Being vegetarian paneer | cottage cheese is a great option for high protein dairy diet, usually we all consume dairy products as they are rich in calcium and protein and cottage cheese is an all time favorite, there are so many veriaties of paneer dishes popular among foodies like butter paneer masala, tandoori tikka masala, navratan korma, paneer korma etc etc...paneer khurchan is one of them.
The term khurchan is usually associated with milk products. It can mean different things but one common usage is that when you reduce milk, the khurchan is the stuff you scrape off from the bottom. And indeed, the term khurchan comes from khurachna or to scrape and therefore suggests the scrapings from the bottom of the pot.
The initial references that I have heard in the context of khurchan have been from the Awadh region. Meat from the sigri was added to the remnants of a musallam or a dum dish, mixed well on the fire with a scraping motion and the result was a khurchan.
The final touches for a khurchan need to be given on a griddle or tawa. The technique of cooking a khurchan in my opinion is what basically differentiates it from other dishes of same type. Instead of continuing to sauté and stir as is the case with most such dishes, the idea is to let the ingredients stay on low heat on the tawa until they concentrate and are almost on the verge of sticking.
This concentrate (which imparts its own unique flavour) is then scraped with a khurpi (a spatula with a very short handle) and mixed back in the main dish. The process is continued until the dish achieves the correct consistency. Timing and attention is of essence else the dish can burn.
You can quite easily make a khurchan at home by using a good cast iron tawa (if you’re using a non-stick pan, don’t bother). The khurchan can easily be the high spot of any dinner party.
In this recipe I have used cast iron kadai instead of Tava but the effect was same...I generally avoid nonstick for such type of recipes as too much scraping is required.
250 gms .....Paneer (cottage cheese) cut into thick strips
2 tbsp .........Oil
1 tsp ...........Cumin seeds
2 tsp.............Garlic paste
2 medium .....Green capsicum cut into thick strips
2 medium .....Tomato seeded and thick strips
2 medium .....Onion
3 tbsp............Tomato puree
Salt to taste
1 tsp.............Red chilli powder
1 tsp.............Lemon juice
1 tsp.............Dried fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi)
Heat the oil in a thick-bottomed kadai, add the cumin seeds. When they begin to change colour, add the garlic paste, capsicums, tomatoes and onions and sauté for five or six minutes.
Add the paneer, tomato purée, salt and chilli powder. Sauté for a while till the paneer begins to stick to the pan.
Scrape the paneer off the bottom of the pan and sauté for a while longer till the paneer is dark brown and mashed.
Stir in the lemon juice and kasuri methi and serve immediately.