Join the new Indian cooking revolution!!! Modern Spice releases in India on May 15th 2010!
"On a recent visit to Bangalore, I was proudly shown the new kitchen some friends had installed in their home. It was a modular, “no carpenter required”, Italian-style kitchen and they were very excited about it. After the tour, my friends took me to the market where they shopped. It looked nothing like the markets I remembered from my days in Bangalore in the early nineties when I studied engineering there. Folks were buying exotic herbs, foreign vegetables and fermented dosa batter, ready to use…."
Read the entire piece here - http://randomhouseindia.wordpress.com/2010/05/04/monica-bhide-the-new-indian-cooking/
Paneer with Orange-Apricot Chutney
– makes 54 pieces paneer and about 1 3/4 to 2 cups chutney –
From Modern Spice by Monica Bhide (Random House, 2010)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds 4 to 6 fresh apricots, pitted and diced (about 1 1/2 cups) 1 tablespoon minced, peeled fresh ginger 1 small green serrano chile, seeded and minced 2 cups fresh orange juice 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1 teaspoon red chile powder or red chile flakes Pinch of saffron 2 tablespoons sugar 1/4 cup chopped dates, such as Dole's chopped dates Table salt
1. Cut the paneer into six slabs, 2 1/2 by 2 inches by 1/4-inch thick. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the paneer slabs. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side, until the paneer is well browned. It should be a medium golden brown color. Don't overcook; it will make the paneer rubbery. Remove from the heat and drain on a paper towel.
2. While the paneer rests, prepare the chutney. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. When it begins to shimmer, add the mustard seeds and cook for about 30 seconds, until they begin to sizzle.
3. Add the apricots, ginger, chile, orange and lemon juices, chile powder, saffron, and dates. Mix well. Cook over medium heat for about 25 minutes, until the chutney has thickened and the apricots have mostly dissolved. There will be a few pieces left.
4. Remove from the heat and stir in salt to taste.
5. Cut each slab of paneer into 9 cubes. Place the warm chutney in an attractive bowl in the center of a platter. Surround with the cubed paneer. Add toothpicks to the paneer pieces and serve.
Note: Mustard seeds burn easily so keep an eye on them when they are cooking. They tend to sputter and spew as if they are angry and want to make their presence felt. So watch yourself when you cook them! There is no saving burnt mustard seeds; discard them and start again.