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Almond Crusted Paneer

Spices can transform any dish into a sensational culinary experience. Yudhika shows you how to add a bit of magic to your favourite veggies dishes with an Indian Vegetarian inspired Menu. She first prepares an Almond Crusted Paneer accompanied by a spicy Mint Chutney then a delicious Cauliflower & Pea curry, Creamy Potatoes with Spinach and these are served with Homemade Puri Bread.

Ingredients

  • 4 litres full Cream Milk, preferably Clover
  • 180ml  white vinegar
  • For the marinade
    • 60ml chickpea flour
    • 10ml Curry me Home Magic Masala or Indian Rub
    • 20ml red chilli powder
    • 2,5ml turmeric
    • 5ml ajwain seeds (carom or lovage)
    • 10ml garam masala
    • 5ml ground black pepper
    • 60ml fresh cream
    • 50ml yoghurt
  • For the topping
    • 50g flaked almonds
    • Salt, to season
    • Sunflower oil, to drizzle

Method

  1. Boil milk in a thick bottomed pot and stir continuously to prevent the milk from sticking.
  2. Once the milk comes up to the boil, remove from the heat.
  3. Pour the white vinegar around the pot and gently move the milk – do not stir.
  4. If the mixture still looks milky, add a little more vinegar.
  5. Leave aside for 30 minutes.
  6. The curd should float to the top and form a thick layer.
  7. Place the curd in a strainer and use the back of a spoon to press out the excess whey.
  8. Tip the curd into a muslin cloth and mould it into a ‘cake’.
  9. Place the paneer on a chopping board and place a large pot filled with water on top.
  10. This will help the excess moisture drain away.
  11. Leave to drain for 2 hours.
  12. Place the paneer in a zip seal bag and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
  13. For the marinade
    1. Place the spices, chickpea flour, yoghurt and cream into a bowl.
    2. Stir well until the marinade is smooth.
  14. Place a piece of baking paper onto a roasting pan or baking tray.
  15. Drizzle with a little sunflower oil and spread two tablespoons of the marinade over the paper.
  16. Place the paneer on top and coat in the remaining marinade.
  17. Season with salt and gently press the flaked almonds over the marinade.
  18. Drizzle with sunflower oil.
  19. Bake in a preheated oven at 200 degrees celsius for 12 minutes or until the paneer is golden brown.

Yudhika’s tips:

  • Always use full cream milk when making Paneer.
  • Leave the Paneer on the draining board while it is being pressed – the whey can cause a mess.
  • If the Paneer is too soft, leave it unwrapped in the refrigerator to firm up.