Fried Paneer with a Coriander & Fennel Marinade
Paneer is so easy to make and offers a refreshing alternative to meat in a curry dish, one of my favourites being saag paneer which is what I had in mind when purchasing the milk to make it. But as always, my mind goes off on a tangent when I see other ingredients and the end dish often turns out completely different to what I originally intended, ‘unstructured’ some people might say but I called it creative thinking! This little bit of creative thinking happened because the day I was making my paneer it was warm and sunny rather than the expected cold winter’s day it was meant to be and I no longer felt like a hot curry but something lighter. So that is how this dish evolved. It would also be perfect added to roasted beeroot and pumpkin as a winter salad.
Ingredients – Paneer
- 2 litres full-cream milk
- 2 tbsp white vinegar
Method – Paneer
- Place milk in a pan and heat to 90C (almost boiling point).
- Take off the heat and add vinegar.
- Stir continuously until the milk is completely curdled.
- Set aside for 30 minutes
- Strain the mixture through a clean muslin cloth.
- Hang the muslin for 15-20 minutes so that all the whey is drained out.
- To make the paneer into a block tie the muslin and place it under something heavy. I put my muslin in a sift and then cover the curds with the muslin and place a saucer on top with my marble mortar & petal to weight it down.
- The paneer can now be cut into chunks and used as required.
- 1/4 cup oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 inch fresh ginger, finely chopped
- salt & pepper
- handful fresh coriander leaves, chopped
Method – marinade & cooking the paneer
- Place all the seeds into a frying pan and dry fry them for 2 minutes, partially bash them with a mortar & pestle.
- Combine all ingredients in a shaker or jar.
- Cube the paneer and lightly flour.
- Add a few tablespoons of vegetable oil to a non stick frying pan and fry the paneer on both sides till golden brown.
- Pour marinade over warm paneer and serve immediately.
- If you want to make the dish in advance you fry the paneer and put aside, then reheat in the paneer in the oven before serving and then add the marinade.