Homemade Paneer{Indian cottage cheese}

Paneer2

Back to basics today. I have to confess that it took me literally years before I tried making paneer at home. Still, at times, I use the store-bought paneer, of course only after checking that it does not have any extra additives or preservatives. Homemade paneer by far has the freshest taste and beautiful soft texture. It is super easy to make with just 2 basic ingredients! So if you have time or can plan ahead homemade paneer is the way to go.

Paneer is fresh unsalted white cheese used in Indian cooking, that can be made at home with just whole milk and lemon juice! It has a very mild creamy flavor and crumbly texture that goes well with many curries and desserts!

Fresh paneer can be grilled on skewers for some fun kebabs and also used in sandwiches, wraps and pita pockets! It is a very versatile ingredient to use in Indian curries like Palak Paneer , Matar Paneer or Paneer Tikka Masala. Homemade paneer can also be used in making many Indian desserts, I love making delicious homemade Rasmalai!

Here is a step by step recipe:

Rinse a heavy bottomed pot with water. With some water coated on the bottom of the pan pour half gallon of whole milk in it and bring it to a gentle boil, stirring frequently. Keeping some water in the pot helps the milk from sticking to the bottom on the pot.

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Once the milk comes to gentle boil, add lemon juice 1 table spoon at a time and stir the milk until the milk begins to curdle. I usually use 3 tablespoons to lemon juice before the milk fully curdles and clear greenish whey starts to separate. Turn the heat off immediately.

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Line a bowl with a double layered cheese cloth that is long enough to be bundled up and hung later.

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Pour the curdled milk on the cheesecloth. Run cold water over it for few minutes to remove the lemon taste.

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Squeeze out the water from the muslin cloth and hang it up for 30 mins so all the water can drain out.

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Place  the cheese cloth between 2 cutting boards and put a heavy pot or book on top of it for an hour. Make sure you do not put too much weight as it will dry out the paneer making it very crumbly.

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Gently remove the paneer from the cheese cloth.

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Cut into smaller cubes if using in a curry.paneer5

Homemade paneer can be refrigerated for up to a week or can be stored in the freezer for longer periods. Use the Paneer in Palak Paneer, Parathas, kebabs, sandwiches or to make soft melt-in-mouth Rasmalai.

Panner

Recipe:
Cooking time:20 mins  Standing time: 1 hour 30 mins  Total time: 2 hours

Ingredients:
1/2 gallon whole milk
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 large cheese/muslin cloth

Directions:

  1. Rinse a heavy bottomed pot with water. With some water coated on the bottom of the pan pour half gallon of whole milk in it and bring it to a gentle boil, stirring frequently. Keeping some water in the pot helps the milk from sticking to the bottom on the pot.
  2. Once the milk comes to gentle boil, add lemon juice 1 table spoon at a time and stir the milk until the milk begins to curdle. I usually use 3 tablespoons to lemon juice before the milk fully curdles and clear greenish whey starts to separate. Turn the heat off immediately.
  3. Line a bowl with a double layered cheese cloth that is long enough to be bundled up and hung later. Pour the curdled milk on the cheesecloth. Run cold water over it for few minutes to remove the lemon taste. Squeeze out the water from the muslin cloth bundle and hang it up for 30 mins so all the water can drain out. Place  the cheese cloth between 2 cutting board and put a heavy pot or book on top of it for an hour. Make sure you do not put too much weight as it will dry out the paneer making it very crumbly. If you do not have time to wait for the water to drain out, you can continue to gently squeeze out all the water and then knead and shape it while still in muslin cloth.
  4. Gently remove the Paneer from the cheese cloth. Cut into smaller cubes if using in a curry. Paneer can be refrigerated for up to a week or can be stored in the freezer for longer periods.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

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