5 Feb 2012

Saag Paneer - Indian Spinach and Fried Cheese Curry

One of the cheeses I have been looking forward to making is Paneer. I finally did it on the weekend. It was easy, successful and made a great Saag Paneer (Spinach with Fried cheese) Curry for our dinner.

To make the Paneer I needed:-

  • to bring milk to the boil (2.4 litres),
  • to add lemon juice (90ml) through it just as it boiled, stir it briefly until I could see clear whey separating and take it off the heat.
  • Then I strained it through cheesecloth in a colander.
  • After it drained most of the liquid I pulled the ends of the cloth together to form a ball and squeezed it gently.
  • I then put it on the drainer with a large container of water on it as a weight and left it for 4 hours.

When I unwrapped it this was the final product - Easy!

Next I made the Curry using the following Recipe:-

Saag Paneer
  • 400g Paneer, sliced into 1cm cubes
  • 3Tb Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 bunch Silverbeet, chopped and rinsed (don't dry)

  • 2 Tbspn Butter 
  • 1 tspn Cumin Seed
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed or finely chopped
  • 2 tspn ground coriander
  • 1tspn chilli powder
  • 185ml can of Evaporated Milk (the original recipe was for 120ml cream but I didn't have it and Evaporated Milk is lower in fat)
  • salt to taste

Heat 2 Tb of the oil in a heavy based pan and fry paneer until all sides are golden, remove from pan and set aside.
Add butter to pan and saute damp silverbeet for a few minutes until wilted.
Puree the spinach in blender or food processor.

Add the remaining Tb of oil to a hot pan and add cumin seeds. Once they begin to crackle add the garlic, turn down the heat and gently cook until soft.
Add corriander, chilli powder and spiach puree to pan.
Cook for 3 minutes stirring constantly.
Add paneer and Evaporated Milk or Cream and simmer to heat
Add salt to taste.

Serve immediately with basmati rice and perhaps some yoghurt or raita, mango chutney and papadums. 

This quantity served 4 with a little leftover for lunch and was delicious!

The Recipes for the Curry and the Cheese were based  on those in "Making Artisan Cheeses" by Tim Smith , a birthday gift late last year.


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