Saturday, January 17, 2009


It's those little yellow cubes you see as decoration to my favorite coconut spice oatmeal. Turmeric is what gives the distinctive color.

Paneer looks a lot like a pressed variety of farmer's cheese or mozzarella, and it's a close relative of what we call "izvara" in Bulgaria. It probably first came to exist by mistake, when someone left a pot of milk to go bad and curdle. Then they got the smart idea to strain the curds and get rid of the whey and then cook the somehow tasteless cheese in spices and add it to dishes of flavor in order to add texture.

To make, boil a gallon of milk, add the juice of two large lemons and let it curdle. Use a cheese cloth to strain the whey away and leave to strain for about an hour. Make into a small "brick"and press it under something heavy to expel any extra moisture out. Cut into small cubes, cook in butter and spices and add to different vegetable dishes.

It's lots of fun to make your own cheese, but make sure you are not in a hurry, since the whole process will take about two hours.

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