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Paneer is one of my favorite cheeses and I can never have enough recipes on hand for this classic Indian delight. I've made the following recipe, adapted from 1000 Indian Recipes by Neelam Batra, twice already.
The second time around I experimented further and pre-fried the paneer cubes and simmered a finely chopped tomato along with the spices before adding the paneer and chickpea flour. Whatever variation you try, if you enjoy paneer as much as I do, you will not be disappointed with this dish that goes well with rice on the side, your favorite Indian flatbread and a fresh leafy green salad. Serve with a nice crisp dry white wine for an extra special treat.
Paneer Cheese Cubes with Chickpea Flour and Spices - (Besan Paneer)More paneer dishes from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen:
400 grams of paneer cheese, (homemade or store-bought) cut into 1 inch cubes
2 tablespoons of ghee, or a mixture of butter and oil
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
3 green chilies, seeded and finely chopped
3 tablespoons of dried fenugreek leaves
1 teaspoon of amchoor powder
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne
1/2 teaspoon of ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
1 teaspoon of sea salt
3 tablespoons of chickpea flour
a generous handful of fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped
Cut the paneer cheese into 1 inch pieces and set aside.
Heat the ghee, or butter and oil in a wok or large frying pan over medium heat. When hot, add the cumin seeds and stir and fry for a minute. Now add the ginger, ground cumin, green chilies, fenugreek leaves, amchoor powder, cayenne, coriander, red pepper flakes, turmeric and salt. Stir and fry for a few minutes. Add the paneer cubes to the pan and cook, turning the cheese every minute or so until lightly browned. Sprinkle the chickpea flour over the paneer and stir to coat. Cook for another 5 minutes, flipping the cheese often, making sure to incorporate the chickpea flour evenly. Transfer to a serving dish and serve warm.
Serves 4 - 6.
Saffron Marinated Paneer Cheese with Fresh Basil, Cashews and Pomegranate Seeds
Paneer Tikka Masala
Chickpeas and Paneer in a Spicy Creamy Gravy
Paneer Butter Masala
On the top of the readings stack: cookbooks
Audio Accompaniment: silence, finally (no doozers and no lawn mowers for the time being)