Have you ever heard of flavored Indian Cottage Cheese, commonly called Paneer??
I always used the store bought Indian Cottage Cheese for the longest time before it struck me its too much of a hassle and maybe I can add my own twist to it at home. This was particularly fun because I tried this during one of my travels and we had literally only a gas burner where we stayed at this guest house!
I wanted to make Paneer from scratch and trust me I thought it was going to be so hard but it came out beautiful at the end of it and if I can do it with just a gas burner, a gallon of milk and some vinegar then so can you!!!!
I always try to incorporate something new to an old recipe so I tried to flavor my Paneer this time with some cumin, coriander powder and my favorite Indian herb which is Fenugreek leaves:)
All you need is:
1 Gallon of Whole Milk/ Low Fat
1 cup of Vinegar
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Coriander powder
1 tsp dried Fenugreek leaves
Clean piece of Muslin Cloth(or any thin clean cloth through which water will pass)
As in every case, the more fat your milk contains the end product which is your Indian Cottage Cheese is likely to be creamier than if you use low fat or fat free!
1) Pour milk onto a crock pot and bring it to a boil and immediately lower the gas as you see it boil!
I told you I had the bare minimum to work with:(
2) Add cumin, coriander powder and the dried fenugreek leaves to the milk and stir well so that it blends into the milk.
3) Now add the Vinegar slowly into the milk stirring continuously but gradually.
4) You will see the milk curdle almost instantaneously but give it some time to curdle completely.
5) Pour this mixture through a muslin cloth to separate the water from the curdled milk.
6) Drain out all the excess water carefully without burning your fingers:) through the muslin cloth.
7) Tie a knot and squeeze gently through a strainer to take out all remaining water. I used a strainer in this step so that even if the crumbled cheese manages to escape through the cloth I can still get it in the strainer:)
8) I wanted to use something to weigh over this knotted cottage cheese so I used a steel vessel(the only one that I could get a hold of!) that would serve the purpose and let it rest undisturbed for about 10 minutes or so.
9) Open it up after atleast 10 minutes and you will see the beautiful Indian Cottage Cheese staring at you:)
Use your home made Indian cottage cheese in curry. You can also refer to my recipe: Creamy Cottage Cheese Curry Prepared in a Wok. I would appreciate your feedback and thanks much. Enjoy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Its been raining and I feel like making a hot bowl of my spicy currylicious tomato soup but with a twist as always! LENTILS:) yes, I add some lentils to my tomato soup. The room fills up with flavor and fragrance of the spices that I add to it which makes it spicy as well. It’s Currylicious and healthy on a rainy day like today and the best for stuffy congested sinuses! Check out the recipe in my recipe section!
4 ripe tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic
An inch piece of fresh ginger
Few fresh black peppercorns
Cumin seeds, a pinch
Pinch of turmeric
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/4 cup yellow lentils
Juice of 1 lemon
Chop tomatoes, garlic and ginger.
Boil 1/2 a crockpot of water, add all the spices, then tomatoes, garlic and ginger. Let them cook for about 5 to 10 min s.
Transfer tomatoes, ginger garlic mixture into a blender and blend well.
Meantime cook your lentils and either use a hand blender or a whisk to break down the lentils to a smooth consistency. Add the lentils onto the blended tomato mixture.
Now grind the peppercorns and transfer them as well.
Finally take a small pan and add some oil, add cumin seeds, mustard seeds and wait till seeds splutter.
Now transfer this to the tomato lentil mixture. Garnish with coriander leaves. Smells and tastes Currylicious! Enjoy!
I came across the auditions for Master Chef Season 3- the Open Casting Call at Flatotel in NY back in November 2011. I still remember the day that I had called my husband, who was at work to let him know that I had decided to give Master Chef 3 auditions a shot and he was like” Are you serious”?LOL
I said that I had already pre registered online and knew exactly what I wanted to cook for my Open Casting Call. I made my favorite 2 dishes- My Bell pepper stuffed with Paneer Pasanda(grated Indian Cottage Cheese with colored bell peppers in a creamy sauce) and Punjabi Kadhi with Peas Pilaf!!!!!Yum…
My husband and I woke up at 6 am that Sunday morning and drove to NY city with the kids:) since we live in West Orange, New Jersey! My husband dropped me at the audition and took both our girls to New York Children’s Museum. I kept calling him to see if the kids were doing alright and little did I know that it was going to be “the most amazing day” that would change my life completely!
I was selected one of the top 100 contestants who made it to the elegant:) “warehouse” for filming MASTER CHEF SEASON 3 with the very famous judges- Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot and Joe Bastianich! It was so much fun to meet such talented amateur cooks from all over the country and make wonderful friends along way……..
Check out the following link for a sneak peek from the warehouse where we (the top 100 contestants) meet the most amazing food GURUS for the first time ever!!!!! So much excitement and smiles- a day that I will never forget. Such an inspiring talk by the judges- http://www.tvgrapevine.com/index.php/the-shows/fox/101-master-chef-2012/1116-masterchef-the-best-amateur-cooks
Tune in for more to my blog at http://curryliciousme.wordpress.com
Love and currylicious dishes from my kitchen to yours!!
My Love Story with Mushrooms
Mushrooms-Plant of immortality?? Growing up in India, we never ate mushrooms and was never cooked in my household or my husband’s ! Me and my husband never tried mushrooms here since we were never raised eating one back home. So I had to do some research to make a delicioussssss dish that would get us to love shrooms!
Mushrooms are low in calories, fat-free, cholesterol-free and very low in sodium, yet they provide important nutrients, including selenium, potassium, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin D. It is such an excellent substitute to meat for vegetarians like me and my husband. I came up with this dish and OMG !!!!!!and there s never turning back on the shroomssss ever again:)
I make this delicious sauce with cilantro, basil and coconut milk(very little!!!) and pan sear the mushrooms with onions and peppers. The best part is yet to come- Candied Ginger!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Trust me -its heavenly and I mean it. You must try this dish and you will fall in love with mushrooms. My husband did and he’s a hard one to crack( LOL )
I plate the dish with some of my cilantro basil coconut milk sauce and place the pan seared mushrooms with onions and peppers and on top for the garnish——-its Candied Gingerrrrrrrrr.
This is one of my most prized possessions and so email me if you would like to try this and I will send you the recipe:)