This is the last post for this mega marathon under the theme, ‘Protein Rich Dishes’. I can’t believe how quickly the month went by and I am so glad that I successfully completed my third mega marathon in a row. My protein for today is my favourite, that I was saving up to be the final post to finish with a flourish. I was not able to decide what dish to make with paneer. The choices are too many and I love all dishes that have paneer in it. So I kept postponing making this dish till it was time to go to Mumbai for my week long vacation. I completely forgot that I was yet to cook the 26th dish and made a distress call to my mom. She, as usual, made a million suggestions in under a minute and confused me more than ever. Then, as I was reading and drooling over Valli’s post (our boss lady, for the uninitiated), I figured it has to be a paneer based Bengali sweet and since mom makes an awesome Ras malai, I finally decided on my dish.
Mom has these phases where she masters 2-3 sweets and feeds them to everyone who visits our home for a 2-3 month duration. Then those are forgotten for the next 2-3 dishes. Her Ras Malai phase happened just as I got married and so I wasn’t a frequent beneficiary though I remember her stuffing the husband with it during our first Diwali. She was only too happy to make it again, especially after I mentioned that the husband is a huge fan. ( I might have exaggerated a bit). So this is my mother’s dish and her recipe. I helped her with most things but all my cooking and food blogging experience was not sufficient for her to trust me with the kneading of the paneer. Mothers!
Protein – Paneer
WHAT WE NEED
Milk (to make the paneer) 2 litres
Water 1 litre
All purpose flour / maida 1 tbsp
Milk (for the soaking paneer) 2 litres
Sugar 200 gms +60 gms
Saffron a pinch
Almond and cashew slivers for garnish
WHAT TO DO
- Heat 2 litres of milk in a large vessel till it comes to a boil
- Simmer and squeeze the juice of the lemon on to the milk and mix well
- The milk will separate into fat and whey (greenish liquid)
- Transfer the fat / paneer to a cheesecloth and tie it.
- Let the balance whey drip out of it. It should take approximately 2 hours
- Transfer the paneer to a large plate and knead it for 15-20 minutes
- When you make balls from this paneer, it should be whole and soft and without any cracks.
- Then it is done else continue to knead for another 3-4 minutes
- If it is your first time, it is better to add 1 tbsp of all purpose flour while kneading the paneer. This ensures that the paneer doesn’t scramble when cooked
- Heat the water along with 60 gms of sugar
- Divide the paneer into small balls and roll them into balls.
- The paneer balls will expand once cooked and soaked in milk which needs to be considered before deciding the size of the individual paneer balls.
- Press the balls to form discs
- Once the water is hot, transfer the paneer balls in batches to the water and let it cook
- After 2-3 minutes, carefully flip the paneer disc and let it cook on the other side
- When the paneer starts turning pale in colour, around 5 minutes, remove it from the water and set it aside
- The milk for soaking the paneer can be done simultaneously in another large vessel
- Heat the 2 litres milk till it is reduced to half its quantity
- Add the 200 gms sugar and saffron strands and let it cook till the sugar is fully dissolved
- Add the cooked paneer balls to the milk
- Serve chilled and garnish with almond and cashew slivers