Number 54: Paneer

9 Jan

I’m always astounded by the colors that appear in Indian food.  The oranges are so vibrant and the reds are so fiery that I don’t think they even exist in nature.  When the plate of paneer pakora that I ordered at Majarajah was placed on my table, I almost thought they had brought me a plate of Doritos.  Seeing as the paneer was breaded in gram flour, which is white, I have no idea how they managed to get it to look Garfield orange.

Paneer, an Indian curd cheese, is most often served in squares with some kind of sauce over the top.  I decided, however, to try it a different way: breaded and deep-fried.  I’m so healthy.

When the plate came out, I was a big surprised by the bright orange triangles on my plate, but I dug in with enthusiasm.  The cheese itself had a very mild flavor.  Because paneer is unsalted, it wasn’t anything like 99% of cheeses I’ve had.  If I was to compare the texture of it to something, I think the closest comparison would be tofu (minus the sliminess!)  I’ve also heard it being compared to cottage cheese, which has as similar texture, although paneer is not separated into actual curds like cottage cheese is. While the pakora themselves were not super flavorful, the dish was served with two chutneys for dipping.  The sweet chutney was a deep, beautiful magenta color and it had a fruity flavor that went perfectly with the paneer.  The paneer pakora was served over a bed of shredded lettuce an onions, and the whole thing was sprinkled with a fantastically flavorful spice mixture.

The whole dish was very moreish, and I’m glad the plate wasn’t any bigger, because Dan and I probably would have polished off ten pounds of it without stopping.

I didn’t find the cheese itself to be too exciting on its own, but the dish as a whole was a knock-out.  You can’t really go wrong when you deep-fry something and add a deliciously sweet dipping sauce on the side.  I’d have this again without hesitation.


7 Responses to “Number 54: Paneer”

  1. Big Onion January 9, 2012 at 1:01 pm #

    I’ve had a few homemade paneer recipes bookmarked for awhile. I should really give it a shot. I love the idea of being able to fry cheese without worrying about it melting. (Although, truthfully I’d like to try grilling it!)

  2. IntenseGuy January 9, 2012 at 3:08 pm #

    Mmmmmmmmmmmmm… fried cheese…. how could that go wrong? 🙂

    Your photo is incredible. Makes me want to reach up and take a peice.

  3. Angie January 9, 2012 at 4:26 pm #

    Paneer is a fresh cheese that I have never heard of?! I need to try it asap!

  4. Kelly @ Dare to be Domestic January 10, 2012 at 8:45 am #

    you had me at deep fried cheese! 🙂

  5. Laura in Cancun January 10, 2012 at 11:47 am #

    Cheese, dipping sauces and deep frying? All of my nemeses on one plate…

  6. Miss Angie January 10, 2012 at 12:32 pm #

    That sounds yummy, I’ve never had it before!

  7. Bridget January 10, 2012 at 7:08 pm #

    Mmmmm…..Doritos. 😉

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