Mattar pannir (home made cheese with peas)

Yield: 6 Servings

Measure Ingredient
2 quarts Milk, whole
½ cup Yoghurt, plain
2 tablespoons Lemon juice
5 tablespoons Ghee (recipe)
2 tablespoons Ginger root; finely chopped
1 tablespoon Garlic clove; finely chopped
1 cup Onion; finely chopped
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Turmeric
¼ teaspoon Pepper, red, hot, ground
1 teaspoon Coriander, ground
1 tablespoon Garam masala (recipe)
2 cups Tomatoes; finely chopped
1½ cup Peas, green; fresh or 10oz frozen, defrosted
1 teaspoon Sugar, granulated; optional
3 tablespoons Coriander; finely chopped



The Cheese: Bring milk to boil over high heat in 4 qt. saucepan. As soon as foam begins to rise, remove from heat and gently but thoroughly stir in yoghurt and lemon juice. Curds will begin to solidify immediately and seperate from the whey.

Pour contents of pan into seive line with double thickness of cheesecloth. Drain undisturbed until cool enough to handle. Wrap cloth tightly around curds, wring out vigorously to squeeze out excess liquid. Reserce 1 cup of whey.

Place cheese wrapped in cheesecloth on cutting board, cover with another board or skillet and weigh the top with 15 pounds of canned goods. Let rest 6-8 hours until cheese is firm and compact.

Unwrap, cut into ½" cubes, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

The Peas: Heat ghee in skillet, add cheese cubes and fry 4-5 minutes, turning gently until golden brown on all sides. Transfer to a plate as they brown.

Add ginger and garlic to ghee remaining in skillet. Fry for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add onions and salt, fry 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and golden brown.

Stir in ¼ cup whey, add turmeric, red pepper, ground coriander and garam masala. When well blended, stir in remain whey and tomatoes.

Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to low and simmer covered for 10 minutes, stirring occassionaly. Add peas and taste for seasoning.

If too acid, add up to 1 teaspoon sugar.

Remove cover, cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cheese cubes and 1 tablespoon coriander. Cover tightly, simmer over low heat 10-20 minutes or until fresh peas are tender.

Transfer contents to a heated bowl, garnish with remaining coriander and serve.

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