Inspired by this recipe.
So a while back I watched some food network program where they showed how to make paneer from scratch. For some years now I had been dying to try it out. More recently I took a trip to Great News, a San Diego cooking supply and school, for a wonderful pasta cooking course. Using my 10% discount shopping spree where I splurged and got such things as Bialetti Moka Pot, knife sharpener, sheeth and cheese cloth. It was with this cheese cloth that I knew it was finally time to bust out the paneer recipe.
Here’s how it goes down, I can’t speak for the authenticity but it tastes great.
(I cook in huge quantities for some reason, I like leftovers! You can reduce the size of your ingredients as you see fit.)
- Half Gallon of whole milk
- 1/3 cup of lemon juice
- 3 tsp salt
Red Lentil Dhal
- 6 cups Red Lentils (subbed for channa lentils)
- 1 1/2 onions
- One head of garlic (I used about 4-5 tsp of jarred crushed garlic)
- One tomato
- One habeñero (yes I’m nuts)
- 3 tsp turmeric
- 3 tsp chili powder
- 6 tsp coriander
- 3 tbsp butter (ghee or sunflower oil if you got it )
- about a cup of frozen peas (more or less to suit your tastes)
Putting it all together
First you need to make your paneer because it takes a little bit of time to set up. First boil the milk in a heavy pot, be sure to watch it so you doing over boil or burn the bottom of the pan. Once it boils turn off the heat and add the lemon juice and salt. You’ll start to notice curds forming, gently stir around the edges to pull these off. After you’re done let it sit for a few minutes. In a colander with a few layers of cheese cloth pour the mixture and then gently twist and squeeze out a some of the excess liquid. Use a kitchen towel if it’s too hot to handle.
Next put the Paneer on a plate with something heavy on top, like some canned goods. More liquid will drain out and the cheese will flatten a little. At that point you can cut it up into little cubes or refrigerate it for use later.
I’m going to be lazy and quote this fine article’s instructions
Wash the lentils thoroughly. Put it in a pan full of plenty of water and bring to the boil. Boil on a medium flame to cook it. If it dries out, add more water.
While it is bubbling away, chop the onion. In a little pan, heat the oil and fry the onions until light brown. Add the tomato puree and then the masalas (chilli, turmeric and coriander) and fry until the pungent smell goes.
Add this to the lentils and keep cooking until the mixture is soupy. The lentils should be soft and squidgy when cooked.
Now, cube the paneer and add it along with the frozen peas to the lentils. When the peas are cooked, your dhal with paneer is ready. Add salt to taste and enjoy with rice.