfully. This is difficult to do even as a professionally trained chef or in a limited kitchen environment, so I wanted to find a better and fail-proof solution.

One day while I was making cheese stuffed fritters (bread pakora), I mixed some grated cheese with the leftover gram flour (besan) batter and made pan-fried fritters. To my surprise, these spur-of-the-moment fritters tasted damn good and came out much better than the traditional cheese balls I had made with all-purpose flour.

Using that experiment as my springboard, I tried making cheese balls with mashed potatoes and gram flour (besan) instead of all-purpose flour. The result was exactly what I wanted: crispy golden cheese balls with a creamy, cheesy interior.

And the best part? ALL the balls fried perfectly from start to finish. I knew I had found a cheese ball recipe that would allow anyone to make these delicious snacks without struggling, so I just had to share it with you.

These delightful fried bundles of deliciousness are a quintessential party food. They’re naturally vegetarian and gluten free, meaning just about anyone can enjoy them. They are salty, carb-y, creamy, dip-able snacks that pair well with friends and good conversation.

The fact that they’re made of two globally beloved ingredients – potatoes and cheese – also means that they’re a hit with people of all ages and nationalities. So give this simple, no-fail recipe for fried cheese balls a try, okay? You won’t regret it, and neither will your guests.

Ingredients You Need

  1. Secret Ingredient! This cheese ball recipe is different as it has a secret ingredient – GRAM FLOUR. Gram Flour (also known as Besan in India) is flour made from husked & split bengal gram (also known as chana dal or black chickpeas). This flour not only helps the cheese ball stick together while frying, it also has the added health benefits of being high in protein and fiber. It also happens to be naturally gluten-free, meaning you can easily serve a wider audience. If you are unable to find gram flour where you live, you can use chickpea flour instead.
  2. No all-purpose flour: The recipe does not use any all-purpose flour, rather relies only on gram flour. Besan (or chickpea flour) is not traditionally used in a cheese ball recipe, so this was one of a kind when I posted it. Since sharing it, I have had a lot of positive feedback and I am happy to report that tasty, homemade, gluten-free cheese balls are being made in kitchens everywhere!
  3. Potatoes: Use potatoes with a high starch content. Russet and Yukon potatoes are a good option.
  4. Cheese: The recipe works very well with either cheddar cheese or processed cheese. For a more traditional Indian flavor profile, I suggest using grated Amul cheese, but cheddar or American cheese will work as well.
Step-by-Step Guide

How to Make Cheese Balls

This fail-proof method of making fried cheese balls is quite simple. First, prepare your ingredients.

1. Boil 3 small potatoes (100 grams) in a steamer, pressure cooker or an electric cooker until they are fork tender. You can also steam the potatoes in an Instant Pot for 7 to 8 minutes. Boil the potatoes until they are completely cooked, then drain them well.

three potatoes in a bowl

2. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel them and mash very well in a mixing bowl. There should be no moisture while peeling, chopping and mashing the potatoes. Allow the potatoes to come at room temperature before you add the remaining ingredients.

potatoes that have been peeled and mashed

3. Grate 60 grams cheese and set aside. 60 grams equals about ½ cup tightly packed grated cheese. You can use either cheddar cheese or processed cheese. If using Amul processed cheese cubes, 3 cubes is sufficient.

grated cheese in a silver half cup measure

Make Cheese Ball Dough

4. To the mashed potatoes, add ¼ to ⅓ teaspoon black pepper powder, ½ teaspoon cumin powder, a pinch of garam masala (optional) and 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves (cilantro) or parsley leaves.

spices added to bowl of mashed potatoes

5. Add 4 tablespoons gram flour (besan) or chickpea flour. I highly recommend using gram flour or chickpea flour, however if you do not have it you can also add 3 to 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour, corn starch or arrowroot flour.

besan added to bowl

6. Mix very well.

potato and flour mixture for cheese balls recipe prior to adding cheese

7. Then add the grated cheese and two to three pinches of black salt. Since the cheese already has salt in it, add salt with caution and taste as you go. You can add edible rock salt or regular salt instead of black salt.

cheese and salt added to bowl

8. Mix the cheese with the rest of the potato mixture very well. Check the taste and add more salt or crushed black pepper if required.

completed dough for making fried cheese balls

Shaping & Frying

9. Make small balls from the mixture, including one tiny ball to test while frying.

rolled cheese ball dough on a white plate with a small tester piece for frying

10. Heat oil for deep frying in a kadai (wok) or pan. You can use any neutral oil with a high smoking point.

oil in a kadai

11. When the oil becomes hot, add the tiny tester cheese ball. The temperature of oil can be from 180 to 190 degrees Celsius (356 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit). The oil has to be hot, otherwise, the cheese balls may break.

tester cheese ball added to hot oil is bubbling in pan

12. In about one minute, the tiny cheese ball will begin to turn golden. If the tester cheese ball does not break, then you can begin to fry the other balls. If it breaks, then you need to add 1 to 2 tablespoons chickpea flour or gram flour (besan) to the mixture. Make another test ball to ensure that your binding is properly adjusted.

