Home made Paneer
You will need:
½ gallon Whole Milk (8 cups)
3 tbsp Lemon juice
Cheesecloth or a thin cloth for straining
Place milk in a large pot on medium high heat. Stir frequently to avoid milk from burning or sticking to the bottom. When the milk almost begins to boil, stir in the lemon juice. When the milk comes to a full boil, it will begin to curdle. It should look like this. (click to enlarge)
Stir for a minute and turn off heat.
Strain the liquid into a colander lined with a thin cloth or a double layer cheesecloth.
Rinse the paneer briefly under running cold water, this removes the residual citric taste. Squeeze out all the excess water, tie the cloth tightly and place it in the sink on a metal plate or a wooden board. Place another plate or board on top of this, weigh it down with metal cans or heavy objects. Let sit overnight or for atleast 6-8 hours, this helps the paneer to firm up.
Remove the block from the cloth and cut into cubes. If storing for a later day, place in a Ziplock bag and freeze. Thaw before using again.
This makes 1 ½ cups of cubed home-made Paneer.
Now that I had paneer, I was only a few steps away from digging into creamy Matar Paneer.
You will need:
1 cup Paneer cubed
1 cup Fresh/frozen Peas
For the Gravy:
2 Onions chopped
8 Tomatoes chopped
½ tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp Chilli powder
1 tbsp Corriander powder
1 tbsp Cumin powder
1 tbsp Ginger Garlic paste
1 tbsp Cashew pieces
3 tbsp Oil
Salt to taste
Whole Garam Masala : 3 Cloves, 3 Cardamom pods, 1” cinnamon stick, 2 Bay leaves
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1 tbsp Kasthuri Methi (Dried Fenugreek leaves)
¼ cup Fresh cream
Heat oil in a pan. Add cashew bits and sauté till light brown. Add the chopped onions and sauté till onions are soft and almost golden brown. Now add the ginger garlic paste and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and turmeric powder and cook till soft. Lightly cool this mixture and then grind to a smooth paste without water. This is the basic gravy. You can use this to make any other curry by adding ingredients like vegetables to make Kadai Vegetable, Koftas to make Malai Kofta etc. This gravy is creamy and delicious inspite of the fact it contains no butter. The great taste comes from the slow simmering which brings the flavours together.
Heat oil in a pan, add cumin seeds and whole garam masala. Saute for a minute. Now add the ground gravy and about ½ to 1 cup of water based on the consistency. Stir in cumin, coriander and red chilli powders. Add salt. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 15 minutes. This thickens the gravy and also blends the spices well. Crush the kasthuri methi in your palm and add it to the gravy. Add the peas and paneer cubes. Simmer for 5 more minutes, stir in the fresh cream. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve hot.
We had it with Butter Naans.