Paneer is very easy to make, but you need to allow it to
chill in the fridge and firm up before using Ė about a couple of hours. Donít
be put off by the length of this recipe, I promise you, itís very easy to make
and youíll find the paneer is wonderfully soft and fluffy when cooked. You can,
of course, make the paneer the day before it is needed if wished.
Serves 4 people if served with other dishes
For the paneer
1 litre milk gold top milk (not homogenised)
3 slightly heaped tablespoons natural yoghurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Corn oil for a deep fat fryer
For the mattar paneer
3 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 small onion
Ĺ teaspoon finely diced ginger
1 small bunch coriander, finely sliced
scant ľ teaspoon (or to taste) chilli powder
1 heaped teaspoon ground turmeric
1 heaped teaspoon garam masala
340g tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped
500g peas in their pods, shelled
300ml whey (from making the paneer)
salt to taste
1 To make the paneer place the milk in a
saucepan and set over a medium heat.
Bring to a full boil, stirring occasionally.
2 Remove from the heat and stir in the yoghurt
and lemon juice. Keep stirring until it
has fully separated into lumpy curds.
3 Set a sieve over a jug and pour in the
mixture. Leave for an hour until cool
and firmed up. Remove from sieve Ė place
on plate, cover and chill. Cover and
chill the whey. Itís delicious added to vegetable and chicken curries in place
of water. It gives them a creamy,
slightly sour taste.
4 To make the pea curry, set a wide pan over a medium-low
heat. Once hot, add the oil, followed by the onion and ginger. Fry until golden.
5 Wash and pat dry the coriander. Finely slice, stems and all, then mix all but
a couple of spoonfuls (which can be added shortly before serving) into the
onions. Continue to fry for another
minute or two, then stir in the dried spices.
Fry for 2 minutes or until it looks cooked, then stir in the tomatoes.
6 Increase the heat to high and cook the
tomatoes until they form a thick puree that releases oil if a spoon is run
7 Shell the peas and stir them into the tomato
mixture with about 300ml whey. Bring up
to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook gently for 10 minutes or until
the peas are soft. Season to taste.
8 Shortly before serving, preheat a deep fat
fryer to 170˚C. Cut the paneer into
small chunks and add in batches to the deep fryer. Cook for 2 minutes or until they float to the
surface and turn golden. Drain on
kitchen paper then mix into the hot pea curry. Simmer gently for 5 minutes then
leave to sit for 5 minutes. As they sit
they will swell as they absorb the juices. Salt to taste and mix in the