13 Jun 2007

second part- orange paneer



Curdled milk

and orange juice

that’s what makes me unique,”

boasted Paneerange, “I shall be the main dish,

you all shall be used to decorate me, when the guest arrive tonight!,”

she said, as the bread wore his coat of marmalade, and the soft vegetables came out from their steam bath, flushed.

“you’re so little” old bread giggled, “ a whole pan of milk makes just one tiny morsel of you.” he said. “nevertheless.” Paneerange scoffed, “I shall be the main dish, dear bread, not you.”

And so, dinner was ready for that night! The samosas were fried, the curries were done, the salad was made. But, there was no sign of vain Paneerange. “She’s used as a filling IN the main dish.” Rumors flew. “No, she’s been protected by old lettuce and lady tomato, so fresh and new.” They argued.



I lied

For friendship, love

Which King Mango, bless him!

Deprived me off, because of my zany tongue,

My stingy tongue, bequeathed as an orange and as my new form, Paneerange.

Come let me narrate my story today, the magician who helped me woo the king, when I couldn’t afford a ring.

She made me bathe in hot milk, tied me up till I was dry. For me every king would pry. But my tongue gave away, and here I am, in the cheese grater today.

I was destined to be cousin paneer. Everyone thinks I’m the reincarnation of saint milk, but I am or was, lady orange. Haughty lady orange, now silly paneerange. Oh! Who’ll take me as a main dish? I’m just ‘sour cheese’, merely a flavor. Alas, I’m a salad topping, just out of a rusty cheese grater.



For those not so ‘poetry-genetic.’ I’ll tell you what the poem means. The poem is a ‘Fibonacci sequence’ poem. Fibonacci sequence is something like this- 1-1-2-3-5-8-13….etc [ 1+1=2, 1+2=3, that’s the way it goes!] so, there’s one word on the first line, one word on the second line, two words on the third line, three words on the fourth line….etc.


Molecular gastronomy involves changing one ingredient in the traditional recipe to alter its taste, fragrance, texture, etc. my experiment broaches an interesting topic in this field

As we all know, Paneer is made by squeezing lemon in hot milk till it curdles, and then tying it up with muslin cloth for a few hours. Lemon is acidic, and hence makes the Paneer go bad. Orange is acidic too! So, I used orange instead of lemon…


In the first attempt, like arrogant Paneerange says in the poem, the orange was squeezed in cold milk, which didn’t curdle, as only hot milk curdles quickly. ‘The orange jumped in too soon.’ This phrase is used in the poem to state this failure.

In the second attempt, I squeezed the orange juice from the fleshy orange fruit, and put the squeezed out segments into the milk too! As a result it turned out to taste like a orange fiber ball or a ‘spoilt hairy-fibred ball’ as mentioned in poem.

My third attempt was a success. I added only the orange juice [ from one orange] minus the segments to a whole pan of milk. It took a day for it to curdle, and finally, the ‘orange’ Paneer, was the size of my finger. [Note: I learnt from my mistakes!] It tasted like a ‘subtly’ ‘sour’ cheese. Now, it would take a lot of milk to make a whole cube of this orange Paneer, so I thought I would be better if we used it as a sprinkler for salads and other such dishes. Definitely a healthy alternative for cheese!