Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Saag Panir

Who wants Indian? Oh, how I wish there was an Indian restaurant in Juneau! Anyone plan to start one? After making Saag Panir, my friend and I proved we are not the ones to do it. No. While it was fun and novel to homemake cheese, we couldn't make the flavors of the spinach and spices meld together to the right affect.

Making cheese is simple enough:

Boil milk (I used 2%) in a large pot:

Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. It curdles immediately! Let it sit for 1o minutes.

The curds and whey should separate. Pour both through a colander lined with cheese cloth. The curds will collect in the colander, and the whey will drain through into the pot beneath.

You've got cheese! After draining a half hour, squeeze the remaining whey out of the cheese cloth (save the whey for later if using frozen spinach, and refrigerate or freeze for use in soups, etc).

Cube the cheese into small pieces. Stir them into the spinach mixture before serving.

Blend spinach, garlic, cayenne, and jalapeno in a food processor. I used frozen spinach, so I mixed in a cup of whey to give it a creamy consistency.

Saute cumin, coriander, and turmeric in butter and oil. Add onion and tomato.

Add spinach, then cheese.

Serve over brown rice for an extra healthy meal! I think if we'd have cooked it a little longer to let all the flavors blend more thoroughly, added a bit more whey and cooked the spinach down, it would've made it creamier. Ah well, still fun to try. Until we get a good Indian restaurant in town, I'll surely cook this again. The next time around will be better.

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