Friday, 7 June 2013

Homemade paneer - Homemade Indian Cottage Cheese !!

Made n Enjoyed
Hello readers,
Happy Cooking :)

You know you're an Indian when paneer is one of your top favourite foods!



I think that the one great thing about paneer is it's versatility. It soaks up the flavour and aromas of spices so well ( as seen typically in Punjabi ,North India cooking) but can also be very delicate to make some of the best Indian ( Bengali ) sweets!



Paneer has got to be one of the simplest, fool proof cheeses to make because no rennet or ageing process is required, and it can be done within an hour. Paneer is a home-made, unsalted, white cheese. It has a fresh quality and a dense, crumbly texture that goes beautifully with strong flavours. Paneer is a natural meat substitute commonly used in Asian cookery. Bringing a genuine touch to many classic dishes whether cubed, sliced, grated or crumbled, paneer retains its shape when heated and absorbs all the flavours of the ingredients it is cooked with.








About 30 odd years ago I never knew what Paneer is. In Gujarat, many people didn't know what is paneer and how to make paneer.  Unless, you go to famous Mitahiwala's (Indian sweet shops) they do keep stock of paneer or paneer sweets. Around late 80's people started to noticed paneer dishes in restaurants and in cookery shows on TV. Once I was watching cookery show, lady was making some Bengali sweets and she showed how to make paneer at home.



I was itching to make paneer at home if mum would say Yes, after few if's and but's I was allowed. Okay first attempt , flopped badly and I got told off on top :D. Then I totally left the idea of making any paneer, but when I got married and came to UK I started experimenting again in cooking as there was no one to tell me off if things go wrong :) and after few attemps in making paneer at home I had success and mostly now I prepare my paneer at home. So, today I'm sharing my recipe how to make paneer at home!



Normally paneer is made plain, but you but you can try experimenting with a number of herbs or spices added to the curd mixture before setting. Be careful not to add too many ingredients though as the cheese will fall apart easily.


You will need :-
  • 2 litre full fat milk
  • 5-6 tsp lemon juice or 200/250 ml live plain yogurt ( this time I've used lemon juice ) both gives you good results.
  • 1 cheese cloth ( I use mulmul (muslin) cloth from India )
Method :-
Bring the milk to boil in a heavy base pan.
Once the milk just starts to boil and rise up add lemon juice or yogurt.
Keep milk on heat and stir the milk gently , this helps milk to curdle.
If some reason does not curdle, add little more lemon juice or yogurt.
This should take few minutes, When the curds have separated and the whey turns a pale green.
Remove from the heat, and leave it for 5 minutes.
Now line a large sieve with muslin or cheese cloth over a large bowl or pan.
Strain paneer cheese into sieve and run some cold water through it.
Leave the whey for other use. ( see note )
If you want to add any other seasoning to your paneer now’s the time to do it. Try experimenting with both spices and herbs such as paprika, cumin seeds, chilli or thyme.
Wrap the cheese cloth and wring gently.
Tie to the sink tap for half an hour to ensure till the whey has drained completely.
If too much moisture left in the curds will prevent cheese from setting properly.
Then keeping fairly tight, put the paneer onto clean work surface or wooden board.
Place heavy weight ( I use my big rice container ) for at least an hour, or if you want very hard paneer blocks leave it for 2-3 hours.
This will insure that paneer holds together when you cook with it.
When you are ready , remove the weight and gently cut into cubes or crumble the paneer.
Store any unused paneer in the fridge or freeze.
Enjoy making savoury or sweet dishes with Paneer. ( I have recipes coming up )

Note :- Use the leftover whey to knead chapatti dough or bread, use in any pancake batter, add to smoothies or use in making lassi ( yogurt drinks ) .


Linking this to Know your Dairy - Paneer , event series by ME guest hosted by Amrita.
and Made with Love Mondays by Javelin Warriors !





7 comments:

  1. I love paneer... first click is awesome, but some how other clicks are way too bright for me.. not sure if it is because of my monitor setting or is it the photos... wanted to give the suggestion...
    Sowmya
    Event - Authentic Indian Sweets w giveaway
    Event - Kid's delight - Sweet Treats

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  2. Lovely clicks..such a pleasure to watch them again and again..

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  3. Homemade are always the best ....Useful post :)
    Loved your ring too :)
    ShrutiRasoi

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  4. Beautiful clicks and lovely paneer.

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  5. Useful post- I love to make paneer, though only for the kids as nowadays me and my husband have given up milk. They like it as a pizza topping as well as in matar paneer, or just grilled as a side. Can't beat fresh, home made paneer! Did you know you can make your own tofu in pretty much the same way? I use unsweetened soya milk with lemon juice. I skip the hanging part though and put the curds straight into a container with holes with a heavy weight on top. Tofu is a great low fat alternative that's brilliant in stir fries.

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  6. Hey I often make it at home...very useful post..

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  7. What an amazing tutorial, Jagruti! I love the photos and the process is so simple and easy to follow. Just gorgeous...

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