Peppered Channa Dip (Thecha)
• 1 Recipe channa
• 1 md Shallot, peeled and minced
• 1/2 c Pickled hot pepper rings, drained and finely chopped
• 1/4 ts Garlic salt
• 2 tb Dry white wine (optional)
• Iceberg lettuce leaves, washed and crisped
• Parsley sprigs
If you are tired of serving the same old cheese ball for company gatherings, maybe it’s time to add some sparkle to your appetizer repertoire. Serve this zesty dip with crackers, chips or crudites. Beat channa, minced shallot, hot peppers, garlic salt and wine (if using) in a medium-size bowl until well mixed. If made ahead, cover and refrigerate. May be made 1 day in advance. To serve, mound on a plate lined with lettuce leaves. Garnish with parsley sprigs. Makes 1 1/2 cups.
PER 1/4 CUP: 135 calories, 9 g protein, 29 carbohydrate, 10 g fat (6 g saturated), cholesterol (not available), 152 mg sodium, 0 g fiber.
If you don’t wish to broil the cheese, here are a few alternatives:
Toaster Oven: Grease a small baking tray with vegetable oil. Place paneer cubes on the tray and brush with oil. Bake at 400 degrees F. until golden brown, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove and use in any cooked paneer recipe. For a quick paneer curry, place cooked cheese cubes on a heated serving platter and pour your favorite curry sauce over them. Garnish with minced cilantro and serve.
Barbecue Grill: Prepare a charcoal fire to the gray-ash stage. Gently blow away the ash, leaving coals that glow cherry red. Cut paneer into 2-inch cubes. Brush skewers and paneer cubes with vegetable oil. Thread evenly on skewers leaving 1/2-inch space any cooked paneer recipe. For, an exotic appetizer, sprinkle grilled paneer cubes with. lemon juice and ground cumin. Place on a warmed platter and served immediately.
Saute: Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a heavy nonstick pan or wok over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add paneer cubes and saute until light brown, turning once. Carefully transfer to paper towels to drain. Tent with foil to keep warm until ready to use. Use in any recipe calling for cooked paneer. Note: A nonstick pan is essential; the paneer will break and crumble in any other pan.
Deep Fry: Heat 6 tablespoons of vegetable or canola oil to 350 degrees F. in a nonstick wok until hot but not smoking. Gently add Paneer cubes. Do not crowd. Fry, turning occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Tent with foil to keep warm until ready to use. Use in any recipe calling for cooked paneer.