Paneer is a fresh cheese common in South Asia, especially in Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi cuisines. It is an unaged, acid-set, non-melting farmer cheese or curd cheese made by curdling heated milk with lemon juice, vinegar, or any other food acids. Its crumbly and moist form is called chhena in eastern India and in Bangladesh.
This is my first experience cooking with Paneer. I’ve eaten it many times while on holiday in India and always enjoyed it. It’s available in most supermarkets and its actually very easy to cook with.
Below is the basic recipe for this dish which I took from the BBC Good Food website. I adapted a little by adding some dried chili, cumin seeds and extra veg I had left over.
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 heaped tbsp tikka masala paste
- 500g carton passata
- 200g frozen peas
- small pack coriander, roughly chopped
- basmati rice or naan breads, to serve
- raita or your favorite chutney, to serve
- Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large non-stick frying pan, add the paneer and fry gently until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the remaining oil and the cauliflower to the pan, and cook for 10 mins until browned. Add the onions, and a little more oil if needed, and cook for a further 5 mins until softened. Stir in the garlic and curry paste, then pour in the passata and 250ml water, and season. Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook for 18-20 mins or until the cauliflower is just tender.
- Add the frozen peas and crispy paneer to the pan and cook for a further 5 mins. Stir through most of the coriander and garnish with the rest. Serve with basmati rice or naan bread, raita or your favorite chutney.