Thursday, January 20, 2011

Paneer Babycorn Balchao

At our wedding reception, we decorated long dinner tables with stacks of old books that reflected our interests.

(Photograph by Mandi White)

As you can imagine, after our wedding day (and honeymoon), we realized just how many extra books we now had. Many were sold back to the local used bookstore but we also kept a good number, including the cookbook Simply Indian by Sanjeev Kapoor.

I promised myself that if I kept the books, I would read/use them. Here's the proof that I did just that! Not only did I keep my promise, but I also had fun learning to make homemade cheese (paneer). 

I used the tutorial found here to make the paneer. Don't steer clear because it sounds difficult. It's really just boiling milk and lemon juice! Heads up though - it takes about an hour to get the cheese to form so make it in advance if you're short on time.


Ingredients:
  • paneer
  • 8 baby corns 
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 1" piece fresh ginger root, chopped
  • 8-10 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 10-12 whole red chillies (*You can control the heat here!)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 7 cloves (*I will not use this again. I have the worst experience with cloves - from biscotti to this dinner.)
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1" cinnamon stick
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 C malt vinegar
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 3/4 C tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp sugar
Directions:
  1. Cut paneer into diamond shaped pieces. 
  2. Wash baby corns and boil them in sufficient water for two to three minutes. Drain and cut into small pieces. (*If they came out of a can, you can skip step 2.)
  3. Peel, wash and chop onions. Wash and chop tomatoes. Peel, wash and roughly chop ginger and garlic.
  4. Grind whole red chillies, garlic, ginger, cumin seeds, cloves, mustard seeds, cinnamon and salt with a quarter cup of malt vinegar to a fine paste.
  5. Heat oil in a pan, add onions and saute until light brown. Add tomatoes and mix. Cook for five minutes stirring well.
  6. Add baby corns, tomato puree and ground masala. Cook for three to four minutes. Add sugar, adjust salt and mix well. 
  7. Add paneer pieces and remaining malt vinegar and cook for five to seven minutes.
  8. Serve hot over basmati rice.
Et voila!

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