Instead of my Thrive Thursday Series, I decided to come up with another food-related post this week. This time it is a recipe where I tried something new that I had never made before!
So, I stumbled onto an Indian curry recipe last week that required a cheese called paneer. I have eaten meals at Indian restaurants many times, so I knew it was a type of very firm and rich cottage cheese that is often added to stews and curry dishes, and since I have always loved it, I decided to give it a go. The fact that it isn't sold in regular supermarket around UK gave me extra motivation, to be perfectly honest.
To make paneer for ca. two people you need the following:
- 1 L milk
- 3-4 tbsp of lemon juice
That's it! It's more about the technique than any complicated ingredients.
Firstly, pour the milk into a saucepan and heat it on the stove until it is about to simmer.
In the meanwhile, squeeze one lemon. When the milk is just before its boiling point, turn off the gas, remove the milk from the stove and add the lemon juice gradually (on tablespoon each time) to let the acid react with the milk to separate the fat from the rest.
In the end, it should look something like this:
Let the mixture cool down for about 30 minutes, then take a fine dish cloth and use it to collect the firm white bits. Pour the whole content through it and wring it to make sure all the liquid is removed.
Press the white mass onto a small plate and make it into small blocks. It should now look something like this:
As you can see the consistency is quite firm, almost like feta cheese. To make sure it will hold its form later while cooking, let it sit in the fridge for a few hours.
Now the fun part comes: The cooking! I decided to make a vegetable curry.
It is very important to fry the blocks of paneer just before the actual meal preparation to prevent it from falling apart after being added to the curry sauce! You can use sunflower or olive oil.
I prepared the curry then using creme fraiche and vegetable broth as the base and sautéed peppers, mange tout and aubergines on top of that.
I added the fried paneer towards the end, and it blended perfectly into the meal and didn't fall apart.
It tasted very good and I was surprised that you can just make it at home without a lot of knowledge or practise.
Definitely give it a go if you have some extra time on your hands.
It is a great option to add instead of meat, if you are vegetarian or you just want to change it up.
I think it is very important to keep experimenting with food and trying out new things from foreign cuisines to keep your meals innovative and interesting. It is a great experience and a good accomplishment to share with your family and friends.
I can guarantee you that everybody will be impressed and you can claim the meal 100% homemade by YOU, which is definitely a bonus.
Let me know if you have tried it out and how you liked it!