Category Archives: Hot and Cold Drinks

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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Masala Chai – Chai Latte

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Ingredients to make 2 cups of Chai:
1 cup Water
1 cup 2% Milk (or any kind you prefer)
4 bags of Black Tea, or 2 teaspoons of Black Tea Dust
Sugar to Taste

Spice Mix:
3-4 whole Green Cardamom pods, smashed
1 pinch of Cinnamon
1 pinch of Ginger Powder
1 pinch of Tea Masala (Not necessary but increases flavor and aroma if added – You get this at the Indian Grocery store).
1 pinch of Black Pepper
Note: I add a bit of crushed Tulsi leaves (Holy Basil Leaves) in my tea as it is very soothing for the throat, but most people don’t on a general basis. It is very therapeutic when you have a cold or a cough.

Method:
In a pot add the water and the tea bags and the spice mix.
Let it come to a boil.
Add the milk.
If you are using tea dust let the milk come to a boil and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Do not over cook as it will turn bitter.
If you are using tea bags let it come to a boil and simmer for an additional 15-30 minutes (depending on the consistency of your choice, the longer you cook the thicker it gets).
Serve Hot with Cookies or Snacks.

Happy Chai Time 🙂

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