Lately, I seem to be on a Masala kick. Maybe I'm watching too much MasterChef. Or maybe I'm just mourning the loss of Veerasway (their closing was announced earlier this month, after Chris and Angela Lee's appearance at Lolla's Chow Town under the name of Juhu Beach). Regardless of the root of the reason, I partially blame my obsession on the fact that I recently found a tub of Tikka Masala from Costo in the back of my freezer.
So tonight, I defrosted it and made some of the masala with rice and veggies. Instead of paneer (which is what you usually find in a masala dish), I used some goat cheese for some added creaminess. It also pairs well with Chicken, Shrimp, Cauliflower, or Tofu.
Making it also reminded me of my ambition to make my own paneer someday. It's actually not that difficult, I just don't usually have whole milk in the house so I haven't gotten around to making it on my own quite yet. A while back, I took a cheese making class at a local Whole Foods in which we made both a fresh ricotta and paneer. If you find yourself having a masala obsession as well, why not add your own paneer for that little extra something?!
Here's the paneer recipe from the class, in case you're feeling ambitious. If you beat me to it, let me know how it turns out! Ha.
makes 3-4 cups
active time: 15 minutes
start to finish: 2.25 hours
1 gallon whole milk
2 teaspoons fine salt
1/2 cup lemon juice
Line a colander with dampened cheesecloth, and place it in or over a bowl. In a large heavy pot, bring the milk to a full boil. Add the salt and lemon juice, and remove from the heat. Gently stir around the edges as the milk separates and the curd forms in the center. Let sit for about 2 minutes. Pour the mixture into the cheesecloth-lined colander, and gather up the edges of the cheesecloth to form a package. Twist and press gently, squeezing out as much liquid as possible. Place a plate over the paneer, and weigh it down with cans or a bowl filled with water. Let stand at room temperature until firm, one to two hours. Cut into cubes. Paneer will keep for up to five days, but will taste best the day it's made.