Wednesday, December 20, 2006

TJ's Masala/Paneer sauce

Since both Susie and Stefaneener highly recommended Trader Joe's Masala and Korma Simmer Sauces, I couldn't wait to try them. Unfortunately, my cold prevented me from being able to taste for so long that I wasn't able to try them right away. I was pretty happy with this meal, though.

Masala/Paneer Sauce

1 jar Trader Joe's Masala Simmer Sauce
1 cup water
1 package Paneer (Indian cheese)
1 T olive oil
1 onion
1 cup frozen peas
cooked rice

Cut paneer into small squares and saute in olive oil until lightly brown. Remove to paper towels to drain. Add chopped onion to remaining olive oil and cook until tender. Add jar of sauce and 1 cup of water. Bring to a simmer and heat for about 10 minutes. Add in the paneer and frozen peas and heat through. Serve over rice and with pita, heated in a frying pan.
Homemade Paneer

I looked all over for paneer, which you can supposedly buy pre-made, but had no success. I found a recipe online and made it with the free milk I got at the grocery store this week, thinking no harm in trying. It turned out really good!

2 litres of milk
juice of two lemons
cumin powder

big pot
cheesecloth or non-fuzzy dish towel
2 cutting boards
heavy weight (bricks or pot filled with water)

Bring the milk, 1 t. salt and 1 t. cumin to a slow simmer. Simmer for five minutes, stirring constantly and making sure it doesn't burn or boil over.

Remove the boiled milk from the heat and stir in 1 tablespoon of lemon juice at a time, until the milk curdles and becomes very chunky. Drain off the whey (non chunky stuff) and wrap the curds (chunky stuff) in the cheese cloth or clean dish towel. You can taste it and see if it needs more salt or cumin, or if you want to add any other seasonings. Squeeze out any remaining whey and then shape it into a flattened rectangle of cheese. Place on one cutting board, then top with a second, and weigh it down (you might want to do this over a sink). Keep the weight on for 1-2 hours, then unwrap the paneer, rinse it, and store it in the fridge until you need it.


Abby said...

Looks yummy - I wish we had a trader joe's!

Joan said...

It's good to see that your paneer worked w/ fat free milk! I will try that. I have found that it freezes very well, though mine were made w/ at least 2% so I don't know if that would make a difference. I'll try your recipe.

Joan in Shorewood

bfmomma said...

Oh, it wasn't FAT free milk--just FREE milk--like when Pick N Save does the thing where you buy 6 boxes of cereal and get 2 free gallons of milk! It was 2%, I'm pretty sure.