• Paneer ke soolay (smoked paneer) (Adam Liaw)Source: Adam Liaw

This Rajasthani dish is normally made with meat, but this version is made with a fresh Indian cottage cheese called paneer.






Skill level

Average: 4.5 (1 vote)


  • 2 tsp ghee or unsalted butter
  • 250 g 'live' charcoal
  • 8 - 10 cloves


  • 1 litre full cream milk
  • 100 ml thin cream
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) white vinegar


  • 80 ml (⅓ cup) mustard oil, plus extra for frying
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tbsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger ground
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp dry red chillies ground

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


You will need to start this recipe 1 day ahead. Serves 4 as a starter.

  1. For the paneer, place the milk and cream in a heavy – based pan and bring to the boil. Add the vinegar and stir until the milk curdles.
  2. Line a sieve with muslin or cheesecloth and place over a bowl. Pour the milk mixture into the cloth, allow to drain, then bring in the sides of the cloth and tie into a knot. Place a weight such as food cans on top, then refrigerate the paneer in the sieve over the bowl, overnight.
  3. The following day, preheat the oven to 220˚C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  4. For the marinade, heat the extra mustard oil for frying in a small saucepan to about 180 ˚C. Lightly salt the onion, then fry in the hot mustard oil until golden. Drain and place in a bowl with the remaining marinade ingredients and stir to combine well.
  5. Unwrap the paneer, cut into thick slices and place on the lined baking tray. Sprinkle the marinade over the paneer and bake for about 5-7 minutes or until the base of the paneer is lightly caramelised. Remove from the oven.
  6. Heat half the ghee in a heavy-based pan with a lid over high heat. Transfer the paneer to the pan, then place the live coals in a small metal bowl and place in the middle. Add the cloves to the live charcoal, then sprinkle with the remaining ghee. Cover the pan immediately with the lid or foil and smoke for 3 minutes. Remove the foil and serve.

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Photography by Adam Liaw.