Apart from my fusion uses my fav paneer dishes are:
- shahi paneer and all the millions of its variations
- paneer tikka
- paneer pakoda (my all time favourite - sigh)
- paneer parantha
- paneer pulao
- palak paneer
- khoya muttar paneer
I hope to blog all these classic recipes above some time in the future and not forgetting some of my typical fusion paneer bites too:
- paneer masala dosa - (offcourse as mentioned above) make masala for dosa filling and replace potato with paneer.
- kanchipuram idli - sandwich kashewnuts and small paneer cubes in the idli as you fill the idli moulds before steaming.
- have appam with paneer 'stew' - heee, i love this one
- slice a khaman dhokla piece and sandwich a paneer cube in between.
- paneer samosa....yum
- put a toothpick into a sweet (see tweak additions below) paneer piece, drape melted chocolate, and cool in the fridge... when set, its ready to eat....aah its sinfuly heavenly.
Then there is rasgulla and rasmalai made from chenna (unlike paneer which is pressed-milk cheese, chenna is drip hung for a couple of hours). Also I love to have chennamurgi (this is sweet and has nothing to do with any murgi and I have no idea why its called this) whenever I travel to Delhi. I dont know how its made, why that nomenclature and haven't seen a recipe for it yet. Maybe another delhite would know, Anita, have u had it in Delhi, maybe post the recipe :)?
I thought instead of making a paneer dish for RCI, i should rather post a how-to-make paneer at home recipe, since one paneer preparation from the list above for RCI-punjab doesnt give paneer full justification ;). There's nothing like homemade paneer and its so easy to make.
My dad is a pro paneer maker, the paneer expert at home and he says the amount of paneer yielded depends on the quality and freshness of the milk. For homemade paneer he usually travels to a village dairy about 20kms away to purchase fresh milk that they had been extracted that very day. The milk is bought in bulk to make yoghurt, lotsa different types of paneer. The paneer can be easily frozen, kacha or fried.
Here I am displaying how to make simple paneer that can be used in usual savoury curries. I use vinegar to tear out the protein as opposed to lemon juice, because I feel it gives softer paneer than with lemon juice. The salt and sugar gives the paneer a tenderness and is somehow more 'juicy' in the curries.
(To yield approx. 225-250 gms paneer)
1L fresh full-fat milk
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp salt
100ml-150ml white vinegar
Some additions that can be added to the milk in place of salt and sugar and the corresponding paneer types that are yielded are (for 1L milk):
- 2 tbsp (or more if u want) sugar for sweeter paneer (eg for my choc-coated bite memtioned above)
- handful of finely chopped coriander leaves (for hara (green) paneer)
- 4-5 tbsp jeera (cumin) seeds (for jeera paneer)
- 4-5 tbsp finely chopped garlic or garlic paste (for garlic paneer)
- fried/roasted paneer for various recipes
- the crumbs can be used in bhurji recipes
Enough yapyap and onto the procedure.
Here I am boiling 15 L of milk, which gave us 3.65kilos of paneer
1. Pour the milk in a heavy bottom pot and bring to the boil on high flame. Avoid stirring too much.
When the milk starts rising immediately reduce the gas to low to bring the milk to a simmer. Pour the vinegar and switch off the gas. This will coagulate - start tearing the milk.
2. Now stir to help the vinegar act more evenly. The water left from the milk (the whey) should go from cream yellow to yellow green.
If the whey is still not greeny enough (like in picture above) it means there is still some more protein left in the milk, add 50ml more vinegar and stir. Let the cheese and whey cool a little.
3. When the cheese whey mixture has cooled a bit (the pot is not burning hot but more than warm) drain it through a sieve lined with a double cheesecloth or thin cotton. Collect the whey, and keep it to add to stews or make dough for roti or parantha with it. Collect the cloth that holds the cheese togethor, wrap it securely and place on a flat surface like a large chopping board. Place it where the cottage cheese can be pressed and the whey left in the cheese can keep dripping - like the area near the sink (where we keep dishes to drip after washing them). Flatten the cheese within the cloth into a squarish shape to the thickness desired (preferrably 1.5cm). Some people make it thinner though. Place another wooden plank or chopping board on top. Add a heavy weight on top of this, like a big pot full of water. Leave it overnight.
Dad chopping the paneer into perfect cubes4. The next morning, remove the 'weight', unwrap the paneer, cut into desired shapes, pack them in separate ziplock bags, freeze some, use some, and pop a couple in your mouth :)
They can be fried and frozen too. Chakde phatte and Enjoy!!!