My Korean buddy JW, having lived four years in India with his family, came back to Korea this past February. He had changed somewhat; India had changed him. His little kids had spent much of their lives in India, so they both spoke English—the older son to a greater degree than the younger daughter. JW's wife, BH (not Big Hominid), loaded me up with goodies after I had visited her home and cooked for the family. Among the goodies were two packages of Indian powder, one of which I decided to use Saturday night to make dinner. As you see in the photo below, the package called for paneer, a firm but crumbly Indian cheese that, as I mentioned in a previous post, can be made at home.
Devout Hindus will have nothing to do with the flesh of the cow, but they have no qualms about using milk: the Hindu religious diet isn't the same as a vegan regime. The powder package called for the addition of butter, milk, oil, and tomato puree. I bought the necessary reagents at the local grocery, pan-fried my halloumi, and put the whole thing together:
What you see above doesn't look much like what's shown on the package. My paneer makhanwala preparation was brown, not red, and although the pan-fried halloumi looked like paneer, it really wasn't. I suspect the dish would have been a lot better had I used actual paneer instead of halloumi, and had I added vegetables along with some chicken. The sauce turned out to be surprisingly bland; I dumped in a mess of sriracha to add some spice, and thought about eating some oi-kimchi along with it, but I was too lazy to fetch the oi-kimchi from out of the fridge. Conclusion: halloumi is an awesome cheese, but it's no substitute for paneer. I've learned my lesson.