the appetizer:

Though vegetarian dishes featuring rice and a variety of beans dominate Indian cuisine, India's cooking has also been influenced by traders such as the Arabs and Chinese, and invaders such as the Persians, Mongols, Turks, British and Portuguese. North Indian food features more dairy and pulses, while South Indian cooking includes more rice, curries, and fruits like coconut.

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Indian Cheese (Paneer)

2 qt. whole milk
3 to 4 T fresh lemon juice

Bring the milk to a boil in a heavy saucepan. As soon as it begins to froth, add 3 tablespoons of the lemon juice. Stir it in and remove from the heat. The curds should separate from the whey. If they do not, bring the milk once again to a boil and add the remaining tablespoon of lemon juice.

Line a strainer with a large, double layer of cheesecloth. Set the strainer over a large bowl. Pour the curds and whey into the strainer. Let the whey drain. Lift up the 4 corners of the cheesecloth and gently stir cheese into a bundle. Put the bundle on a board set in the sink. Place a plate on the bundle. Put a weight, such as a pot of water, on the plate. Remove the weight after 4 to 6 hours; cheese should be firm. Untie the bundle and refrigerate.



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This page modified January 2007