Thai Style Paneer in Pandan Leaves
This marvellous paneer recipe in pandan leaves is sour, spicy, garlicky, and well balanced in taste. It is my fusion recipe wherein I have used one of my favourite ingredients- paneer and complemented it with one of my favourite cuisines- Thai by marinating it in Thai sauce and frying the paneer in pandan leaves.
Pandan leaves also known as screw pine leaves in some countries, ‘bai toey hom’ in Thailand, ‘daun pandan’ in Malaysia and ‘takonoki’ in Japan are long green leaves which have a sweet floral flavour and fragrance and often crowned as the Asian Vanilla. It is a widely used ingredient in most South-Eastern countries to flavour the rice, to make drinks and preparing desserts.
The paneer marinated in Thai sauce and then fried in pandan leaves builds layers of flavours in the paneer. The amazing aroma of the pandan leaves is infused into the paneer, giving it a distinct flavour and taste.
This is an easy and healthy paneer recipe that’s also fun to make and the taste is truly gourmet. This recipe is delicious served on its own as a starter or appetizer.
200 grams paneer (diced in 2-inch pieces)
200 grams pandan leaves
Oil for frying
1 teaspoon sesame seed oil
1 teaspoon soya sauce
Salt to taste
¼ teaspoon black pepper
Green curry Paste
1 inch galangal/ginger
1 lemon grass
2 garlic cloves
1-2 hot chillies
Small sprig of coriander
1-2 kaffir lime leaves
Few Thai Basil
For The Dressing
1½ tablespoons light soy sauce
½ tablespoon dark soy sauce
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon water
½ tablespoon white toasted sesame
Take all the ingredients for the curry paste (galangal/ginger, lemon grass, garlic cloves, chillies, coriander, kaffir lime leaves and Thai basil) and grind it into a smooth paste in a blender or using a pestle and mortar.
Add the soya sauce, 2 tablespoons of green paste, sesame oil, salt and pepper to the paneer pieces and leave it to marinate for 2-3 hours.
For the dressing mix together light soy sauce, dark soya sauce, salt sugar and water. Gently warm it so sugar dissolves and then leave it aside to cool.
Once cooled add the toasted sesame seeds.
Hold the cleaned pandan leaf and press it along the middle to make it flexible. Hold it with the flat side of the leaf on the left and the pointed part on your right. Cross it to make a pocket and while doing it you will notice that the flat side is on the right now. Place a marinated paneer piece in the pocket.
Bring the long-pointed end of the leaf down and thread it through at the back through the loop. Use the thumb or index finger to help thread the leaf through. To make it sure you can loop the pointed side of the leaf one more time to secure the paneer. Pull gently to make sure the paneer is secured in the pocket. On the other side, tuck the paneer in if it is protruding. Wrap the long end of the leaf back over and pull the leaf through the loop again to secure. Cut off a little of the excess leaf from the pointed side.
Heat oil for frying. Once hot fry the paneer parcels for 2-3 minutes from both sides in batches. Paneer is ready when the oil stops sizzling, and the exposed area of the paneer has changed colour to light gold.
Transfer the paneer pieces to a paper towel to absorb any excess oil. Serve hot with the dipping sauce.