Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Paneer Pibil

Cochinita (pork) pibil is a very popular dish in southern Mexico. Though it is not very common in Mexican restaurants in the U.S., it is one of those dishes that you just *have* to try. It is basically pork marinated in acidic juices (in this case, sour orange) flavored with annato seed paste. Achiote is a vibrant red color and has a million layers of flavor. For this recipe, I'm trying to bring this delicious dish to the vegetarian community so I'm replacing the pork with paneer and potatoes. If you eat chicken, this recipe is worderful with shredded chicken. Accompany this dish with basmati rice, a crispy papad or warm corn tortillas. Enjoy!


1/2 lb paneer, diced
1/2 lb baby red potatoes, boiled
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (unsweetened) + juice of 1 lime - ALT: 1/2 cup sour orange juice
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
1-2 oz Achiote paste (spiced annato seed paste)
1 tbsp oil for frying
Seasoned salt to taste
Cilantro for garnishing

Prepare ahead

Cut the baby red potatoes in half and boil until almost done.


1. Dissolve the achiote paste with the sour orange juice until smooth. Add the stock and the bay leaf (whole).
2. Lightly fry the paneer at medium high heat with a little bit of oil.
3. Bring the achiote mix to a boil and add the potatoes and fried paneer.
4. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes, covered. Remove the bay leaf.
5. Garnish with cilantro and enjoy!

For a spicy kick, get a can of chipotle pepper and add that juice to the achiote mix.


  1. It's not really vegetarian if you're using chicken stock.

  2. Right. The plan was to make it completely vegetarian but at that time I only had chicken stock in my pantry so that's what I used - but I've made a note in the recipe that you can use chicken or vegetable stock.