I would probably feel the same way too, if I were to see this elsewhere. But as it happens, it’s my blog, my copy of Tarla Dalal’s Microwave Subzis, an unhealthy overdose of salt (my doing) plus a birthday gift of organic wholewheat pasta that inspired this dish. And the ingredient that gave me the notion this paneer/cottage cheese dish could be added to pasta was the Spouse, who said the cream and pepper in it reminded him of pasta.
The photo is all white and brown and singularly unattractive, but believe me, the paneer and the pasta combine well!
The cream in my pantry was fast approaching its best-by date and after the bread pudding, this was one more dish that offered me a route to its (the cream’s) salvation. And when I saw this book in the store, I had to buy it. Not only was it reasonably priced, it had several illustrations. And in the heat of the Indian summer, the promise of quick cooking in my small and hot kitchen, made all the more difficult by windows closed to prevent the visit of an unfriendly rodent, was a Godsend! (If you’re wondering why couldn’t she open the windows as she began cooking and close them when she finished, it’s because I’ve to climb on to the kitchen ledge, open the mosquito netting the rat/mouse bit into, open the windows, descend, cook, then climb back up, close windows, stick netting back in place, and climb down – that’s too much hassle and too many calories more than I can afford to lose - yeah, right!)
Now that my post is long and chatty enough, let’s cut to the chase. Here’s how I made the Pepper Paneer – the measures are mine, not the author’s.
What you need:
200 gm paneer/cottage cheese, cut into ½-inch cubes
6 tbsp heavy cream
3 tbsp milk
2 tsp oil
Salt to taste
Grind to a coarse paste:
½ cup chopped onion
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
2 tsp peppercorns
Combine the oil and the paste in a microwave-proof bowl and microwave on High for two minutes.
Add the cream, milk and salt, mix well and microwave on High for 30 seconds.
Add the paneer, mix well and microwave on High for 1 minute.
Taste at this stage. If it’s fine, you can stop there and eat it with rotis or naans or whatever. If it’s too salty, one of the options is to mix it with pasta and not waste it, like I did.
For the pasta:
Add two handfuls of wholewheat maccheroni rigati to 2 cups of boiling water. Boil for 9 minutes, drain, lubricate with a splash of edible oil if you like (not necessary) and immediately toss with pepper paneer.