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Since I like cooking foods from all over the world, my home pantry is well stocked with a variety of ingredients. I hate when I want to cook something and then I realize I don’t have one of the ingredients. Depending what the ingredient is, the store that carries it may be up to an hour away from where I live. I have had some agar agar powder in my pantry for quite a while because I remember seeing it in some recipes, so when I saw it, I grabbed it.
This paneer pudding recipe I created many years ago, before I was blogging and I used gelatin in the original recipe. However, upon starting this recipe, there was no gelatin in my pantry. I remember I had used agar agar threads to thicken custard when I made a Chinese mango custard once, so when I came across the agar agar powder during my search for the gelatin, I thought it would be a good substitute.
I went online to research the quantity I should use and then I discovered what gelatin is actually made from. I think agar agar is going to permanently replace gelatin in my recipes. Gelatin is animal bones, skin, cartilage, ligaments etc. and it’s all boiled down to a gooey mass. I’m not vegetarian, but even I find this yucky, compared to agar agar, which is made from compressed seaweed.
7 ounces paneer, diced
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon rose paste (can be purchased at Indian, Middle Eastern and Asian markets)
1 pinch saffron
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons agar agar powder
3/4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons slivered almonds
strawberries or cherries, for garnish
In a bowl, combine coconut milk, rose paste, cardamom and saffron.
Stir to combine. Add paneer pieces and marinate overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Spray a casserole dish with non stick spray. Remove paneer pieces from marinade and place in casserole.
Put marinade in a saucepan with milk and heat.
While milk is heating, beat eggs and sugar, until light in color, about 5 minutes.
Add agar agar to heated milk and simmer for a few minutes until agar agar dissolves, stirring constantly, about 3 minutes.
Slowly add a little of the hot milk to the egg, to temper the egg mixture. Add egg mixture back to hot milk, slowly, stirring constantly. This must be done very slowly, otherwise the egg will scramble.
Pour over paneer in casserole dish. Sprinkle the almonds on top.
Place casserole in a water bath and bake for about 45 minutes. Remove from water bath and let cool.
It needs to cool to completely set, otherwise, the bottom will appear a bit watery.
Garnish with colorful fruit like strawberries or cherries. Serve at room temperature.
Also sending to to Edible Entertainment’s Kid’s Delight