Homemade Paneer (Indian Cheese)
I recently taught a group how to make Paneer at home at one of my cooking class parties and they couldn't have been more impressed. Somehow, the words "cheese" and "homemade" seem an almost an impossible scenario for most, but Paneer is so easy to make and a much healthier and preservative free option than buying store bought paneer. And the great thing is that you can freeze it and use it when needed.
What is even more amazing is that all you really need is 2 ingredients. Yes, you heard right - TWO ingredients. Two simple everyday ingredients - Lemon juice and Whole Milk. That's it.
Paneer can be used as a base to make many interesting dishes such as a simple curry dish, use it to make stuffed bread or roti or even to make many Indian desserts. The list goes on. So here goes.
By the way, the whey or liquid that is expelled when the cheese is formed, is also very nutritious, and rather than discarding it can be used to boil pasta, rice, added to a smoothie etc. So nothing goes waste.
1 Quart whole Milk
2 tbs lemon juice
4-5 ice cubes
Medium size pot to boil milk
Large bowl and cheese cloth
- Boil the milk on high heat in a medium sized pot. Stir every now and then to prevent the milk from sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning.
- When the milk starts to boil over, reduce the heat to low and add the lemon juice and stir until the milk curdles, separting from the whey.
- As soon as the milk curdles, remove from heat and add about 4-5 ice cubes to stop the cooking process.
- Strain it through a cheese cloth. Squeeze to make sure most of the liquid has been strained.
- Then tie muslin cloth and set aside for about 30 minutes. You can place a heavy object over the muslin wrapped paneer to have a flattened shape that will make it easier to cut