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!