TIP: Keep the temperature even while frying by increasing or decreasing the flame as needed.

tester cheese ball is turning golden and bubbling while frying

13. Working in batches, fry the remaining cheese balls. Do not overcrowd. Since I used a small kadai (wok), I added four cheese balls at a time.

frying 4 cheese balls in oil

14. With a slotted fry spoon, turn them over when they become golden.

cheese balls are getting some golden color while frying in oil

15. Continue to fry them while turning a couple of times until they are evenly golden and crisp all over.

frying cheese balls are getting darker golden brown

16. Remove the fried cheese balls and place them on paper towels to drain. This helps to absorb any extra oil.

completed fried cheese balls draining on a paper towel

Serve Cheese Balls hot with dipping sauces like tomato ketchup, coriander chutney or mint chutney. Enjoy them hot for the best taste!

pile of Indian fried potato and cheese balls on a white serving plate on a blue cloth

Expert Tips

  1. Binding: Both gram flour and potatoes work together as binding agents. Before frying cheese balls, first test with a tiny cheese ball in hot oil. If it breaks, then you have to add 1 to 2 tablespoons chickpea flour or gram flour (besan) to the mixture and do the test again.
  2. Frying Temperatures: While frying, the oil has to be HOT. Otherwise, you risk the cheese balls breaking. The temperature of the oil should be from 180 to 190 degrees celsius (356 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit).
  3. Type of Cheese: For the type of cheese, I suggest using either cheddar cheese or processed cheese (grated Amul cheese would be most traditional, but American cheese should also work).
    NOTE: I am not sure about mozzarella (not the fresh kind), Monterey Jack or pepper jack cheeses as I have not tried making cheese balls with them. If you try using one of these cheeses in your cheese ball recipe, please let me know how they turn out in the comments below!
  4. Spicing: To make this a kid-friendly snack, I have kept the spices minimal. Feel free to increase the spice level if it suits your tastes. You can also add chili peppers (green chilies) or red chili powder to make these cheese balls spicy.
  5. Quantity & Scaling: The recipe makes 9 to 10 small cheese ball and can be easily doubled or tripled.
  6. Serving Suggestions: Cheese balls can be served as a party snack or appetizer. They also make a great snack or lunch for kids. Serve them with tomato ketchup, coriander chutney or mint chutney.

FAQs

Can I use sweet potato in place of regular potatoes?

Absolutely! Just note that the flavor of the cheese balls will be noticeably sweeter as a result.

Can I freeze cheese balls?

Yep! I recommend freezing them prior to frying. When you’re ready to cook them, allow them to defrost, wipe away any excess moisture, then fry to order.

Can I use mozzarella instead of processed cheese or cheddar cheese?

I haven’t used mozzarella to make these fried cheese balls. If you opt to use mozzarella, be sure to opt for aged cheese instead of the fresh variety.
Also note that mozzarella is a softer cheese than cheddar or amul, so you will likely need to add more besan or chickpea flour to ensure that the balls don’t break apart during frying. If you try making this recipe with mozzarella, I’d love to hear how it turned out for you in the comments below!

Can I add extra veggies to the cheese balls?

I recommend avoiding anything that will have excess moisture (e.g. cabbage, onions), as this will cause the cheese balls to break during frying. If you want to add more vegetables, I recommend sticking with starchy options like peas or corn.

Here’s A Few More Tasty Cheese Recipes for You:

  • Mac and cheese – a creamy and cheesy dish with a light crunchy topping of breadcrumbs and gooey melted cheese.
  • Alfredo pasta – a creamy pasta made with fresh cream and mixed veggies.
  • Cheese biscuits – yummy biscuits with a crisp texture on the outside and soft bread-like texture inside.
  • Corn cheese balls– an easy, tasty, no-fail recipe for corn cheese balls (both fried and baked versions included).

