How to cook… Butter Paneer

Recipes

Serves 4 as a main dish

Paneer works excellently with this creamy, buttery and super moreish sauce. Fry the paneer chunks first so they are crispy on the outside and enjoy the rich sauce. The dish will be much better if you make your own paneer.

What you need…
• 1 teaspoon ghee
• 800g paneer, cubed
• 150g unsalted butter
• 2 onions, finely chopped
• 1 teaspoon garlic paste
• 1 teaspoon ginger paste
• salt to taste
• 6 fresh tomatoes, finely chopped
• 1 teaspoon sugar (optional, if you like it sweet)
• 150ml cream
• coriander leaves for garnish

Spice Mix
• 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
• 1 teaspoon ground coriander
• 1 teaspoon garam masala
• 1 teaspoon cumin powder

How to make it
1. Heat 1 Tablespoon ghee in pan to a low-medium heat. Add the paneer cubes and fry until they brown. This should take about 3–4 minute. Remove from the pan and set aside.
2. Heat 100g of the butter on a low-medium heat until melted, add the onion and cook until it starts to brown (about 4–5 minutes).
3. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute.
4. Add in the Spice Mix, salt and the chillies, stir well and cook for 1 minute.
5. Add the tomatoes and cook for 3-4 minutes, then add 250ml water and cook for a further 2–3 minutes.
6. Transfer the ingredients to a blender (or use a hand blender) until smooth.
7. Return to pan and reheat for a couple of minutes. You can now add in the optional sugar.
8. Add the paneer, cream, the other 50g of butter and and cook on a low-medium heat until everything is warmed through.
9. Serve garnished with the coriander leaves. The dish also looks good with a small swirl of cream and/or tiny knob of butter in the middle of the dish (it will melt quickly).

CHEF’S TIP
When you remove the paneer chunks and move on to stage 2 you do not need wipe out the remaining ghee. It’ll stop the butter burning and what’s a bit more oil between friends when it comes to such a rich dish?
The crispy paneer chunks are excellently complimented by the creamy sauce.

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What cheese do cyclists take on holiday? … A paneer.

How to make… Paneer

Curry News

Makes 250g of paneer

What you need…
• 6 pints full cream milk
• 1–2 Tablespoons white vinegar or fresh lemon juice

How to make it…
1. Put the milk into a pan and bring to the boil. Keep stirring to ensure the milk does not stick or burn as this will ruin the taste of the paneer. You’ll know it has boiled when a mound forms on the surface of the milk
2. Take the pan off the heat and add the vinegar or lemon juice a little at a time until the milk separates (these are the curds forming). The separation is pretty obvious so if the whey (what’s left after the curds are forming) still looks like milk, keep going with the vinegar or lemon juice. Let it cool for 10 minutes.
3. Next, remove the curds from the whey. Put some cheesecloth (you can also use muslin or even a J-cloth) over a large bowl and pour the mixture through it to strain out the whey. Rinse the curds with cold water to wash away the taste of the acid.
4. Bring the edges of the cloth together to wrap the curds and squeeze as gently as possible (this ensures the paneer will be soft and crumbly and not flattened completely). Make sure all the liquid had been removed.
5. Put a weight on it and leave it for an hour or more. Some more liquid will come out so put something underneath it.
6. The paneer will have formed and you can now cut it into chunks or strips for use.
Thanks to Chili Paper Chains. Main photo: Sonja Pauen, CCA.

CHEF’S TIP
Full cream milk is essential for the proper taste of paneer.
Paneer is beautiful with creamy sauces such as Butter Paneer or as a side dish with spinach.

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