Panko-crumbed paneer with rasam
|2 l||full cream milk|
|100 ml||lemon juice|
|1/4 cup||dhal — uncooked|
|2 tbsp||coconut oil|
|1/2 tsp||cumin seeds|
|1/2 tsp||black mustard seeds|
|1/2 tsp||black pepper|
|2-3 tsp||coarse salt|
|1/4 tsp||ground turmeric|
|40 g||brown tamarind|
|20 g||fresh coriander|
|1 cup||panko crumbs|
|1 cup||vegetable oil|
For the paneer
Pour the milk into a pot with the spices. When the milk start to scald, not boil, add the lemon juice and salt. Stir gently and allow the milk solids to separate from the whey.
Line a colander with muslin or a clean tea towel and pour the hot liquid through. The milk solids will be caught in the cloth. Squeeze the liquid from the solids.
Gather the extremities of the muslin or tea bowl and tie them to the kitchen tap and allow to drip dry (±1 hour). Once the milk solids are dry, fish out the whole spices and transfer to the fridge.
Weight the solids down by placing them between two plates with a heavier bowl on top. Allow to set overnight.
For the rasam
Cook the dhal by washing the uncooked lentils in cold water until the water runs clean. Pour in ½ cup of water and boil for 15-20 minutes, until the dhal is soft and starting to split. Drain and set aside.
In a small pot, add the coconut oil with the onions, curry leaves, cumin seeds, black mustard seeds, black pepper, garlic, salt, hing and chillies. Cook on medium heat until the onions soften and the air starts to fill with the smell of toasty spices. You will know it’s ready when the mustard seeds start to pop.
Add the tomato and cook for 10 minutes. Using the fingers, press the tamarind seeds out of the paste and dissolve the tamarind in the 500ml of water. Make sure to break the paste up with your fingers.
Pour the tamarind water into the pot with the aromatics. Taste for seasoning and adjust. All the water to come to a simmer but not a rolling boil. Serve with a sprinkle of fresh coriander.
Cut the paneer into 2cm squares. Whisk the eggs with the salt and dip each piece of paneer into the egg wash before dunking it into the panko.
Use two forks to get the paneer from the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Use the tips of your fingers to make sure that the crumbs stick to the paneer.
Heat the oil on medium heat. You will know that the oil is hot enough if you flick a panko crumb into the oil and it starts sizzling immediately. Lower the squares of paneer into the warm oil and turn until they are golden brown and crisp.
Drain on kitchen towel before serving with hot rasam.
Recipe extract reprinted with permission from Kamini Pather from her new ebook, Eat Glocal. Follow along on Instagram for more recipes.