Paneer making 101


Paneer: the immaculate white cubes of milk, while largely known as Indian cheese is in fact not much like cheese at all.. It’s milk that has been curdled, separated from the whey and compacted. The whole process doesn’t last anything more than 15 minutes. Beautifully adapted into any dish of choice and eaten just as it is with salad- Paneer is unanimously loved by each and every Indian in every form, shape and dish. vegetarians thrive on it because it can be prettied up and made into the  richest of dishes, and in fact be made into a bajillion dishes if you ever were to count.

It’s easy quick and mouth watering.. here’s how:

You need only 2 ingredients to actually make this.

Milk & vinegar. Now the amount of paneer you want depends upon the milk. If you need a lot of paneer you will need a whole lot of milk. From 500 mls of milk you’d yield around 100gms of paneer or lesser.. but fret not.

I didnt need a lot so I used around 300 mls of milk, but you can increase the amount of milk to as much or as little as you need. As long as you understand how it’s made, it’s a breeze…

Pour milk into a saucepan (try and use full fat milk) and let it come to a boil.. don’t grow impatient and dont keep playing with the gas knobs like me.

Once it’s come to a boil and make sure it has, add in the white vinegar 1 tsp.. increase the amounts only slightly whence you increase the milk.. we don’t want out paneer vinegary.

Please don’t stare at my kitchen walls.. take a moment and watch paneer making in process. This is the curd separating from the whey which btw is extremely rich in proteins.

Well, this is what it should all look like.. we have yet to separate the whey.

take a really fine cloth, cheesecloth or in my case a stolen kerchief from a stack of my husband’s white and soft kerchief piles.

Placing it in a bowl tumble over all the curd, thus separating the whey.. be careful this is extremely hot and let it be for some time before you finally lift it up.

You can see the whey is separated. Discard it and put the cloth back in try squeezing it out once it has cooled down a bit, this is very very hot right now. You can even hang it and let all the whey slowly drip out, if you have the time. I’m impatient and I always burn my palms.. but such is life.

This is after burning my palms and squeezing out all the whey.. let it rest awhile.. if you want: put something heavy on top of it and let it be for some time, until it has finally cooled down and is ready for the unraveling..

Behold !!! the conversion of milk into this beautiful, springy, soft and almost crumbly paneer. You can cut it into cubes or mash it or just eat it with a salad, or sprinkle some salt n pepper or your favourite dressing and have it with your drinks..

Enjoy !!!

Egg Curry


This happens to be one of the only egg recipe my militant vegetarian husband seems to like. It’s spicy, warm and can be eaten with bread, rice or just as it is.

Before you get started with it, get the eggs to start boiling.. and we need hard boiled eggs. enough to crack open your enemies skull. (I’m listing the ingredients towards the very last of this post)

Into a blender put in 1 onion, 2-3 cloves of garlic, 1 green chilly, 1/2 inch of ginger and blend into a frenzy.

this is what you’ll get after blitzing it all together. A very nice and grainy paste.

heat 1 tbsp oil in a wok and pour the puree into it and let it cook. In the meantime lets get on with the rest of the ingredients

yup, that’s my reflection.. I’m glad we’re over it. One ripe tomato and a grater, we reduce this to a nice pulp minus the skin ahem!!

Here it is, the glorious, red tomato pulp.

In the meanwhile, we have the onion, garlic and ginger puree now cooked and ready for the grated tomato pulp to be added in.

The gravy is turning a brilliant red after adding in the tomato. I have let it all cook for 5 minutes and added in the salt and given it a good stir. Make sure that you have cooked it all through before you add in the spices.

1 tsp of dried coriander into the cooked tomato onion gravy..

1/4 tsp cinnamon for the brilliant aftertaste.. cinnamon has to be my favourite spice hands down!!!

1/2 tsp ground cumin. Stir it all together and let it cook a bit

Finally, 200 mls water to the whole paste.. this is what turns it all into a wonderful curry..

Let it cook and froth and spurt and boil for another 5 minutes

The last & final addition of eggs into the curry, after which just cover and simmer for another 5 minutes..Do keep checking it by tasting it for salt.. we all have different love for salt

This is it.. The wonderful egg curry.. it’s one of the my favourite ways to eat up an egg.

Enjoy !!!

Ingredients

3 hard boiled eggs

200 mls water

2 tsp salt

1 tsp dried coriander

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1 tbsp oil

1 ripe red tomato

1 medium size onion

2 cloves of garlic

1 green chilly

1/2 inch ginger

Blend together the onion, ginger, garlic and chilly and heat oil in a wok and pour out the paste into it and let it cook. You’ll know it’s cooked when it starts separating from the oil & in case you have used too less an oil to separate then wait till it turns completely brown, not burnt !!

In the meanwhile grate your tomato into a pulp and add it in the wok. Cook it through and add in the salt, proceeding with the ground coriander, cinnamon and cumin. Mix it all well and let cook for another few minutes.

Finally add in the water. Cover and cook till it boils. carefully add in the eggs and cover and cook again.. we really ant the eggs to sort of imbibe and take the curry’s colour.

That’s it,serve with rice or just have it the way it is..

Eggplant mash


A delight on your table, a wonderful treat for family and friends and easy as a breeze to cook up.Though a traditionally Indian dish, it can be altered anyway to suit your palate.

I have done the most basic version and yet it’s wonderful aroma wafted throughout the entire house making it impossible to concentrate on the calorie burning I had been promising myself at the gym. Not too heavy on the calories either. It’s a very simple recipe infused with deep flavors.

Easily eaten with bread of your choice or just plain as it is.

Eggplant Mash (baingan bharta)

One big onion finely chopped

One big juicy tomato finely chopped

2-3 garlic cloves finely grated

ginger (half the amount of garlic) finely grated

1 eggplant/brinjal roasted-skin removed and mashed (you can either do it in your oven or on a gas top. I did it on a gas top. )

cumin seeds – big pinch

3/4 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp garam masala

1/4 tsp cinnamon powder

2 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp red chilli powder (on your taste actually)- i like it spicy but my husband likes it mild.

salt to taste

2-3 tbsp water.

1 tbsp vegetable oil.

Assemble your chopped ingredients

In your favourite cooking utensil, it could be a wok/deep pan.. anything convenient, put in the oil on medium heat, and once its hot enough add in the cumin seeds. Once they start to splutter, tip in the onion, ginger , garlic and mix well.

saute to the point that it changes its color to a nice brown, this is the time to add in the turmeric powder, and keep browning. Take care that it doesn’t burn, at which point add in the water.

around 8 minutes of this and you’d have a beautiful, fragrant brown mixture. destroying the monotony, add in the tomatoes and give them the same treatment till the tomatoes completely mix into the onion mixture.

once its all cooked through its time to add in the spices- mix in your garam masala, cinnamon powder, coriander powder, chilli powder and salt and mix thoroughly to combine. use some more water in case its drying out.

once its all cooked through add in the eggplant and mash in into the mixture. Just work it through to make sure that its evenly distributed throughout.

I usually keep on tasting it in between to check the salt and the flavour. you can of course vary the content of the salt and chillies according to your like.

all that’s left is to put in the water and cover it with a lid and let it cook for a few minutes or until the water evaporates a bit.

Eat it hot, garnish with a few coriander leaves, and just smell your house.. it’s Heaven !!!