This Paneerly Was Mine

This Paneerly Was Mine

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One cheese to be livin’ for… this paneerly was mine…

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This is our third recipe inspired by the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, South Pacific. The others being Salmon ‘Chanted Evening and I’m Gonna Wash That Yam Right Outa My Hair – just in case you had forgotten!

The song This Nearly Was Mine is sung by Emile. It was all going well for him with Nellie (who has sung I’m in Love with a Wonderful Guy) – right up until the point where he introduces her to his children. That he had with his (shock-horror!) dark-skinned Polynesian wife, now deceased. Her inherent racial prejudices make this a deal breaker, and she finishes with him.

Fun fact! Nellie and Emile never sing together, because Rodgers promised Mary Martin – who played Nellie in the original Broadway production – that she wouldn’t have to compete vocally with Ezio Pinza, who played Emile.

Anyway, Emile reflects on the love that could have been, and how his life would have been improved by a paneer burger…

One cheese in my heart,
One cheese to be livin’ for,
One cheese to be livin’ for
This paneerly was mine.

That’s right. All mine. A big chunk of Indian cheese, pan fried with spices then wedged into a burger bun. Just for me!

Ooooh and did you spot the ‘S Wonionderful marinated red onions? They’re optional but they add a wonderful punch of flavor.

This Paneerly Was Mine - an Indian paneer burger inspired by the musical South Pacific!


Yield: 1

This Paneerly Was Mine

This Paneerly Was Mine
Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 13 minutes


  • 1 tbs oil
  • 3.5 oz thick slice of paneer
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 1 tsp tandoori seasoning
  • burger bun or toast
  • mayo
  • lettuce
  • marinated onions (see separate recipe)


  1. Add some oil to a small non-stick pan and fry the paneer on both sides until golden brown. Turn down the heat and add some butter and the tandoori seasoning. Mix the two together in the pan (it will be quite frothy) and spoon it over the paneer. 
  2. Spread a burger bun with mayo on both of the cut sides, then add some lettuce to the base. Place the paneer slice on top of the lettuce, then add the onions and close up the burger. 
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