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An Acquired Taste

When celebrity Chef Rick Stein began his great Indian culinary adventure as part of his television series for the BBC, he thought the most challenging flavour he’d be up against would be the fiery Indian curry. But he eventually discovered something more fiery in the city of Calcutta (now Kolkata) – a hot, sharp, pungent cooking medium called Mustard Oil.

Initially, Stein couldn’t quite figure out what to do with an ingredient that had such a definitive taste and character, but seeing how popular it was in Indian cooking, he laboured on, trying to understand the oil and its uses. Eventually, Chef Stein got hooked on to the flavour and texture of Mustard Oil and realized that it was an acquired taste. And once he got used to it, he began appreciating its versatility, uniqueness and centrality in Indian cooking.

Today, we are going to make one of the many dishes that Chef Stein experimented with during his Indian sojourn. This is a popular snack (or appetizer) called Pan Fried Garlic Paneer.

Here are the ingredients that you will require.

Ingredients:

  1. Indian Cottage Cheese (Paneer): 200 grams

  2. Mustard Oil: 50 millilitres

  3. Corn Flour: 1 teaspoon

  4. Red Chilli Powder: Half a teaspoon

  5. Garlic (Lasun) Paste: 1 teaspoon

  6. Chilli Sauce: 1 tablespoon

  7. Butter: 25 grams

  8. Black Pepper Powder: Just a pinch

  9. Salt: to taste

The quantities mentioned above are for serving four persons. Adjust the quantities proportionately to suit the number of servings you require.

Preparation:

Cut the Paneer into bite-sized cubes. Soak the cubes in warm water for around five minutes. Then drain the water and keep aside.

Melt the butter.

Method:

In a mixing bowl take the corn flour, red chilli powder, garlic paste, chilli sauce, black pepper powder and salt. Mix well. Then add the melted butter and mix again.

Next, add the Paneer cubes to the bowl and mix ensuring that all the Paneer pieces are evenly coated. Once this is done, keep the mixing bowl aside for around 30 minutes, allowing the Paneer to marinate.

Heat the Mustard Oil in a pan on Medium heat. When the oil reaches its smoking point and emits puffs of aromatic (and pungent) white smoke, turn the flame down to Low. Your oil is now ready for frying.

Fry the marinated Paneer pieces on Low heat for around five minutes. Ensure that the pieces are evenly fried on all sides. Remove the Paneer from the oil and arrange the pieces on a serving dish.

Your delicious Pan Fried Garlic Paneer is now ready. Serve it hot – and watch it vanish in the blink of an eye!

You can find more recipes at : https://www.purioilmills.com/recipes-in-english/


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