Though we always use homemade paneer, I didnt give much thoughts of posting it here. Last week, when my best friend asked having quite a handful of paneer recipes in the site why havent you posted the homemade paneer(Indian Cottage Cheese) recipe....I had no answer. But should admit for ignoring her request for a long time...and yes it striked me hard and 2 days later I made the paneer finally to post it here. Sowmya, this is for you - Hope this is enough for now atleast to put a smile on your face....:)
About the recipe, you can either use lemon juice / vinegar or curd to curdle milk but this is how amma makes and it comes out perfect everytime. Do give a try and am sure you will not go in for store bought ones after trying the homemade paneer.
Homemade Paneer Recipe - IngredientsServes: 1Cooking Time: 10 mins
Milk - 1 litre (preferably full fat cream milk)
Curd - 1/2 cup
Lemon Juice - 3 to 4 tbsp
1.Boil milk for 5mins(Simmer it). Let it for a gentle boil then first add 1/4 cup of curd, keep stirring and then add the next 1/4 cup. Continue heating till it starts curdling, keep stirring until the whey completely seperates.At this stage, switch it off. If you are adding lemon, add it 1 tbsp by 1 tbsp.
2.Place a cheesecloth(make sure it is long enough to get tied up) over a container and strain the paneer. If you use lemon juice to curdle just wash it twice atleast, in cold water to get rid of the lemon flavour.Bring the edges of the cloth to the center, tie and hang it to a handle or sink tap. Allow the water to drip by itself, do not disturb the setup for an hour till all the whey completely drips.
3.Flatten it and place it on a dosa tawa. Then keep the chapathi maker over it and any other heavy weight over the chapathi maker(I kept my hand mortar and pestle). Allow it to get set for atleast 2 to 3 hours. It will look cruumbled at this stage but dont worry it will get set well. Then carefully remove the cloth from the paneer and place it in the fridge for 1 hour atleast(this step is optional but helps in getting clean neat pieces while cutting). I let it sit in the fridge overnight as anyways I cannot night shoot it...yes I made it it the previous night making the paneer ready for next days clicks :)Then, remove it from the fridge , and cut into desired cubes.
4.Do not freeze it. Just refrigeration is enough.Cut into cubes of your preferred size and store in a airtight container / a ziplock cover.
I prefer to cut them a bit small so that while added to gravies, it absorbs well.Soaking the paneer 10mins before adding it to gravies also makes it to absorb the gravy well. You can store in fridge for upto 3 to 4 days....After that it starts to harden.
- Use the leftover whey for making rotis or rasgullas or save it for making paneer next time.
- Setting time is very important in getting the perfect paneer cubes.Also keeping in fridge before cutting into cubes gives neat pieces.
- You can even use 1/4 cup curd to curdle but I used 1/2 cup to curdle quickly and to get little more volume of paneer.
- I used cows milk so had to simmer for a while before I added curd as cows milk is little watery. People here in India can use aavin full cream milk.
- The color of paneer may vary depending on the milk type used . Mine turned more on the yellow side as I used cows milk.
- Use a cheese cloth which drains the water well. I used 'dhoti cloth(veshti thuni) for draining.
- Take care to wrap it to form a circle / square so that while cutting into pieces it is easy to form squares.