January 09, 2007

Too much milk

What do you do when you unexpectedly have much more milk left in the fridge than you anticipated? Well, if you're not prone to sitting down to a big glass of milk and are not in the mood for a rice pudding, you make paneer. Or, at least, I did. Oh, I had big plans for that milk: eggnog (some of which actually did go toward making eggnog, I confess), white lasagna (maybe next month...), bechamel for moussaka, and even cereal, which I am not terribly prone to, most mornings. However, the milk was skittering rapidly toward its expiry with none of these things having been made. Paneer was the fast, easy option. And paneer, of course, meant curry:


It's not difficult to make paneer. Heat milk until just boiling, turn off heat, and add a tablespoon or two of lemon juice. Cover, let stand for 15 minutes or so, and strain. Place a weight on the reserved solid curds, and the next day you have a nice brick of paneer. Even when you forget to weight it (ahem), paneer is delicious and easy to cook with (albeit more fragile).

With so much paneer at hand, I was planning to make a nice Shahi Paneer for dinner. Yet again, my plans went awry, when I discovered my wonderful thick yoghurt had, in fact, passed its expiry and gone on to produce several exciting new colours while waiting to be discarded. Undaunted, I turned to that ever-ready all-purpose curry base that I'm always happy to have: korma. The fact that there were still a variety of uncooked vegetables languishing in the fridge meant that, with the addition of some ready chickpeas, I had a very easy dinner at hand in only half an hour. For the sake of variety, I added a little cashew paste to the korma sauce, and used half-and-half instead of cream.


How surprised my teenage self would have been, had I known how much I would come to love curry!

7 comments:

kickpleat said...

i love paneer and i'm totally going to try my hand at making some! finding a weight that will fit evenly into a pot might just be the hardest thing about this recipe...

Dawna said...

Go for it - it's easy! A couple of tips: when you stir the lemon juice in, just give it a quick once-around. Don't keep stirring it and waiting for the coagulation - that only happens once you stop stirring, so just get the lid on, pronto! As for the weight - I just leave the paneer in my yoghurt-strainer (much like a re-usable coffee filter) overtop an old yoghurt container, and cover it with plastic wrap. Then, I put a big old can of tomatoes on top, and pop it in the fridge! That way, any additional whey drains off, and the can fits snugly on the top of the striner. In fact, four or five cups of milk fills my little strainer to about capacity.

Kate said...

I made paneer last spring and it was ridiculously easy and so tasty. Then I turned it into Palak Paneer which was even better. I. JUST. LOVE. CURRY!

When I have an abundance of milk, I make pudding from scratch. Yum. Can't think of much that gets better than that!

Dawna said...

Kate, I love a good palak paneer - better still, saag paneer (lots of different greens, not just spinach). Tasty, and pretty simple to make.

Pudding sounds good, too, but I just a bit tired of sweets, at that point. Not now, though!

carne al fuoco - il piacere del barbecue said...

Hi DAWNA! Great RECIPE, congratulations for the blog too...


Many many greetings from the 1st italian barbecue fans community!

carnealfuoco.it - tutto per il barbecue ricette foto community

mollycal said...

I love paneer and have always wanted to make some. It sounds so much easier than I though it would be! I can't wait to try it.

Dawna said...

Hi Mollycal! Do try...it's really shockingly easy!