Paneer Burji or Spicy Scrambled Cottage Cheese is a North-Indian delicacy which of course is a superb side dish for the wheat main course foods like Roti, Chappathi, Nan, Kulcha etc. And it's also very tasty to go with any North-Indian verity of rice items like Pulao, Fried rice, Jeera rice or even as an additional serve for Rajma-chawal (Rice with Rajma curry). Let us try making this at home.
These days more and more people are trying to live a healthier life by including more vegetarian foods in their diet. And the result? You are concerned about your daily protein intake and are also getting fed up with a daily routine of sprouts, cereals and leafy foods. What about taking a few extra minutes for a real protein packed, smiling-white Paneer? What about cooking Paneer-Burji for a change? You might have heard about Scrambled Eggs being a common breakfast dish among westerners. They get their protein and fat supplements from scrambled eggs or cereals with milk and carb rich sandwiches or pancakes , the first thing in the morning. As a vegetarian alternate we can also try the same dish by replacing eggs with crumbled cottage cheese.
Oh! Included Paneer in your shopping list already? No way…. No need to buy Paneer when you can make it at home freshly just before making Burji. Yeah… Am not kidding!! .. It's just a matter of 20 minutes to prepare fresh fluffy Paneer at home. You don't have to buy a block of hard rubbery Paneer while you can make it just then and there with a litre of milk. Of course, if you are planning to make Paneer Burji in the morning, then the last thing you'd want would be a hassle of boiling and curdling the milk, and then separating whey and cheese etc. in the short time. So, better you make Paneer on the previous night and make Burji in the morning.
So, here we go!!…. I am going to make Paneer Burji within 40 minutes, from milk. Yes you heard it right!... From milk to Paneer and straight to Burji. Milk is something we buy regularly for daily use. And we always have tomatoes, onions and other spices at home. From 1 litre of milk we can easily get the Paneer required for 2 persons.
4 reviews, 4.66/5
North East india
|Green chilli||2 nos|
|Lemon juice||2 tbsp|
|Ginger||1 inch piece|
|Cumin seed||1 tsp|
|Kasuri Methi||½ tbsp|
|Turmeric powder||¼ tsp|
|Red Chilli powder||½ tsp|
|Pepper powder||½ tsp|
Let us make Paneer first and then prepare Paneer Burji. For making Paneer , we are taking 1 ltr milk, 2 tbsp curd,1 ½ tbsp lemon juice, ½ tsp salt and 1 slitted green chilli. But before we start heating the milk, let us set a sieve, with a clean thin white cotton cloth spread over it, to collect the cottage cheese. Balance the cloth spreaded sieve on a clean bowl to collect the whey and keep the unit aside. Whey is the watery liquid which remains after collecting the cottage cheese. It is very rich in protein too. First step is to start heating milk to nearly a boil. Lower the flame immediately and be ready with a ladle to stir the milk and let us add each item step by step.
To the almost boiling milk first add, 2 tbsp curd. This is to stimulate the curdling process. Mix it slowly from all the sides. Don't stir vigorously as it might lead to faulty curdling and the Paneer will become rubbery. When the curdling starts, add 1 ½ tbsp lemon juice. Stir slowly again. Adding lemon juice speed-up the curdling and actually starts the curdling process of cottage cheese. Add ½ tsp salt and a slitted green chilli into the curdling milk. Salt is for taste and chilli is an optional flavor. As we are making a spicy dish, it's good to start adding them right from the first step onwards. The aroma of green chilli mixed with the Paneer would make you go instantly hungry. Stir slowly and continuously until the cheese shreds separates out from whey. Once it is separated, let us not wait anymore.
Pour the mixture to the clean cotton cloth slowly. Fold the cloth to a bag and squeeze gently. Careful not to steam-burn your hands. Squeeze until the whey is all gone. You don't have to squeeze hard since we have to to crumble it later. Let it be a bit loosely packed. Unfold the cloth and let the Paneer cool down. Keep it aside while we prepare the other things for Burji.
Peel the skin of onion and wash it clean. Slice it into small pieces. Chop tomato into small cubes. Cut 1 green chilli into small round pieces. Slice ginger into small pieces and crush it using a mortar and pestle. Chop coriander leaves. Keep this all aside. Take the Paneer separate from the cotton cloth and cut it into slices. You can see and feel how airy and soft it is. Now crumble it all using a clean fork. Keep it ready.
Place a Kadai on flame and heat 1 tbsp ghee. To the hot ghee add 1 tsp cumin seed. Cumin seeds spluttered in the ghee is what gives the real taste of a North Indian dish. Once the cumin has popped, add sliced onion. Sauté it until color changes and the raw smell is gone.
To this add ¼ tsp turmeric powder, ½ tsp pepper powder, ½ tsp red chilli powder. Stir well. Add hand crushed Kasuri Methi and stir again. Add crushed ginger and mix well. Let it get sautéed until translucent. It should not be over sautéed as the flavour of onion will be lost.
Now add chopped tomatoes and chopped green chillis. Stir well. Add salt enough to taste. Sauté them until the tomatoes turn soft. Do not over cook. Don't let the tomatoes turn mushy. Now add the crumbled cottage cheese (Paneer) and mix well. We are ready to give our dish it's final favouring touches.
Add the chopped coriander leaves and stir well. You can use the broad end of the ladle to crush and join the Paneer with the masala well. Turn off the flame. Add 1 tbsp lemon juice and mix well. Here we are adding lemon juice to add to the flavor of the dish. Add 1 tbsp curd and stir it all together. This is to keep the moisture and to keep it all together. Transfer it to a serving bowl or else we will lose the moisture from the dish if we kept it in the Kadai. Serve the dish hot with your favorite choice of main course.
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Stage 1 - Keep a clean cotton cloth on a sieve and balance it on a vessel. Heat milk nearly to a boil.
Stage 2 - Add 2 tbsp curd, stirring slowly as curdling starts, add 1 ½ tbsp lemon juice. Add salt for taste and 1 slitted green chilli for taste. Stir slowly and continuously until whey and cheese separates.
Stage 3 - Pour the contents to the cloth to separate cheese from whey. Fold the cloth and squeeze out excess whey. Unfold and let it cool.
Stage 4 - slice onion, chop tomato, chop green chilli, chop coriander leaves and crush ginger. Cut cool Paneer into slices and crumble up with a fork. Keep all ready.
Stage 5 - Heat ghee in a Kadai and pop cumin seeds. Add sliced onion and sauté until the raw smell goes.
Stage 6 - Add ¼ tsp turmeric powder, ½ tsp red chilli powder, ½ tsp pepper powder, mix. Add hand crushed Kasuri Methi, mix well. Add crushed ginger and sauté until the onions are translucent.
Stage 7- Add tomatoes and green chilli. Add salt. Sauté until tomatoes are soft. Add crumbled cottage cheese and mix well.
Stage 8 - Add chopped coriander leaves and mix thoroughly. Turn off the flame. Add 1 tbsp lemon juice mix well. Add 1 tbsp curd and mix well. Transfer it to a serving bowl.
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