Indian Cottage Cheese and Spinach Curry
4 - 5 people
1 litre full fat milk (the more cream it has the better)
1 large Lemon
600 g spinach
1 teaspoon salt
1 dessert spoon tomato puree
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 thumb sized piece fresh ginger
100 millilitres single cream or alternative
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 fresh green chillies
A twist of salt and pepper
Start by making the Paneer (but you can skip this bit if you use a block of Halloumi cheese, diced and pan fried to brown). Get a medium sized sieve and line it with a cheese cloth or muslin over a large bowl. Put the milk into a large saucepan and set it on a medium heat. Bring the milk to a boil, this will take up to 25-30mins, but it is necessary to do this part slowly or the yield will not be as good. As the milk starts to rise, turn the heat to a low setting, stir well and add 2 dessert spoons of lemon juice a little at a time. Keep stirring on a low heat for 30-40 seconds; you will see the mixture curdle and separate from the whey. If it does not curdle then add another dessert spoon of lemon juice. Turn off the heat and strain the mix into the muslin-lined sieve over a bowl. Run cold water and wash the milk solids to get rid of the remaining whey and cool the mixture. Gather the muslin so the cheese curds are gathered in the bottom and squeeze out as much water from it as you can. Now twist the muslin at the top so the cheese is gathered in a ball at the bottom. Place it on a plate and place a heavy weight (e.g. a saucepan full of water) on top and leave for one hour. Unwrap the paneer cut into bite size cubes, heat a dessert spoon of oil in a non-stick saucepan and briefly fry the Paneer until golden brown, then remove to a plate.
Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil with a teaspoon of sea salt. When boiling drop in the spinach in batches, stirring in as you go, until it is all in. Simmer for one minute then pour into a large colander. Refill the saucepan with cold water and rinse through the spinach. Allow to cool a little then use your hands to wring out as much of the moisture as possible. Then roughly chop on a chopping board and reserve. Now heat the cumin seeds in a dry pan until they start to smoke then remove to a grinder and grind to a powder. Heat a saucepan with a teaspoon of vegetable oil, when hot add the grated fresh ginger and stir fry for 30 seconds before adding the tomato puree and stir frying for another 30 seconds. Pour in the tin of tomatoes, add a twist of salt and pepper, the powdered cumin and the powdered fenugreek, stir thoroughly and simmer for five to ten minutes until it has thickened. Add the spinach and paneer back in and stir fry for a minute before adding the chopped green chillies and cream. Stir thoroughly and simmer for five minutes stirring constantly, then serve.