Jun 11, 2014

Spicy Curried Paneer

Spicy Curried Paneer

I spotted the ‘One-Hour Cheese’ book by Claudia Lucero when I was cruising kobobooks. My favourite pastime. Bought it, and when I glanced over this curried paneer recipe, I knew it would be the recipe I’d start with. Adding curry powder to the cheese itself is so brilliant in all its simplicity!

First time someone asked me if I’d ever eaten grilled paneer, I shrugged my shoulders and thought they were just being silly. You see; paneer is the Dutch name for those breadcrumbs you add to meatballs and burgers. I’ve wizened up since then. Somewhat.

For those of you not familiar with this cheese: paneer is a firm, Indian type of cheese that doesn’t melt, making it perfect for grilling or sautéing.

This turned out unbelievably good and so simple it leaves me wondering why I didn’t make this sooner. I added a few dried chilis giving the paneer a nice kick and the curry powder gave it a wonderful flavour along with a pretty color.

Make paneer, people. Your life will be empty without it so you need to make curried paneer and you need to make it soon. No exotic ingredients or other fun stuff, I promise. Just cheese and nothing but the cheese!

 

Ingredients:

2 liters/half a gallon whole milk
1/4 cup lime juice (or lemon juice)
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp curry powder
1/2 tsp dried chili flakes

Directions:

 
For the Dutchies; I didn’t use raw milk for this, simply store-bought. Worked like a charm for me. This recipes makes for 1/2 a pound cheese.
 

Get your stuff together: cheesecloth (mine was a jam cloth; it worked) a colander and thermometer.
Spicy Curried Paneer

Decided to use bottles of lime juice instead of fresh juice and I opted for a basic, English curry powder.
Spicy Curried Paneer

Pour the milk in a large pan and put it on the stove.
Spicy Curried Paneer

Stir in the curry powder.
Spicy Curried Paneer

 
The reason we need a thermometer is that the milk needs to be at exactly 93Cº (200Fº) when we add the lime juice. It should not boil! We’ll be getting close to boiling temperature, so keep an eye on it, though.
 

Check the temperature and stir now and then to prevent skin from forming.
Spicy Curried Paneer

As soon as the temp reached the 90Cº (194Fº) I stirred in the chili flakes. This gives a nice kick, go for 1/4 tsp if you like less heat or leave it out altogether. I think adding some dried thyme might taste really good as well.
Spicy Curried Paneer

At exactly 93Cº (200Fº) you pour in the lime juice.
Spicy Curried Paneer

Coagulation should happen instantly. If it doesn’t; add more lime juice, a tbsp at a time, until it happens.
Spicy Curried Paneer

Lower the heat and gently stir the curds for 2 minutes.
Spicy Curried Paneer

Spoon the curds into the cheesecloth to let them drain for a few minutes.
Spicy Curried Paneer

The recipe in the book said to add 1 tbsp flake salt, but that cannot possibly be right. I added 1 tsp kosher salt and it was plenty salty.

You could also use 1/2 tsp table salt instead of kosher salt. If you plan on adding the paneer to a curry you might want to add even less salt.
Spicy Curried Paneer

Stir in the salt.
Spicy Curried Paneer

Grab the corners of the cloth.
Spicy Curried Paneer

Twist them to create a tight bundle. Squeeze to release more of the whey.
Spicy Curried Paneer

Place the bundle in the colander.
Spicy Curried Paneer

Put a flat plate on top. Use an empty milk gallon, cleaned and filled with water, or another heavy item as a weight.
Spicy Curried Paneer

Press the paneer for 30 minutes or so. The longer you press it, the firmer it will be.
Spicy Curried Paneer

Unwrap it, and it’s ready to use now. I decided to put it in the fridge first for a few hours, that’ll get it even firmer.
Spicy Curried Paneer

Now all that’s left to do is cube it, cook it and eat it.
Spicy Curried Paneer

Spicy Curried Paneer
Ingredients
    2 liters/half a gallon whole milk
    1/4 cup lime juice (or lemon juice)
    1 tsp kosher salt
    1 tbsp curry powder
    1/2 tsp dried chili flakes

Directions
    You’ll need a cheesecloth, a colander and thermometer. Pour the milk in a large pan and put it on the stove and stir in the curry powder. Heat while stirring nowe andf then to prevent a skin from forming.

    As soon as the temperature reaches 90Cº (194Fº) you stir in the chili flakes. Use 1/4 for a smaller kick. At exactly 93Cº (200Fº) you pour in the lime juice. CCoagulation should happen instantly. If it doesn’t; add more lime juice, a tbsp at a time, until it happens. Lower the heat and stir the curds for 2 minutes.

    Spoon the curds into the cheesecloth to let them drain for a few minutes. Stir in the salt (1 tsp kosher salt equals 1/2 tsp table salt). Grab the corners of the cloth. Twist them to create a tight bundle. Squeeze to release more of the whey. Place the bundle in the colander, put a flate plate on top and use an empty milk gallon filled with water as a weight.

    Press the paneer for 30 minutes or so. The longer you press it, the firmer it will be. Unwrap it, and it’s ready to use now. I decided to put it in the fridge first for a few hours, that’ll get it even firmer.

Meal type: Cheese
Servings: 1/2 pound
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