Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Margy's Indian Hors d'Oeuvres


I wasn't invited to this one. Margy and her buddy G went to Leela in NYC, which Margy described as a hip, urban Indian restaurant. The place is pretty new, and incorporates fusion elements (surprise, surprise) into its Indian repertoire.

They ordered a bunch of appetizers: lentil fritters, chaat (made with those great Indian "crispies"), samosas, and tandoori-roasted Indian cheese (paneer) kabobs. You can barely see the kabobs, but Margy said they were delicious.

Me, for a long time I didn't understand the Indian cheese thing. It just seemed out of place, as in my post-collegiate ignorance (funny how that works) I thought "Asian" and "dairy" were mutually exclusive. But I like to work my way through menus, so I tried paneer eventually, and it was wonderful, closer to firm tofu than cottage cheese in consistency. And its mild flavor makes it the perfect foil for vibrant sauces and chutneys. For the last bunch of years we've been ordering it constantly. The next step is making it myself.

4 comments:

Nupur said...

Indian food in very different from other Asian food..milk flows like water in India. Paneer (cheese), milk, ghee (clarified milk) are used very widely.

the cook said...

Can you tell me how to make paneer? I'd appreciate it.

aarti.sanan said...

Ok making paneer is super simple really. . Take one gallon of whole milk in a wide pot and heat it on medium heat, stirring occassionally so it does not burn at the bottom

aarti.sanan said...

Ok making paneer is super simple really. . Take one gallon of whole milk in a wide pot and heat it on medium heat, stirring occassionally so it does not burn at the bottom then when it comes to a boil, bubbles appear on the surface, put in one cup of beaten yogurt (plain) and stir then add vinegar or lemon juice to curdle the milk. turn offf the heat and allow the milf to split... when all the curds have separated, drain in a cheesecloth, wrap and put something heavy on it and allow it to firm up overnight...you have super soft paneer