My mother, a veggie by choice, will always remind me of home-made paneer, white butter, kabulichana, dahivada, stuffed karela, makkiki roti, sarsonkasaag and various pickles. Hence, I can almost taste and smell the diverse platter when I reminisce of it all.
Tips and Suggestions
1. First and foremost, use good quality milk. Again full cream milk yields excellent results.
2. Three ingredients that coagulate the milk. You can use any one of them: lemon juice, curd or vinegar.
3. Each of these will contribute their taste a little to the paneer you make. Remember this: if you don’t like the lemony or vinegar taste, then add curd instead.
4. If there is lots of cream floating over the milk, then there is no need to remove it. The natural cream present in the milk makes the paneer soft.
5. Once you add the lemon juice or vinegar than the milk will start to curdle. The milk has to completely curdle. You should be able to see the whitish or greenish whey.
6. Once the milk coagulates/curdles completely than don’t boil it more. Remove immediately and strain the milk.
7. The overcooking will yield a hard paneer once set.
8. A way to keep the paneer soft in the fridge is to soak the paneer block in water in a bowl and keep in the fridge. This way the paneer does not become hard.
9. Alternately you can also soak the paneer in warm water after you have removed it from the fridge.
1. Heat the milk and bring to a boil. Stir occasionally so that the skin does not form on the surface.
2. Once the milk rises, add the lemon juice or vinegar or curd.
3. The milk should begin to curdle. If the milk has not yet begun to curdle than add one more teaspoon. The milk should completely curdle. Stir the milk when its curdling so that the curdled milk does not stick to the base of the pan.
4. Immediately in a muslin, cheesecloth or cotton kitchen napkin drain the curdled milk. Keep a bowl or pan beneath the cheese cloth. The collected whey can be added to chapatis or rice or veggies. You can also cool it and water your home or garden plants.
5. Bring the muslin or napkin together. Whilst doing so you will also squeeze the curdled milk. Take a plate and keep the muslin with the curdled milk on it. Place a heavy weight on top of it.
6. After 30-40 minutes the paneer will be ready. Open the cheesecloth or muslin. You will see a beautiful block of cottage cheese all set.
7. Chop paneer into any shapes or sizes you want.