Itís really easy to make, very versatile, and a great source of protein and vitamins. In Indian restaurants across the world, youíll find paneer-based delicacies such as saag paneer (spinach and paneer in an onion-tomato gravy), stir-fried paneer with bell peppers, and the more indulgent shahi paneer, which is cooked with cream.
All of these and many more exciting recipes can be tried and mastered at home. The first step is to learn how to make your own paneer. Let me tell you the simplest way to do this:
What you need:
- 1 liter milk (~1 quart)
- Juice of one or two lemons
What you do:
1. Bring the milk to a boil.
2. When it rises to the top of the pan, reduce the heat and gradually add the lemon juice into it, stirring constantly. The milk will separate from the whey. Keep adding lemon juice till the whey is a clear green.
3. Strain the milk through a double-layered cheesecloth to drain out the whey. You can knead chapati dough with the whey or use it to boil lentils/riceóit is full of nutrients.
4. Knot up the milk solids in the cheesecloth and press down with a heavy weight (a heavy pot should do), to get fresh, solid paneer. This takes just about 30 minutes. You can cut it up and use it in an amazing variety of ways.
Here is my favorite paneer recipe. Delicious and super-healthy, too!
Saag Paneer (Spinach and Paneer in Masala Gravy)
Wash, chop and boil 4 big cups of spinach leaves.† Puree them in a blender with a little fresh ginger root, 6 to 8 cloves of garlic, and a green chilli.
In a pan, fry Ĺ cup of finely chopped onions and Ĺ cup finely chopped tomatoes in a little olive oil, mustard oil,rec or ghee. Add the pureed spinach and continue to cook for a few minutes. Add 1 cup of cubed paneer, toss well, and add salt and pepper to taste. Cook for another couple of minutes, then switch off the gas.
Enjoy hot, with freshly cooked chapatis, tortillas or whole-wheat toast.† Iím sure it will be love at first bite!