In Dharma mountain we have just experienced a beautiful summer retreat with the Beloved Master Swaha. Participants from many countries have come to sit with the master, to come back to nature outside and inside. We have had the warmest summer anyone can remember in Norway, and enjoyed the sun, the river – and of course the tasty fresh food from our kitchen. One of our favourite retreat lunches is the Khadai Paneer – a spicy indian curry with the soft indian cheese paneer.
In Dharma kitchen we make our own paneer – with fresh milk from a local farmer. Dhipani & Ashika made the paneer this summer. and Dhipani shares some secrets of how to do it so it really becomes soft and juicy:
Makes +/- 750 g paneer
5 liters whole milk (preferably fresh, ecological and non-pasteurized)
100 ml white vinegar
How to do it:
Measure the vinegar. Heat up the milk in a thick-bottomed vessel. Bring the milk to almost boiling, but just before the bubbles come up, add the vinegar and turn off the heat.
This will give the cheese a softer consistency than if you wait until it boils. Stir in the vinegar with a wooden spoon, in a gentle way so you don’t break the curd.
Drain in a colander covered with a cheese cloth. (You can use any clean, loosely woven white fabric. ) Spread the curd evenly. Cover with a plate, and a weight (a stone for example) on top. Leave for 10 minutes with the weight (if you leave it longer, the cheese will become harder), then put in the fridge until it’s completely cold and firm. Cut in pieces, and keep in the fridge.
Don’t be stingy with the spices on this one.
500 g paneer cheese
15 g garlic, finely chopped
20 g ginger, finely chopped
200 g onion, chopped
400 g canned tomatoes or fresh tomatoes, if using fresh tomatoes blend them or cut in small cubes
7 g salt
7,5 g turmeric
13 g ground coriander
3 g ground cumin or whole seeds
2 g chili powder or cayenne
3 g garam masala
1 g fenugreek leaves
40 g fresh coriander, pluck the leaves
45 ml cream
150 ml water
65 g red paprika, cut in cubes
65 g green paprika, cut in cubes
Cut the paneer and paprika in 2,5 cm cubes.
Fry onion until golden, or even better, if you have the time, until the onion is caramelized. Add garlic and ginger – and fry some more.
Add cumin seeds or powder and stir around a bit before you add the other spices (except for garam masala) and then the tomatoes.
Let simmer for a little while. Meanwhile you fry the paneer in a frying pan with ghee or butter until golden on each side. Quickly fry the paprika too, just so it loses the raw feeling, but it should still be crispy.
Add the garam masala and cream to the sauce and taste for salt. You might need to add a little sugar to balance it out. Add more spices if you feel it’s needed.
Mix the paneer and the paprika into the sauce. Serve with basmati rice, brown rice, green salad and chutneys.
With love from Satori kitchen
Photos by Ram and Raahi