PANEER (Fresh Cheese)

Recipe by kusum gupta
READY IN: 55mins
YIELD: 30 pieces
UNITS: US

INGREDIENTS

Nutrition
  • 1
    gallon milk (Whole milk will produce little more and creamier cheese than that from 1% or 2% milk.)

DIRECTIONS

  • To make about a pound of paneer, heat 1 gallon of milk in a large pot that allows enough space for milk to boil.
  • When milk is about to boil, immediately add 4 to 5 tablespoons of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of vinegar (can substitute cream of tartar for lemon juice and vinegar).
  • You may optionally add 1 cup of plain yogurt too.
  • Be careful that milk does not boil over; lower heat if needed.
  • Simmer until the milk curdles (cheese separates from clear liquid (whey)).
  • Use more lemon juice or vinegar as needed.
  • Turn off the heat.
  • Strain the cheese in a large sieve set over a bowl and lined with a thin muslin cloth or cheesecloth.
  • Mash the cheese to make it smooth.
  • Let it drain.
  • Note: Instead of discarding the whey, you may use it as a substitute for water in soups or dough.
  • Drain it as much as possible (couple of hours) till no liquid can be squeezed out.
  • Blend the cheese with hand or in a food processor to make it smooth.
  • Spread it evenly, about half inch thick on a cloth on flat board lined with paper towels.
  • Fold the cloth over on four sides and cover the top.
  • Put more paper towels on top.
  • Put a large flat-bottomed skillet filled with water on top to put pressure to drain excess liquid.
  • Change paper towels if they get wet.
  • After 30 to 45 minutes, when paper towels appear dry, unwrap the cheese.
  • Cut paneer; into ½ to ¾" cubes (or strips) and use without frying or fry as follows.
  • To fry, heat about 4 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan on medium heat.
  • Lightly brown the cubes on all sides while turning with a slotted spatula.