Wednesday, March 3, 2010

What's Cooking # 2 Reveal

Lynne Marie from Mind Body Mama has a good eye!  This is indeed Paneer:

and this one is the cardamon pods that I had opened to get the seeds out for Garam Masala.

Here the recipes for both from Curries Without Worries - an introduction to Indian cuisine by Sudha Koul

Paneer - Homemade cottage cheese cubes,

1/2 gallon whole milk
2 lbs whole milk yogurt
1 cup lemon juice

Bring the milk to a good boil on high heat in a heavy 8-quart saucepan.

Mix the yoghurt and lemon juice well.  Pour into the boiling milk.

Stir at once, only once, gently and slowly.

Shut off heat after a minute.

The milk should curdle.  The water should separate from the milk solids and should be a light yellow color

Cover and leave for half an hour.

Then place a think muslin-type material, such as a fine quality man's large handkerchief, over a large colander.
Place the colander in a sink.  Pour the curdled mixture into the cloth so that all the liquid drains off through the colander, leaving the cheese in the cloth.

This should take a couple of minutes.

Next run cold water over the cheese for a minute.  allow all the liquid to drain off.
Then tie up the cheese in the cloth, very tightly, so that more liquid is drained off

Hang the cheese in the cloth for half an hour to drain off any remaining moisture.

Next, place the cheese on it's side, on a  board, so that the knot is on the side.  Place another board on it and then a heave weight on the board, to press and squeeze out any moisture that might still be left in the cheese.

After 30 minutes, gently open up the cloth and place the cheese on a cutting board.  If it is sill warm, leave it until it cools completely.  Then you can cut it into cubes and use it in recipes.

Garam Masala

1 large cinnamon stick, coarsely crushed
1 tbsp whole cumin seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp peppercorns
1 tbsp cardamon seeds
1 tbsp cloves
1 tbsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg

preheat oven to 350 degrees for 10 minutes

Spread out all the spices in a single layer on a cookie sheet.

Place the cookie sheet in the oven for 20 minutes until the aroma of toasted spices begins to emanate.

Remove from oven and cool completely to room temperature.

Then grind spices together in a a blender until all the  spices are reduced to a powder.

The cinnamon may be a little coarse, but you sift the spices and grind the coarse pieces again.

This yields about 1/2 cup.  You can store the Masala in a tightly capped bottle for future use.  It should keep for several months.

You'll have to let me know if you try any of these recipes! They are some of our favorites.  There is still lots more cooking to be done, so watch out for a new post!
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