Paneer Kheer / Chena Kheer / Cottage Cheese Pudding

OMG I had such a hectic weekend… Scroll down to the recipe if you don’ want to read this longgggg story of how my weekend unfolded.

My car broke down in the middle of the road late Friday night while my husband was out of town and I was on my way to Target to buy a serving dish for Masterchef (lol I have high hopes ;-), but shouldn’t we all). Masterchef was coming to Kansas City for the open casting call the next morning & I seriously wanted to go see what the experience would be like and learn from the other contestants. You know to get an idea & see how long they have been cooking etc & how I would fair and what I could learn from it all. I am all about the learning 😉 well and winning but learning too! hehe. I try and learn or attempt one new thing every month as a life rule, so this was going to be ‘one’ for the month of October 2013.

So the next morning I got my car towed and a friend helped me get to the Mechanic, sadly the mechanic wasn’t done till 4:30 pm to tell me that there was no ‘fuel’ in my car!!! Seriously, what a riot for no gas. Apparently my fuel gauge was not working so it was showing that I had a full tank! (Now this time it wasn’t my fault for driving it empty, lol).

But regardless in the mean time in between trips to the mechanic & studying & an online Tajweed class (I am getting my BA in Islamic Studies at Islamic Online University) I made Paneer Kheer for the casting call and managed to cool it down quickly. I got my car and was home by 5:30 pm to pick up my kheer and head to the city which is approximately 20 mins away depending on traffic, etc (I knew it was a lost cause but I am always willing to try). I got there by 5:50pm but I couldn’t find parking when I finally did I couldn’t find the entrance… Try finding an entrance for a casting call when the line is not there! Oh well the hotel people finally let me in from another entrance but sadly I couldn’t see anyone there from casting team… I guess they were all gone. But no worries I got to eat my wonderful kheer, and so did my husband & a couple of our friends (my husband ate most of it so I had very little to share, lol) but Alhamdullilah (Praise be to God) I am truly a happy girl :).

In the mean time I made a new friend while I was stranded on the road… A couple of nice people stopped to ask me if I needed help and were really kind. A beautiful person stayed with me through out the ordeal and even asked her husband (who was probably happily at home) to come help me out. Overland Park, KS have really nice people (& I do love it here). Since I am new in town I am truly glad that I have gotten to know one more person living close by…

Thank you to Gayle and Steve Rice, my friends Mehwish and Sameera and their wonderful husbands for helping me out. It was a fun late night party on the middle of the road (& no, no cops showed up to break it off 😉 )

Now I just have a few days left in October to try out something new! Wish me luck!

So here goes the recipe for Paneer Kheer 🙂 Enjoy.

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Ingredients:
8 cups of Whole Milk – divided into 2 parts.
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
½ cup sugar (or as per taste)
A pinch of Saffron
1 packet of any sweetener (or regular white powdered sugar)
2 to 3 Green Cardamom – crushed to make powder or (¼ tsp cardamom powder)
4 – 5 Cashew Nuts – crushed
Pistachios to garnish

Cookware needed:
Cheesecloth
1 Non-stick pan or Enamel based cookware
1 Steel pan

Method:
In a steel pan add 4 cups of milk and bring to a boil (stirring occasionally).
As the milk boils add the lemon juice and let the milk curdle (to make paneer).
Once you see a yellowish whey you know your paneer is ready.
Switch off the stove and strain the paneer in a cheesecloth.
Pour cold water over the paneer, tie and let it sit in the cheesecloth for 30 minutes.

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In the mean time use a non-stick pan or an enamel based pan and boil the other 4 cups of milk (stirring occasionally)
Grind saffron and one packet of the sweetener and add to the boiling milk.
Cook this milk on low flame till it has been reduced to half (stirring occasionally).

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Remove the paneer from the cheesecloth and grind it in a food processor if desired. This will give it a smoother texture. (You do not need to this step but I wanted it crushed and smoothed out).

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Add the Paneer to the milk mixture and sugar and bring to a boil (stirring occasionally).
In the same food processor add the cashew nuts and grind to bits.
Add the cashew nuts to the kheer (paneer milk mixture) and cook for a few minutes. (stirring occasionally).
Grind cardamom and add the crushed powder (add this last as the flavor will be stronger then and won’t cook out).
Bring the kheer to a boil and turn off heat.

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Chill before serving.
Garnish with chopped pistachios.

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7 thoughts on “Paneer Kheer / Chena Kheer / Cottage Cheese Pudding

  1. cc says:

    Try another version of this… Chaana’r payesh (Chena Kheer) is a typical bong dish- and most bongs will kill fr this…
    tip 1- dont run the paneer thru the grinder- add it so it has a granular texture.
    tip 2- add the paneer at the end of the process- (once the kheer is completely done, sugar, cardamom and kismis added- then comes the paneer)
    tip 3- after adding the paneer, there is no cooking…
    try it and let me know how this fares… 🙂 another fab way of spiking this up is to use Gur instead of sugar/sweetener- (traditional bongs will kill u- but it tastes better, trust me)

    • Falak says:

      Oo that sounds delish. But before that if I even take a bite of it my mom will kill me! Hahaha she is always worried about what I am eating and how much sugar etc haha. She was so mad that I made this haha 😉

      But yet that sounds great. How do u soften the gud? Does it just melt?

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