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cheese balls recipe

Cheese Balls (Fail-proof Recipe)

Easy to prepare tasty recipe of cheese balls made with potatoes, gram flour and cheese. This popular snack is vegetarian and gluten free, making it the perfect appetizer to share.
4.84 from 24 votes
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Cuisine World
Course Snacks
Diet Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Difficulty Level Moderate
Servings 9 Cheese Balls
Units

Ingredients

  • 100 grams potatoes or 3 small or 2 medium or 1 large potato
  • 60 grams processed cheese or cheddar cheese or ½ cup grated cheese tightly packed
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper crushed or ⅓ teaspoon black pepper powder – add as required
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder (ground cumin)
  • 1 pinch garam masala – optional
  • 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves (cilantro) or parsley leaves
  • 4 tablespoon gram flour (besan) or chickpea flour or 2 to 3 tablespoon arrow root flour or corn starch or all purpose flour
  • 2 to 3 pinches black salt or regular salt or rock salt
  • oil for deep frying, as required

Instructions
 

Preparation

  • Boil potatoes in a steamer or pressure cooker or an electric cooker. Boil the potatoes till they are completely cooked. You can even steam the potatoes in an Instant Pot for 7 to 8 minutes.
  • When the potatoes become warm, peel them and mash very well in a mixing bowl. Allow the potatoes to come at room temperature before you add the remaining ingredients.
  • Grate 60 grams cheese and keep aside. In cup measurement, the amount is ½ cup tightly packed grated cheese. 
  • You can use either cheddar cheese or processed cheese. If using amul processed cheese, then use 3 cubes.

Making cheese ball mixture

  • To the mashed potatoes, add black pepper, crushed or black pepper powder, cumin powder, a pinch of garam masala (optional) and chopped coriander leaves or parsley leaves.
  • Add gram flour (besan). You can also add all purpose flour or cornstarch (corn flour).
  • Mix very well.
  • Then add the grated cheese and two pinches of black salt. Add salt accordingly as cheese already has salt. You can even add rock salt or regular salt instead of black salt.
  • Mix the cheese with the rest of the potato mixture very well. Check the taste and add more salt or crushed black pepper if required.
  • Make small balls from the mixture and make one tiny ball to test while frying.

Frying cheese balls

  • Heat oil for deep frying in a kadai or pan.
  • When the oil becomes hot, add the tiny cheese ball. The temperature of oil can be from 180 to 190 degrees celsius.
  • The oil has to be hot, otherwise the cheese balls may break.
  • When the tiny cheese ball, does not break, then you can easily fry the other balls. If it breaks, then you have to add 1 to 2 tablespoons gram flour or chickpea flour to the mixture again. Keep the same temperature while frying by increasing or decreasing the heat.
  • Add the remaining potato cheese balls.
  • With a slotted spoon, turn over when the balls get to become golden.
  • Fry them till they are evenly golden all over and crisp.
  • Once fried well, place them on kitchen paper towels to remove excess oil
  • Serve hot with tomato ketchup or coriander chutney or mint chutney or any dip of your choice. For best taste serve them hot as soon as they are prepared.

Video

Notes

  1. Scaling: The recipe can be doubled or tripled.
  2. Stickiness: The potato has to be drained very well. Even some moisture or water in the potatoes will make the mixture sticky.
  3. Binding: Instead of gram flour, you can add 3 to 4 tablespoons of all-purpose flour, chickpea flour, cornstarch (cornflour) or arrowroot flour. If while frying, the balls break, then add 1 to 3 tablespoons more of the binding ingredient as required. 
  4. Frying: Fry at temperatures of 180 degrees to 190 degrees celsius. The cheese balls may break when frying at lower temperature. 
  5. Spicing: As a kid friendly snack, I have kept the spices minimal. However you can increase the spices to suit your taste buds. You can also add spices and herbs like green chilies or red chili powder to make these cheese balls spicy.
  6. Type of Cheese: For the type of cheese, you can use either cheddar cheese or processed cheese or American cheese.
  7. Note that the approx nutrition info is one small cheese ball.

Nutrition Info (Approximate values)

Nutrition Facts
Cheese Balls (Fail-proof Recipe)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 61 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 7mg2%
Sodium 95mg4%
Potassium 71mg2%
Carbohydrates 2g1%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 70IU1%
Vitamin C 1.2mg1%
Calcium 52mg5%
Iron 0.5mg3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This Cheese Balls recipe post from the archives (July 2015) has been republished and updated on 3 June 2021.

