Thursday, April 17, 2008

experimenting with paneer

A few posts ago I mentioned the Vegan Indian class that Nathan and I took at the Detroit Evolution Lab.  One of the dishes that was demonstrated and served was a vegan palak paneer, which was incredibly delicious.  Angela's recipe included cashew cheese, however, so that is not an option in our house.  Angela was nice enough to help me via e-mail to come up with another way to try this recipe.  So last week I took a stab at it, substituting a miso and silken tofu blend for the cashew cheese.  The taste was quite good, but the texture was weird.  Once I put the pieces of paneer into the vegetable/spice mixture, they just kind of dissolved.  So it still tasted good, but did not look very appetizing as it was just a lot of mush.  I ended up rolling it up in some leftover lavash, and it made a very tasty sandwich, but not exactly what I was going for.

So today I tried again.  This time I used a blend of tahini and extra firm tofu, as well as lemon and salt, and blended then baked it.  I think it came out much better this time!  I haven't made the whole dish yet, the paneer is in the fridge for tomorrow's dinner.  We'll see if this one holds up any better.  The texture was totally different this time.  Angela's version was very smooth and creamy.  This one was  bit chewier, but had a texture that sort of resembled farmer's cheese.  I was worried about the bitterness of the tahini so I did end up adding more lemon and more salt than I would normally be comfortable with, but it seems to have done the trick.

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