Braised Eggs with Potato and Paneer

Thank you to Yotam Ottolenghi for this paneer recipe.

I’ve just made a batch of paneer cheese and it is so simple to make.  Try making this tasty Braised Eggs with Potato and Paneer dish.  Paneer can also be used in currys and stir frys.

Paneer Cheese

Makes about 170g, or enough to feed two to four.

1 litre whole milk
2 tbsp lemon juice

Line a large sieve with two clean J-cloths and place in the sink. Pour the milk into a medium, heavy-based saucepan and turn the heat to medium-low. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes, so the milk comes slowly to a boil – resist the temptation to turn up the heat. As the milk nears a boil, keep an eye on it and, as it starts to rise in the pan, stir in a tablespoon of lemon juice. As the milk starts to split, add the remaining lemon juice and cook, stirring continuously, until you have a solid and a liquid: the curd and whey.

Pour the contents of the saucepan into the lined sieve, and leave the whey to drain away. Run cold water over the curd to rinse off excess whey, then draw together the J-cloths to form a bag around the curd and squeeze tightly to remove any moisture – you should end up with something resembling a wrapped ball. Flatten the package a little on a large plate, then place something heavy on top – another heavy pan, say, or a few tins of food. Refrigerate for at least two hours, until all the liquid has been squeezed out and the curd has set. Keep the paneer wrapped in the J-cloths, cover with cling-film, and keep in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Braised Eggs with Potato and Paneer

This is great with crusty ciabatta or a thick flatbread. Serves six.

2 medium waxy potatoes, peeled and cut widthways into 1.5cm slices – about 550g net weight
1½ tsp ground turmeric
75ml olive oil
2 medium onions, peeled and thinly sliced
1½ tsp caraway seeds
1 large green chilli, deseeded (unless you want it spicy) and thinly sliced
2 medium green peppers, deseeded and cut lengthways into 0.5 cm strips
3 bunches spring onions, trimmed and cut on an angle into 1cm pieces
300ml vegetable stock
10g picked parsley leaves, chopped
10g picked tarragon leaves, chopped
170g paneer (homemade or shop-bought), broken into 2cm chunks
6 large eggs

Heat the oven to 200C/390F/gas mark 6. Fill a saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes, a teaspoon of salt and half a teaspoon of turmeric, cook for 10 minutes, until the potatoes are almost done, then drain, refresh and set aside.

Pour two tablespoons of oil into a sauté pan on a medium-high heat and fry the onions for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften. Add the caraway and the remaining turmeric, fry for five minutes, then turn down the heat to medium, add the chilli and peppers and fry for five minutes, to soften. Turn the heat back up to medium-high, add two more tablespoons of oil, and stir in the potatoes, spring onions and a teaspoon and a quarter of salt. Cook for five minutes, so the potatoes brown a little, then add the stock. Bring to a boil and cook rapidly, stirring, to reduce the liquid to six tablespoons – this will take about four minutes. Take the pan off the heat, stir in the fresh herbs and tip the lot into a 25cm-square gratin dish.

Dot the paneer over the top, then use a large spoon to make six indentations in the veg mixture and break an egg into each. Drizzle over the final tablespoon of oil, cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for five to 10 minutes more, until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny. Remove from the oven, rest for five minutes and serve hot.

For more paneer recipes from Yotam Ottolenghi click here.

Photo Credit: Yotam Ottolenghi’s braised eggs with potato and paneer: ‘Great with crusty ciabatta.’  Photograph: Colin Campbell for the Guardian. Food styling: Claire Ptak