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Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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75 Comments

  1. Loved it. I was a little sceptical initially when I read about adding besan but believed your skills and went ahead with it. They came out absolutely yummy crunchy from outside and soft gooey from inside. I did make in appe pan though.5 stars

    1. Thank you Shaili for the trust and the feedback as well. Yes the besan may look like a strange addition, but it merges so well in the recipe without it screaming loud. Making cheese balls in the appe pan is a great idea.

    1. thank you anu for the feedback and for sharing that your kids loved the cheese balls. glad to know. happy cooking.

  2. Thank u! gonna try this for my kid, hope he likes the sweet taste as well as the cheese. By this way i can give him a healthy and tasty snack. Thank you for your recipe.

    1. yes you can use sweet potato. with sweet potato the cheese balls will have some sweet taste.

  3. Hi
    Can we freeze these balls. Nice recipe will try it for sure. Tried a couple of ur recipes n they were great. Thanks for the post. Miss you on u tube though.5 stars

    1. yes you can freeze them. thanks for the feedback on other recipes. i don’t get time to do videos. it takes a lot of time, thus i am not doing any cooking videos.

  4. Hi I would like to just clarify if not using besan, I should use corn flour and maida …how much of corn flour and how much of maida

    1. you can use 3 tablespoon maida and 1 tablespoon corn flour. before frying test a small cheese ball. if it breaks, then add 1 to 2 tablespoon more maida.

  5. Dear Dassana,
    I am planning to make these on this weekend. I have one query though can I use mozzarella cheese?
    Thank you.

    1. shabistab, mozzarella cheese can be tricky as it is a soft cheese. so i am not sure how it will react while frying. i would suggest to use pizza cheese which is mixture of cheddar cheese and mozzarella cheese or use a mix of both cheddar and mozzarella cheese. hope this helps.

  6. Hi Amit,
    Can these be cooked in bulk and frozen and then reheated again in oven?
    Thanks
    D

    1. if done this way, the crisp texture is lost. what i would suggest is make the balls and then freeze. when you want to eat, remove them from freezer and let it come to room temperature. if there is any extra moisture then wipe it. then fry the cheese balls.

  7. The recipe is great and we enjoyed it! I come from Switzerland, that’s to say a country committed to cheese :). I used some Vacherin Mont-d’Or, which is an alpine and tasty cheese, added a bit less flour (Vacherin is aged and doesn’t contain much water) and because it’s strong added some more coriander leaves to the paste. Again, very tasty. We have a famous cheese balls recipe here called “Malakoff”, made principally with flour, eggs and milk, but without potatoes. It’s also damn tasty but a bit too fat^^. That’s why I Iove this recipe with potatoes. Congrats and thanks for sharing!5 stars

    1. thanks molina for sharing these bits of info. i have heard of malakoff but never made them. but i did try cheese balls with flour, butter and cheese and i did feel they were heavy. but they tasted good ???? potatoes are a nice substitute in most dishes at times. thanks for sharing the feedback on the recipe too.

  8. Hi Dassana,
    I am not good at cooking. My in-laws always ask me to make new dishes. So, you are life saver for me. I tried this cheese ball recipe, but they are not cooked from inside. I cant understand what is the problem.4 stars

    1. priyanka, when frying always fry on medium heat. the oil should not be very hot. if the oil is very hot, then the outer part gets fried quickly, but the inside remains under cooked. medium hot oil also ensures even frying.

  9. Hi dassana,
    Most of Ur recipes I have tried came out really delicious….keep up the good work….i want to ask can I add some steamed green peas to the potato mixture?

  10. I tried cheese balls today following the recipe exactly.they turned out absolutely amazing.it was really yummy.5 stars

  11. I tried these cheese balls following the recipe exactly . They turned out absolutely amazing . All the guests loved these and asked for the recipe. Addition of besan worked out really well for me as my daughter is gluten free and can’t have maida. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe .5 stars

  12. hi, in step 5, should we add maida in place of besan.. or in addition to besan? thank u in advance

    1. tanu, you can add maida in place of besan. just check one small piece in oil. if it breaks, then you may need to add half to 1 tablespoon more of maida.

