Today I’m working on a classic Indian recipe called Palak Paneer and it consists of fresh paneer cheese and spinach along with a little elbow grease. It’s delicious, so the multiple steps needed to make it, are all worth it in the end. Right now we are working on something I’ve previously made which is the paneer cheese. The Palak paneer is not complete without it. Although I’ve already gone through the process to make the cheese we now need to finish it off. Paneer cheese making isn’t difficult and luckily only takes a few ingredients which are milk, and acidic agent such as vinegar or lemon juice, a cheese cloth and strainer. It does take some time and patience but it’s delicious and considered fairly quick for cheese making. Once you’ve gotten to the last step and you’ve left it to sit for 5-20 minutes it is time to move into the directions I am about to go over with you now.
So our paneer cheese is all finished pressing and now we get to un-wrap our creation from the cheese cloth. The cheese may still be a little moist so have some paper towel handy and just try and pat it dry all around to the best of your ability. Next you’ll need a sharp knife to do the cutting. We want to cut our cheese into one inch cubes, so carefully take your first slice and continue repeating parallel slices all the way across. Now cut those strips into cubes. They don’t need to be perfect; if they are a little different I find it gives the completed dish a little character.
Now you’ve patted dry and cut your paneer cheese so it’s time to fry it for use in the Main dish. Make sure you have some ghee which is an Indian clarified butter. Ghee is available widely at supermarkets, Indian grocery stores, and at health food stores. We are ready to turn on the stove and place on a non-stick skillet. Add one tablespoon of ghee into your skillet. When your ghee is hot we can then add our paneer cheese cubes. With a slotted spoon, you will need to continuously turn the paneer cheese cubes in the hot ghee. Keep doing this just until they start to become a light golden brown. They don’t have to be evenly browned and they also do not need to be browned on all sides so there’s no need to be a perfectionist. This should smell pretty good and have you excited to finish up and add the paneer cheese into the main dish. Don’t rush though, this step is important. Pan frying the paneer cheese really helps it to hold its shape once we add it into the Palak Paneer. Pan frying also adds to the flavor and makes it taste so delicious. When you’ve completed the flipping and frying of the paneer cheese, it’s ready to take off the heat. Using your slotted spoon, transfer this yummy golden cheese to a plate or a bowl and set it aside until needed. That’s it for this step. Enjoy once the full dish is complete.