The milk sits on the gas stove. Impatiently. I stir the pot occasionally. To pacify the rebellions foaming every now and then, ominously threatening to spill over.
Calm, peace, I exhort and turn off the heat.
The paneer freshly made this morning hangs patiently on a hook. Cloaked in a white muslin. Drip. Drip. Drip. The water droplets from the paneer collide with the steel draining board of the kitchen sink.
Almost therapeutic, my idle mind muses.
I pummel the fennel seeds in my stone mortar and pestle. The heady aroma of the trampled aniseed send my olfactory senses to a blissful high.
That’s intoxicating, the inebriated mind continues to ramble.
The ginger too succumbs to its fate at the hands of the lethal pestle.
Enough of destruction, the mind advises.
Enough, I agree.
A quick tick-off of the invisible checklist and I do know at once that it is all I need for the classic Mouri Paneer this morning – paneer stewed languorously in milk scented with ginger and fennel. Another Bengali classic, clean, confident flavors, minimalistic Zen, a must try the next time you are wondering what to do with the paneer.