Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Palak Paneer

I first had Palak Paneer at Teaism in Washington DC. I didn't really read the menu too carefully, and spent most of the meal trying to figure out what the delicious white bits were - not egg; meat, maybe? not really... cheese? not quite like any cheese I'd had... I finally looked at the menu again on the way out and discovered, yes, cheese. But no, not quite like any cheese I'd had before!

Paneer is a white cheese, and is about as easy as it's possible for cheese to be. In a nutshell, heat up milk to almost boiling, pour in a bit of white vinegar, watch it curdle, and dump into cheese cloth to drain. The end. For those who want a bit more detail in your directions, look here.

For this Palak Paneer recipe, I used a gallon of milk, drained the cheese in a flour sack towel-lined colander, then cut my paneer in half - one half to use in the recipe, and one to freeze for later. (Also - save the whey! Cook rice or pasta in it for a bit of extra flavor.)

 Flour sack towel in a colander over a bowl... post cheese removal

Half of my paneer block ready to freeze

Paneer means "cheese" in Hindi, and Palak means "spinach". There are hundreds of recipes available online, and I sort of meshed two of them, but this one is pretty close to what I made, which came out quite well! I didn't use chana masala, and only used one bunch of spinach - though should have probably used two. It could have had more, in any case! But the result was quite tasty :)

 Frying paneer - like feta, it doesn't melt

 The "masala" - mixture - of onion, tomato, garlic, ginger and spices. Smells heavenly!

 Blended palak

Everything but the cheese

Mmm, delicious!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! That looks really yummy and makes me want to attempt to make that. Or get on a plane with the kids and fly out to your place!