Saturday, May 12, 2018

Paneer Pepper Masala

Until very recently I had never tried paneer. It looked like tofu so I always thought it would have the same texture and I reeeeeeally, really don't like the texture of tofu. Turns out I was wrong. Turns out I should probably not make judgments about foods without first doing a little research and, you know.... trying them first. 
The texture of paneer is not like tofu. It is more like a cheese curd like the squeaky ones they use on poutine. Which makes sense. I mean... it is a cheese. 
One of my coworkers said that he would whip me up some paneer if I would in turn make a dish to bring to the office using the paneer. Challenge accepted. 

Paneer Pepper Masala

1 Tbsp oil
1 large onion, chopped
1/4 canned chopped green chilies
1 tsp ginger paste
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, cut into slices
1 Tbsp ketchup
1/2 tsp tumeric
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp garam masala
2 (to 3) cups paneer, cubed

In a large frying pan/skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add in onions and fry, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Add in green chilies, ginger, garlic, and jalapeno pepper. Saute for 3 - 4 minutes.

Turn heat down to low. Add in ketchup, tumeric, black pepper, and garam masala. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. 

Above is the paneer still in cheesecloth. 

Flip it onto a cutting board and remove the cheesecloth. 

Cut into cubes. 
Add your cubed paneer into the frying pan. Cook and stir very gently until the paneer is coated and heated through - about 5 or so minutes. Serve hot. 

In case you needed more convincing to give this a try - it only takes about 15 minutes from start to finish and, it reheats very well the next day in the microwave as well!
Like things hotter? Add more black pepper and jalapenos. As written, I found this just the right amount of spice. I'm a bit of a wimp when it comes to heat though, so....... 
Apparently making the paneer is quite simple so I definitely want to give it a go. On it's own it is quite flavorless - it takes on the flavor of whatever you are cooking it in, not unlike tofu - BUT, it definitely has a more squishy, cheese-curd like texture than tofu. Thank goodness for that, I say. 

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