Though I have made over 150 posts, there is not a single post about a basic recipe like our sambar and masala powders or making a good idli batter, so today I thought I'll make some posts in between other dishes about them. I feel a food blog is not complete with these basic recipes and to start with, today's post is about making paneer ( Indian cottage cheese ) at home. It's very easy and it comes out very well, you'll stop buying it from the store..
Need To Have
- Milk - 1 ltr or 1000ml
- Lemon Juice - from 1 to 2 lemons
Heat the milk, when it comes to a boil add the lemon juice just enough to curdle the milk. When you can see the milk solids and whey water separately, switch off. Drain it using a not too thick, not too thin cotton cloth. Press the extra water out with a pair of kitchen tongs.
Tie the cloth into a knot and hang it from a faucet for about an hour to drain the remaining water. Open the cloth and knead the milk solids for about 5 minutes, then shape it up with your hand and wrap it with the cloth.
Now place something heavy on top of it and leave it undisturbed for about 6 to 8 hours. Then remove it and dice them into small cubes (1/2" side) and can freeze it till you use it in a curry.
You can use any milk, usually I use the 2% or full fat milk, the less fatty the milk, there'll be more whey water and less milk solids. Don't use fat free milk.
You can use the whey water to make dough for rotis or bread, or also to curdle the milk for making the next batch of paneer, you can refrigerate it for about a week.
If you are using the paneer for a spicy gravy where the lemon smell is not going to be a problem you can do it the above way, if you are using it to make sweet dishes where the lemon flavor would be problem, then wash the paneer, wrapped up in the cloth before hanging it from the faucet to drain.
If the cubes don't retain their shape when added to a gravy, then the weight you placed on it was not heavy enough, place like a heavy pot of water or something about 10 to 15 pounds.