I hardly cooked this week. Work and catching up with friends saw us eating out most of the last days. So I decided to cook something today, and clean out the refrigerator. We had bought some paneer a week or so back, and it had been languishing in the recesses of the fridge. A “Product of Canada”, the label on the packet said that it had to been used within five days after the package had been opened, otherwise it was good till Jan. 2010. An Indian eating paneer in the US, that was made in Canada…hmm.. I guess that is globalization.
I didn’t have many ideas what to do with the paneer, but I knew I didn’t want to make any of the traditional Indian paneer dishes. So I decided to wing it. It would be good or bad..but at least give it a try. I decided to make a ginger-tamarind glaze with brandy, and broil the paneer with it. Ideally I would love to grill the paneer, to get the sear marks which adds to the texture of the dish. But I dont have a proper grill, so I baked the paneer cubes for ten minutes at 400 F, and then broiled them for 4 minutes each side.
1. 1 – 1.5 inch paneer cubes
To make glaze
1. 2 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
3. 1/4 cup tamarind juice extracted from pulp
3. 1 teaspoon paprika
4. 1/4 cup brandy
5. 1/2 teaspoon crushed black pepper
6. 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
7. Salt to taste
8. 1 teaspoon oil
Pre-heat the oven to 400 F.
In a sauce pan heat oil and fry ginger till soft. Lower the heat, add black pepper, paprika and salt to taste. Add sugar and let it caramelize. Add tamarind juice and simmer till it reduces into half. Add brandy and continue simmering till you get a thick glaze.
Coat the paneer pieces with the glaze and bake them for 10 minutes. Then broil each side for 4 minutes.
Garnish it with chiffonaded pineapple mint and serve. The mint as the name suggests gives a subtle sweet pineapple smell and flavor to the dish.
This is version 1.0 of the dish. I will be experimenting more on the flavors, and fine-tuning the taste.
I found this photo amongst my old negatives. I forget the exact date, but it was in the late nineties. To the left is paneer (it was fresh and heavenly). I guess on the right is khoa.