I always used to buy this milk cheese (Paneer) from Indian groceries in Singapore. It didn't help that it came with its own preservatives and just tasted so frozen. We, Indians, use Paneer in a variety of dishes eg Paneer Tikka Masala, Palak (spinach) Paneer. and lots more.
Last weekend, I attempted to make my own cheese here in America to add to Vegetable Briyani which I made for lunch. Well well well - I was pleasantly surprised that I could make Paneer at home in less than an hour!!. You will too once you have attempted to make it. I vouch that you won't go near any frozen Paneer hence.
Since I hardly step out. because of the freezing weather and zilch social life, my blog is kind of a blessing, I guess. It keeps my mind constantly busy thinking about those dishes that I have hardly given a second thought to. As the saying goes 'An idle mind is the devil's workshop'!!
So I scrolled thru a few sites to see the best way to make cheese at home. Suggestions to curdle the milk included either lemon juice, vinegar or yogurt. Lemon juice worked well for me. Though I didn't have a choice as to the type of milk I could use( skim milk will not give the same results), it is a consolation that at least homemade cheese doesn't come with the added preservatives.
Ingredients ( yields a small 200gm block)
1 litre whole milk
6 tsps lemon juice
Warm up the milk, stirring continuously to avoid cream forming on top. When heated up enough, you will start seeing steam and the milk will rise.
Immediately, lower the fire and start adding in the lemon juice. Two tsps, stir, another 2 more tsps, stir and lastly the final 2 tsps. By this time, the milk would hv curdled and the remaining whey would look translucent.
Transfer to a cheese cloth and squeeze out the whey as much as possible.
Fold the cheesecloth and place a heavy mortar over it for 30-40 mins.
Unwrap, and you will have homemade paneer! Use it in any way you like. The remaining whey water can be used to dilute veg curries, to soften chapathis or in place of water when making rice. It is highly nutritious- don't discard.