Shahi Paneer Kunafa Pudding
I am sharing this Shahi Paneer Kunafa Pudding recipe today as you can make it for your family as Diwali is just around the corner. Festivals in India are sweet and everyone likes to eat. Try this exotic but easy dessert today and your family is going to go gaga over it.
What is Dhanteras?
And it is Dhanteras today. Dhanteras marks the beginning of the five-day festivities of Diwali; the festival of lights. On Dhanteras, considered as the most auspicious occasion for buying gold, silver and other metals especially kitchenware, huge purchases are made. Many people buy cars and heavy appliances on this day.
On this day, Goddess Lakshmi came out from the ocean of milk during the churning of the Sea and is worshipped.
Entrances are made colourful with rangoli and lanterns to welcome the Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity. To show her long-awaited arrival, small footprints are drawn with rice flour powder all over the houses. Lamps are kept burning all through the night with a vigil.
“Lakshmi Puja” is performed in the evening when clay Diyas are lit to drive away any lurking evil spirits. May all of you be blessed beyond what you expect…. Happy Dhanteras to you & your family.
Presenting this Shahi Paneer Kunafa Pudding with great élan. If you live in North India you’ve probably had your fill of Paneer. Paneer is classically made into curries, gravies, koftas, pakoda, kebabs, stuffed in parathas and what not. I decided to make a dessert to show that Paneer can be versatile. This spongy, fresh cheese is handy, tasty, and a vegetarian’s best friend. Blocks of Paneer is ubiquitous in the North but not so down South.
Making Paneer at Home
I have always seen my mom making fresh Paneer made by adding lemon juice or vinegar to hot milk to separate the curds from the whey. She would strain the curd in a muslin cloth and pressed it down firmly into a block by placing the marble rolling board over it to then cut into cubes. Extended family in Delhi sprinkles cubes of paneer on any and every dish. While my late Sister-in-law had cravings of fresh Paneer when she was pregnant. She would sprinkle sugar over the warm Paneer and gobble it up.
Shahi Paneer Kunafa Pudding Recipe
Puddings or desserts in India have a rich flavour to them and this Shahi Paneer Kunafa Pudding is no less. First I made Vermicelli baskets by roasting the vermicelli in butter and adding condensed milk. Then I moulded them in silicone cupcake moulds and refrigerated for an hour. Meanwhile, I boiled milk and added condensed milk and let it simmer for some time to thicken. I grated Paneer and stewed it in sugar syrup till nice and thick and added it to the creamy saffron milk. Once it is nice and thick, I filled the vermicelli baskets with the pudding and garnished it with almonds, pistachios, a cube of Paneer and a couple of saffron strands.
Ingredients for Shahi Paneer Kunafa Pudding
For the Baskets
250 gms Vermicelli
2 tbsp Butter
2 tbsp Condensed Milk
For the Paneer Pudding
½ litre Milk
100 gms grated Paneer
¼ cup sugar
1 cup water
½ tin condensed milk
10 strands of Saffron
For the Baskets
Melt butter in a pan and roast the vermicelli until nice and golden. Now add the condensed milk and stir till nicely coated. Remove from fire. Take silicon cake moulds and press the vermicelli into them. Refrigerate for one hour.
Method for the Pudding
Meanwhile, heat the milk and once it is boiling add the condensed milk. Add a few strands of saffron. Let it simmer on low heat. Adjacently, make a sugar syrup and once sugar has melted add grated Paneer to the syrup. Let the Paneer cook in the syrup till it is thick and coats the spoon. Now add the Paneer to the thick, creamy milk and keep stirring till the pudding becomes nice and thick. Remove from fire.
Lastly, it is time to assemble the Pudding. Take out the silicon moulds from the fridge and gently unmould the baskets. Arrange on a platter and pour the thick pudding into the baskets. Garnish with pistachio and almond slivers. Tuck in a tiny cube of Paneer for added flavour. Sprinkle some saffron strands to give it a final finish. You can serve it warm or chilled.
Finally, the wait is over; rich, ambrosial, crunchy, crumbly, decadent Shahi Paneer Kunafa Pudding is ready to be devoured.