Good morning everyone,
If you’ve been reading my blog you’ll know I have a life long aversion to cheese. As my friend Leanne D., would say “you either love it or you hate it”. Her husband, like me, hates it while she is a huge fan of the stuff. Over the years, I have tried to get past my hate on for cheese and I have had some success. Brie and Camembert were cheese that I enjoyed regularly until I took amrit and am no longer able to consume the rennet that is used in making these two cheeses. Then I found paneer. Paneer, soft, milky, lovely paneer. Yummy!
In Punjab and Kashmir I really enjoyed a dish called Paneer Bhurji. At my other home, in Canada, I learned to make Paneer Pakora from a recipe inspired by the great chef Sanjeev Kapoor. The bestie and I have enjoyed this dish over and over, with a little spicy tomato sauce or garlic chutney on the side. It’s fried and so not the healthiest choice but all things in moderation – it makes a great treat!
1 tablespoon canola, bran or extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon ghee (or use butter)
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
Pinch of asafoetida (also known as hing, available in Indian markets)
1 red (Spanish) onion, chopped finely
1/2″ ginger, peeled and chopped finely
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 or 3 green chilies, chopped
Salt, to taste
1 large tomato, chopped finely, seeds removed
Pinch of cane sugar or jaggery
250 g paneer (about 1/2 lb), crumbled
1 tablespoon coriander leaves
Juice from 1 lime
In a medium sized frying pan over medium heat, melt the ghee and oil together. When hot, add the cumin seeds. When they begin to pop, add the pinch of asafoetida and saute a few more seconds. Add the onion, ginger, turmeric, chilies and salt. Saute the mixture until the onions begin to become translucent. Add some water to the pan and stir thoroughly. Add the tomato and sugar. Mix well and saute 2 – 3 minutes more. Add the crumbled paneer, coriander leaves and the lime juice. Mix well. Saute another 2 – 3 minutes to heat through. Remove from heat and cover the pan with a lid. Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes or so to develop the flavours.
Until next time,
Peace and love,