Cheesepalooza Extra: Low Fat Paneer and a Recipe for Spinach and Tomato with Paneer
I have made paneer (or Panir as Mary calls it) before courtesy of a recipe by Jamie Oliver, but in the spirit of Cheesepalooza I thought I’d give Mary Karlin’s recipe a go. I also thought it would be a good idea to try this one as it’s another low fat cheese recipe. The first part to making this recipe is to make some buttermilk. I did consider buying some, but as I now have a yoghurt maker I thought I’d give it a go in there. It also meant I could use low fat milk to make the buttermilk so my paneer really would be low in fat.
Once you have the buttermilk you are ready to make the paneer. This will have to be made at least a day before but could be done a few days in advance if you keep the buttermilk in the fridge once prepared.
Cheese needs an acid to curdle the milk. With the Jamie Oliver recipe I used lemon juice but for this recipe you use larger quantities of the more lightly acidic buttermilk. I had my doubts as to whether the homemade buttermilk would work, but after heating the milk to the correct temperature it curdled as per the recipe.
Then I got a bit confused. The milk curdled beautifully but the next part of the recipe was to heat further, but somehow I think I heated it a bit too much as the finished product was multi-textured with parts of it clearly over done. This did not deter me, I completed the recipe, including adding some cumin seeds to make a flavoured cheese.
The final product was not quite the right texture but it tasted good and was perfect for cooking with. I added it to some Gozleme and made a curry accompaniment with spinach and tomato. The paneer had a great flavour, especially with the extra addition of cumin, and if I hadn’t overheated it, it would have been even better. I still enjoyed it with my curry and this is definitely one I’ll be doing again. Next time I think I will drain once it has formed the curd mass rather than heating it further and see what the result is. If anyone else has made this cheese, please let me know what you think. But for now, here is my recipe for the side dish I made to go with a curry.
Spinach, Tomato and Paneer
100g onion, thinly sliced
olive oil for frying
1 tablespoon Coriander seeds, crushed in a pestle and mortar
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed in a pestle and mortar
250g tomatoes, deseeded and flesh chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Put a small amount of oil in a frying pan and gently fry the sliced onion over a medium heat. Add the crushed coriander and cumin seeds and fry for about ten minutes until the onion is cooked but not brown.
Add the chopped tomatoes and stir for a minute then add the spinach and allow it to wilt. Finally add the paneer and stir to combine. Season to taste then serve as an accompaniment to a curry.
The spinach and paneer mixture was also great served cold the following day as a filling for a wrap.