Day 12 – The Paneer Moment of Truth! Til-E-Paneer

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Today we find out whether the Paneer I made on the weekend is any good!

I followed this recipe for Til-E-Paneer, a spicy, lemony, yoghurty barbecued dish. Because this is my first time cooking with my own Paneer I didn’t want to opt for anything too strongly flavoured. I wanted to be able to tell whether the flavours or textures weren’t right or needed tweaking.

I mixed the paneer/spice/yoghurt blend around mid afternoon (the benefits of working from home) and left it to marinade. At the same time I threw together a basic, cooling raita, using the following rough recipe:

1/2 a tub greek yoghurt

1/3 of a continental cucumber, grated.

1 tsp garlic paste

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp garam masala

1 Tbs chopped coriander

1 Tbs chopped mint

Cayenne pepper for garnish.

Mix all ingredients except the cayenne and refrigerate until ready to serve. Top with a dusting of cayenne just before serving.

I also threw together a generic mixed vegetable curry, including cauliflower, zucchini, green beans, spinach, onion, garlic, tomatoes and spices and a little cream. I haven’t included the recipe here because I didn’t measure as I went, my intention here was to both provide a tasty counterpart to the paneer and to use up all of the bits and peices of various veggies in the fridge.

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I cooked the marinated paneer under the grill, using a low heat – I wanted to ensure the paneer heated through before the marinade scorched. I also wanted to allow excess juices to drain, so the paneer would not become soggy.

This recipe worked out particularly well, when I make it again (and I will) I’ll cut the salt down a bit, but otherwise it was mildly spicy, with a lovely garlicky, yoghurt tang. The paneer itself had a great texture, more similar to that I’ve had in restaurants than to paneer I’ve bought in supermarkets. This is a great discovery – now I can make my favourite Tandoori Paneer without it falling apart!

That said, the star of this meal was actually the improvised mixed vegetable curry – I’m kicking myself now for not paying more attention to what I put in it!

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