You can be #adventurous in your cooking even with a tiny kitchen! This week we made delicious Navratan Korma, an Indian dish originally reserved for royalty. For this dish,we will be frying paneer, which you can get at any Indian grocery store, or even make your own if you are feeling adventurous!
First, you will want to cube your paneer. The key here is to have pieces small enough they fit in your mouth, but large enough that there will be a nice, rich interior. The smaller your cubes are, the more crunchy but less chewy they will be. Cubes of about 1/2 inch – 1 inch is a good size to aim for.
In a small kitchen, a deep fryer is probably not an option. We did a shallow fry in our pan which worked pretty well.
First, you will want to heat your oil up over medium-high heat. Peanut oil is a good choice because it has a higher smoke point than something like olive oil, and you don’t want to have to breathe in fumes that linger in your tiny space. Make sure the oil is hot before dropping in your paneer cubes so that your cheese fries in the oil, rather than soaking it up. A good test is to see if a splash of water in the oil sizzles.
When your oil is ready, drop your paneer in. Quickly stir and flip the paneer – we want to fry the pieces on all sides if possible until they are golden brown, but not take so long as to let the cheese over-soften or burn. Here is an action shot:
Note the brown pieces – you want that texture for all the paneer.
Carefully remove the paneer from the pan and place on paper towels so any excess oil can drip off. You can use this fried paneer in many recipes – saag paneer, matar paneer, and shahi paneer are a few other favorites. Tell us if you get creative and create a fusion dish – I have had some pretty good paneer pizza, and would love to see something like a paneer stirfry on the Ethiopan bread, injera!