A few weekends ago I had a chance to check out an Indian grocery store and, among other things, I picked up a package of paneer: Indian cheese.
This cheese doesn't have a lot of flavor, but is good at taking on the flavors of whatever ingredients you mix into the dish. You can make paneer at home very easily, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with buying it.
One of the properties of paneer that lends itself great to this dish is that when it's pan-fried, it doesn't melt!
I hope you enjoy this healthy and quick recipe.
enough vegetable oil to cover the bottom of your pan
14 ounces paneer, cubed
1 red onion, finely chopped
1-2 teaspoons fresh ginger, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
salt & pepper
28 ounce can diced tomatoes
10 ounces frozen spinach, defrosted, liquid squeezed out
to serve: rice, naan, cilantro and/or yogurt.
1. Heat the vegetable oil in a pan or skillet with a wide bottom. Carefully add the cubes of paneer and cook until at least two sides of the cheese are golden brown. If you have a lot of patience and time, cook the cheese until all of its sides are golden brown. Be careful while doing this because oil tends to splatter and one of the paneer cubes managed to jump out of the pan while I was preparing this dish. Remove the paneer from the pan and set aside.
2. Add the red onion to the pan and cook for five minutes. Add ginger and cumin seeds and continue to cook for another two minutes.
3. Season with salt and pepper, add diced tomatoes and continue to cook for another five minutes.
4. Add spinach, adjust the seasoning and let everything gently bubble for five minutes.
5. At this point, heat your naan or rice.
6. Add paneer back to the pan and let it heat through.
7. Serve on top of rice or alone in a bowl with a side of grilled naan. Top with yogurt and fresh cilantro.
I had the leftovers for lunch today. The flavors only deepen!
Have you ever made paneer at home? What dishes did you make with it?