I love it when a recipe looks like a million bucks, tastes like a trillion bucks and yet it is so easy to put together. I also like the fact that you can prepare parts of the recipe and simply assemble it when you are ready to serve. Today’s dish fits that description very well. I just love how nicely the delicate flavors of the apricot marries with rich home made paneer. Paneer is a form of a cheese, very similar to ricotta cheese but firmer. It is made by curdling the boiled milk with some acid like lemon juice, white vinegar. It is an integral part of the North Indian Cuisine. You see this a lot in the Nawabi or Moghlai cuisine. These cuisines represent the dishes made for the kings and queens of India. I love cooking with dried apricots. I love dessert made with dried apricot, another Nawabi dish from the southern state of Hyderabad in India, Khubani ka meetha. I will share that recipe some time soon. I also love making stuffed apricots and Apricot Alomond cake. Back to our recipe today, I got this recipe from a dear friend Harjeet, a very talented chef. I l love how he put together simple ingredients to make delectable food. I have also been playing with food photography. I recently bought these pewter plates from a flea market, I have used them in the photo today, I love how they contrast the bright yellow tikka.
Stuffed paneer with khubani chutneyIngredients: 1 lb Paneer 1 tbsp thick yogurt ( I make mine by hanging plain yogurt in a cheese cloth) Salt to taste 1 tsp Turmeric For the paste 2 tsp Mustard oil 1 tsp Yellow chili powder 1 tsp Deegi mirchi power 2 tsp Ginger garlic paste For the chutney Khumani (Dry apricot)chopped 3 tbsp 1 tsp Cilantro chopped 1/2 tsp green chili chopped 1 tsp chopped mint 1 tbsp Sugar 1/2 tsp Black salt 1/2 tsp Roasted cumin seed Methods Apricot chutney Boil some water and add chopped apricot and cook them for a while till it becomes soft. Now add sugar, roasted cumin seeds, chopped ginger, chopped green chillies, chopped mint,black salt, salt,Deggi Mirch. Cook it on slow fire till chutney thickens and can be easily mashed with the back of a spoon.
For paneer Make paneer cubes about 3/4 -1 inch thick. Make a slit in the center, make sure you don’t cut it two pieces. Mix salt and turmeric and coat the paneer with that mixture. In a separate bowl mix mustard oil, turmeric, ginger garlic paste. Stuff the paneer pieces with the apricot chutney. Make sure that the chutney is pushed in all the way through so each bite will get a bit of chutney with it. Cover this stuffed paneer with the yogurt mixture. Now heat a little fat in a pan and pan seared this stuffed paneer till it gets a nice golden brown color.