Freshly made paneer is delicious and may be eaten immediately, without further preparation or adornment. However, in most recipes, paneer must be cooked before it is added to the other ingredients.
Broiling, which is discussed in the story, is the method I prefer because very little oil is used.
If you don’t wish to broil the cheese, here are a few alternatives:
TOASTER OVEN: Grease a small baking tray with vegetable oil. Place paneer cubes on the tray and brush with oil. Bake at 400F until golden brown, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove and use in any cooked paneer recipe.
For a quick paneer curry, place cooked cheese cubes on a heated serving platter and pour your favorite curry sauce over them.
Garnish with minced cilantro and serve.
BARBECUE GRILL: Prepare a charcoal fire to the gray-ash stage.
Gently blow away the ash, leaving coals that glow cherry red. Cut paneer into 2-inch cubes. Brush skewers and paneer cubes with vegetable oil. Thread evenly on skewers leaving 1/2-inch space any cooked paneer recipe.
For, an exotic appetizer, sprinkle grilled paneer cubes with. lemon juice and ground cumin. Place on a warmed platter and served immediately.
SAUTE: Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a heavy nonstick pan or wok over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add paneer cubes and saute until light brown, turning once. Carefully transfer to paper towels to drain. Tent with foil to keep warm until ready to use. Use in any recipe calling for cooked paneer.
NOTE: A nonstick pan is essential; the paneer will break and crumble in any other pan.
DEEP FRY: Heat 6 tablespoons of vegetable or canola oil to 350F in a nonstick wok until hot but not smoking. Gently add Paneer cubes. Do not crowd. Fry, turning occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
Remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Tent with foil to keep warm until ready to use. Use in any recipe calling for cooked paneer.
From an article by Laxmi Hiremath in the San Francisco Chronicle, 9/1/93.
Posted by Stephen Ceideberg; September 3 1993.