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The Joy of making Paneer ( Indian Pot Cheese)

Rosemary paneer!

On this beautiful Monday morning, I decided to make rosemary paneer to honor the friendship of my friend Ryan. Many moons ago he introduced me to rosemary infused milk. This one's for you Ryan!

  • 1  quart whole milk
  • 1 quart half and half
  • 2-3 Tablespoons lemon juice or vinegar
  • 3-4 sprigs of rosemary ( 4-5 inches length)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • cheesecloth
  1. Heat the milk and half and half in a saucepan. Frequently stir so that the milk solids do not burn at the bottom of the pan.
  2. Just before milk comes to a boil add the rosemary sprigs and salt. Lower the heat as soon as the mixture boils. Stir so that it does not boil over.Simmer a minute to infuse the milk and add the acid to curdle the milk. Allow the mixture to come to a boil for a minute.
  3. The whey should look clear and not milky. 
  4. Line a strainer with cheesecloth and strain. I saved the top part of the sprig . Now, lift and fold the cheesecloth around the paneer and place under a weight to drain more of the whey out. 
  5. I needed a disc like shape and kept the paneer under weight for about three hours.
  6. Peel the cheesecloth. Cut and use as desired.
  7. I was inspired to make a Caprese Salad with a twist. Rosemary paneer, tomatoes, mint and touch of chaat masala !!
This is the underbelly of the rosemary paneer!   

This is the underbelly of the rosemary paneer!

 

I don't have a label for this cooking . This is where I am . Many influences. Many adoptions. Many adaptations. Many moods. Many Tastes. Mostly progressing forward on the path into the journey!!!

Enjoy!

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CAULIFLOWER 1 2 3 !!

The Minimalist cauliflower

The Minimalist cauliflower

This dish is simple and tasty.

  • 1 medium sized head of cauliflower, cut into florets , stem and leaves included, washed 
  • 4 Tablespoons cooking oil of choice ( olive, coconut, mustard or ghee)
  • 3 Tablespoons heaped coriander powder
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes ( fresh or canned)
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper powder
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup water
  1. In a small bowl mix the water, coriander powder, black pepper and turmeric . Let sit aside.
  2. Heat a large pan. Add the oil. Keep heat medium low.  Add the water and spice paste and cook for about 2-3 minutes. 
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes. Stir. Put a lid on and cook on low heat for another 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add cauliflower and salt. Stir well till all the cauliflower gets coated with the spice paste and tomatoes. Cover and cook 6-8 minutes, stirring once or twice in between. Check tenderness of cauliflower. The last couple of minutes cook without covering.
  5. Finish with a splash of the lemon juice. This dish can be enjoyed hot or at room temperature .

Enjoy!

 

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Cilantro Cucumber Dip!

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The cooking today was inspired by minimalism and availability of ingredients on hand. The perfect combination. This dip or chutney is simple and versatile in its use.

1 medium size cucumber, rough chopped

2 bunches of cilantro, washed 

1 teaspoon of fresh ginger- turmeric paste ( optional)

3 Tablespoons of almond butter

1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or 1/8 teaspoon vanilla powder

1 Tablespoon Amla ( Indian gooseberry) powder ( optional )

2 limes juiced ( add 1 more if not using amla

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper powder 

  • Put everything in the food processor and grind to desired dip consistency.

Enjoy as:

  • Dressing for pasta or noodle salad
  • Spread on sandwiches
  • Sauce for grilled fish,chicken or vegetables
  • Potato or cauliflower salad for picnics
  • Sauce for tacos

Reaffirms that Simple is tasty. Less is better. 

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A Summer Cooling Spice Blend !

As the Spice Whisperer incarnation, spice blends have become the heart and soul of my everyday cooking. While some blends are purely regional the ones that I currently focus on are the No LabelNoBorders. These simply honor the seasons, reasons and balance of taste and flavor!

A simple Summer blend inspired last week :

2 Tablespoons fennel powder

3 Tablespoons coriander powder, lightly toasted

1 Tablespoon fenugreek powder

1 Tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves, crushed

1 Tablespoon dried mint leaves, crushed

2 tablespoons dried basil

1 tablespoon cardamom powder

2 Tablespoons amla powder ( indian gooseberry)

1 Tablespoon dried rose petals, crushed

1 Tablespoon hibiscus powder

1 Tablespoon turmeric powder

  • Mix well in a bowl 
  • Store in a glass, airtight container, away from direct sunlight
  • Best used within four months.

Some tips of using it :

  • Use it as a Taco seasoning or in equal parts with your taco mix.
  • Add 1 teaspoon to a cup of your vinaigrette.
  • Use it as a grilling rub or inspire your rub by adding a dash of this to it.
  • Use it in your vegetables when sautéing them or roasting .
  • Make a marinade with a dash of vinegar or lime juice for your meat, chicken , tempeh or tofu.

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