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Palak Paneer

Spinach Curry with home-made cheese cubes

Go to any Indian restaurant and you will find this recipe on their menu. A mildly flavored spinach curry with delicious pieces of home made cheese. Many a times fried potatoes are substituted for the Paneer. Make this for your next party or for your folks at home.

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Spinach chopped 1 big bunch or 2 frozen spinach boxes (10 oz box)

Paneer (*see recipe below) 1 cup cubed

Onions, finely chopped 3/4 th cup

Ginger, finely chopped 1 teaspoon

Garlic, finely chopped 2 teaspoons

Green chili, chopped 1 number

Garam Masala 1 teaspoon

Oil 3 to 4 tablespoons

Salt to taste

Oil for frying

 

1. Heat the oil (oil for frying) and fry the cubed paneer until light brown. Keep aside.

2. Boil the spinach with ginger and garlic. Drain and puree.

3. Heat the oil in a pan and add the green chili and onions. Sauté till light brown. Add the garam masala, spinach puree and salt to taste and cook for 5 to 6 minutes.

4. Finally add the fried cheese cubes. Garnish with heavy cream and garam masala.

5. Serve with Paratha.

Paneer   -   Home made cheese

There is no western equivalent of Paneer. It is called "cottage cheese" in India. Paneer is an extraordinary source of protein in a vegetarian diet. It is what meat is to non-vegetarians. It is one of the easiest cheeses to make at home.   Make this a day ahead.

8 cups of whole milk

6 tablespoons of plain yogurt

4 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lime juice

 

Whisk the yogurt and lime juice together. Bring the milk to a boil over high heat in a large heavy saucepan. Stir frequently. As soon as the foam begins to rise, remove the pan from the heat and thoroughly but gently stir in the yogurt and limejuice. The milk will start to separate into the cheese and the whey. Boil till you can see that all the milk has finished curdling.

Set a fine cheese cloth over a colander in a clean sink. Strain the curdled milk through cheesecloth, allowing the whey to drain out. Let the cheese drain undisturbed until the cloth is cool enough to handle. Then wrap the cloth tightly around the cheese and wring it to squeeze out all the excess liquid. Place a weight on top for 2 to 3 hours. It is now ready to be cut into cubes for use. 

Shelf life : 48 hours in the refrigerator. This cheese cn be made a day ahead. This way the cheese has a day to settle. If it crumbles when you cut, then you have not removed enough whey from it. So the next time let it drain for a little longer. 

 

 

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