Accompaniments

Paneer to the Action

The thing about cheese, is that it’s actually really simple. Milk, a souring agent and time is all it takes to produce a simple white cheese. No complications.

It’s when you start adding things like flavor, smokiness, rinds that things get complicated. Kind of like relationships. Except they don’t have rinds.Well, you know what I mean.

There was some paneer here somewhere?

There was some paneer here somewhere?

I’m glad to have introduced my friends to the power of paneer and Indian cheese. It’s to the point where we actively seek it out, like DVD copies of My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. We had a couple of brushes with this cheese on our recent trip to Mumbai.

Qatar Airways version of paneer

Qatar Airways version of paneer

This included a unique paneer salad on board our flight, which I spied on the menu on boarding and pre-reserved to stop anyone else getting their hands on it.

Where's the cheese?

Where’s the cheese?

We were also treated to some awesome cheese delicacies at Grand Hyatt Mumbai including this Jalapeno cheese ball – all gooey deliciousness from a white cheese with a kick of chilli to keep us honest. We may have ordered 500 of these one night.

Hmmmm jalapeno

Hmmmm jalapeno

Cchena is like paneer, except some whey is left and the mixture is beaten thoroughly until it becomes soft, of smooth consistency, and malleable but firm, which makes it ideal for cooking.

We also sampled some true fusion cuisine at the Hyatt – a paneer taco. When you think of it, paneer is like Mexico’s Queso blanco or white cheese. This was a corn chip topped with a spicy paneer and tomato mixture and more cheese. Two nations in one bite!

Tacos!

Tacos!

Starting my search for cheese

Starting my search for cheese

For all the complications in Indian food – the spices, the the cooking, the colors and flavors, perhaps paneer and their use of milk and cheese is one of the simplest.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s