  13. Hi I’m making recipes from ur post since long time all recipes turn out awesome In this recipe ive added corn making it more delicious plus substitutes with Maida it gives different texture and taste at last I dusted some bread crumbs too try it

    1. thanks komal. adding corn will make it more tasty. i know maida gives a different texture and taste. and breadcrumbs too will give a nice crisp texture. thanks for sharing the variations you have done. i am sure the cheese balls must have been delicious.

  14. Hello 🙂 Five stars for the tasty cheese balls.
    My potato mixture was not dry like yours. What could be the reason? I added little besan still it was quite sticky. It didn’t burst in the oil though.
    Thanks 🙂5 stars

    1. Welcome Zehra. The potato has to be drained very well. Even some moisture or water in the potato will make the mixture sticky.

    1. no ruchi. i did try plain cheese balls with flour a couple of times, but they always burst in oil 🙁

  15. Once in a restaurant, they served cheese balls made with macaroni. They tasted delicious. Would you have a recipe for that?

    I am a bit skeptical about cheese balls with besan, though (in the same breath let me add) based on experience i believe that all your recipes are a sure success….

    … And thanks for offering such a wonderful collection of veg recipes!!

    1. there are many recipes for cheese balls, so difficult to gauge which one was made in the restaurants. you can try these too. they taste different than the regular cheese balls but the taste is too good. thank you chhandashree.

  16. Hi Dasanna,
    I am a long time silent follower and admirer of you and your way of easy cooking, recipes, tips and so on….you are really admirable !
    Honestly telling sometimes I tried few recipes from many websites, but never were total success. But i felt the hard work you do to analyse so many ingredients, flavors etc. before finally posting them, for any recipe.I liked almost everything which i have prepared from following yours.
    Thanks for making survive the young generation people in cooking arena !

    1. thanks for writing roja and also thanks for this encouraging comment. feels nice to read comment like yours and it because of readers like you that i am motivated and encouraged to share more recipes.

  17. I really love all your recipes. I recently got married and moved to US. I don’t have to call mom all the time for recipes(time difference makes it more difficult) All thanks to you. Try adding some rajasthani recipes. Its difficult to find good rajasthani recipes over internet 🙁 And i really liked your earlier layout of homepage rather than this one. But its good you keep experimenting. Thanks a lot. Hope you are also coming up with a book.5 stars

    1. thankyou for your honest feedback chandni and let us know if you are looking for any specific recipes. book could be a future thing but thankyou so much 🙂

  18. You are a life saver. I am living in a remote area and in my third trimester, I get cravings for different things all the time which I don’t get here. And here’s where you save my day by these amazing recipes. I love your website. Thank you so much

    1. we are pleased to know we could help you thankyou for your positive words and all the best 🙂 niharika.

      1. Hi
        I have been folowing this site for 6 months now. And it is the best of all the veg cooking sites ever.
        You have plethora of recipes; you present it brilliantly, makes it easier for people like me to follow. Amazing work. Keep it up. Good bless you.
        This is my go to site if i want to check a recipe or learn or just want new ideas.
        I can’t thank you enough for making this site.
        Lots of love.

        1. we are quite pleased to know this garima 🙂 thankyou for your kind and encouraging words. you are always welcome dear.

  19. Can the batter be made a day in advance without affecting the taste or texture?

    1. you can try. however i do not how the mixture would react when frying.

  20. Very nice recipe , I tried it and my son liked it very much. Thanks for sharing such a nice recipe.5 stars

  21. These pakoras were easy to make. They turned out to be super delicious and yes amul cheese gives a real yummy taste. Thnx!!! i also added ginger, garam masala, and chili powder this brings wonderful taste to every bite ?

  22. Hi
    I must tell you that I am workng but I have recently taken a break from work to spend more time with family.. And I am doing quite a lot of cookng.. Thanks to you for this.. As I first check your recipe and then proceed.. And all the dishes turn out perfect.. Be it chilly paneer, manchurian dry and gravy, butter naan, aaloo kofta and so on..
    I am definitely gong to try this too.. I know both my daughters are going to love it
    Thanks a lot!!

  23. Really it’s amazing, your recipes are very good ,I use to try everything.I love it

  24. Hi Dassana,
    Very nice recipe and kids friendly too.can we use the unfried cheese balls as paratha stuffing?

    1. If u use this mixture for parantha filling ..u will get raw gram flour taste ..without gram flour n all purpose flour ..u can use cheese n potato mixture for stuffing

    1. Hi can I add some vegetables like onion or cabbage to the cheese balls

      1. avoid adding any veggies as they will release water or moisture and the cheese balls can break in oil while frying.