Preserving cheeses in oil is something the folks in mediterranean have been doing since generations. They however store the Feta cheese in olive oil.
The last I made a big batch of Paneer cheese and was looking out for ideas to store it and hit upon this idea.
Paneer is traditionally used in tandoori spice mixed curries or marinates, so I thought why not use the conservation technique from the Mediterranean culture and the spices and cheese from Indian culture.....I tried it and IT WORKED!!!
I was astonished......I almost wanted to run out of the bath tub shouting EUREKA EUREKA
Not only because it is a very versetile recipe but it is so DELICIOUS.
Use it in salads, on skewers , as an aperitif, or breakfast.
Step 1: You Will Need
A clean sterile glass jar with a lid.
Paneer cheese 250gm
1tsp tandoori masala(this is a dried spice mix available at the asian grocery store)
chilli pods 2-3(depending on how hot you want it)
1.5 cup vegetable oil...I use sunflower oil since it is neutral in taste.
Step 2: Lets Begin....
Peel the ginger and the garlic cloves. Finely chop them.
Deseed the chills and slice them finely, you could make rings or vertical slices.
Step 3: Preparing the Oil.
In a clean dry pan take around 1tbsn oil.
Add all the ginger garlic and chill to the oil. Sauté on a low heat.
the little white garlic starts turning brownish. this is very important since if the garlic doesn't crisp out it can cause a source of bacterial growth.
Now add the rest of the ingredients except cheese.
Mix thoroughly with a coking spoon.
Add 1 tsp of salt
Pour in the rest of the oil and let it simmer on medium heat for another 5 minutes.
The oil takes up a rich red color.
Switch off the heat source and let the oil cool to room temperature or lukewarm.
In the meanwhile cube the paneer cheese.
Fill the jar with the cubes to half.
Spoon out the the oil sediment(fried spices), onto the cheese cubes in the jar.
Fill the jar with the remaining cubes of cheese.-only till the neck of the jar, or little lower.
pour over the remaining oil right unto the neck of the jar.
OIL MUST SUBMERGE ALL THE CHEESE CUBES.
You will see air poping out. Tap the jar on the platform to push out any trapped air.
Pour over more oil if necessary. Put on the lid
the oil seals the cheese away from oil and preserves it. also since we used flavored and prepared oil it will over the period of time marinate the flavors into the cheese.
the jar can be stored in a dark place for up to six months(perhaps even longer...haven't tried as yet)
the cheese pieces can be eaten straightaway as an aperitif, or tossed into a salad.
The long marinated paneer cheese can be BBQd on a grillplate or skwers to give a delicious meal.
The marinating oil can be then used to baste veggies or meats.
So you see it is a multi- talented jar of flavor!