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Uncategorized – Page 5 – Monica's Spice Diary – Indian Food Blog

My Interview with Atul Kochhar

In this exclusive interview, I speak with Atul Kochhar-one of the few Chefs in the world to be awarded two Michelin Stars.  He was the first Indian chef to receive a Michelin star during his time at Tamarind and then went on to receive his second after opening his own restaurant, “Benares” which showcases a modern Indian menu. He is also author of several highly successful Indian cookery books which have gained him a high profile reputation. In this interview, we talk about how Atul came to make a successful career in Indian food and the various dimensions of the cuisine.

Continue reading “My Interview with Atul Kochhar”

Fresh Paneer Homemade in 10 minutes

As you can probably tell, I am quite the fan of paneer. It’s just a really good vegetarian alternative and tastes good in pretty much everything! Also being mild in flavour, it absorbs flavours really well. I was really surprised at how easy it was to make paneer when I first made it. I mean just look at the ingredients list. It consists of 3 items (well technically 2 because does apparatus really count?). Regardless, I think all paneer lovers out there should learn how to make it at home because firstly, as the title suggests, it only takes 10 minutes to make and secondly, it tastes so much better than the store bought stuff. You will find out in a wee bit, that this recipe shows you how to make the soft crumbly paneer (excellent for stuffing) and the classic solid cubes (see pic above).  Either way it’s yumness.

What we need:
1l Whole milk
3 tbsp lemon  juice (or 1/2 cup water mixed 1/t tsp citric acid)
Muslin Cloth/Cheesecloth

How we do:

  • In a pot, boil the milk. Just as it begins to boil,  add the lemon juice or citric acid mixture to the milk. Reduce to heat to the lowest setting and stir to help the milk curdle.
  • This should only take a couple of minutes at maximum. The curds will coagulate and separate from the watery whey.
  • At this point, remove from heat.
  • Line a sieve with the muslin/cheesecloth and place it on top of a saucepan or bowl. Strain the cheese and run some cold water through it. You can  discard the watery whey but  I love keeping it aside and using it to make chappatis as they come out really soft).
  • Wrap up the cheese tightly in the cloth and firmly squeeze out any excess water.
  • At this point you can use the paneer in this soft crumbled form. It tastes awesome if you stuff peppers with it (recipe to come!), use it to fill samosas,  naans or parathas or even to make crumbled paneer masala.
  • If you want to make the solid paneer it takes slightly longer than 10 minutes but it is so easy to make. All you need to do is place the cheese on a work surface and place a heavy weight on top of it. I used a 5 litre stock pot filled up with water. Once the paneer has flattened and formed a solid block (best to leave it overnight), you can cut it up into cubes and cook it  in its solid form.


Hello! Welcome to Balle Balle food! My name is Monica and I’m here to blog about..surprise surprise..FOOD! I’m a college student currently majoring in Restaurant & Food Service Management so I think it’s a given that I’m into food. I cook a much as I can… about 2-3 times a day, 7 days a week. I owe it to my Mum for instilling those Punjabi home-cooked values in me! Stay posted for recipes, new ideas, restaurants, etc etc. Feel free to leave comments and ask questions.