Thursday, October 30, 2014

Homemade Paneer Cheese



Making cheese at home is fast, inexpensive, and fun! Stop the endless search for paneer cheese - you're just 2 ingredients from your own batch.

I (stupidly) tried in vain to find fresh paneer cheese locally. Even Whole Foods didn't carry it! Before throwing in the towel, I Googled how to make it just for kicks and found out how easy it was. And really, it's not only easy, it's like doing a science experiment in your kitchen that results in a big ball of fresh cheese. If we had made cheese in high school science class, I probably would have been more interested...

Paneer is SO delicious - like all Indian food! It's a fairly soft, mild in flavor, crumbly non-melting cheese. Similar to queso blanco but without salt. Since it doesn't melt down or become gooey, it's perfect in hot dishes where you want a big bite of creamy cheese (like saag paneer). I used it in an AMAZING enchilada recipe I'll be posting in a few days!

Since paneer is not aged you can be eating it in 30 minutes. Which is much faster than running all over town looking for it :)

Though not typically salted, you may want to salt it prior to pressing if you plan to eat much of it plain. 


Homemade Paneer Cheese
8 cups whole milk
1/4 cup lemon juice

Line a large colander with a double layer of cheesecloth and set in your sink. If you'd like to save the whey, place a bowl under the colander. 

In a large pot, bring the milk to a gentle boil over medium heat, stirring frequently and scraping the bottom to avoid burning. This takes awhile so be patient.

Once barely boiling, add the lemon juice and turn down to low. Stir gently and you should almost immediately see the curds and whey start to separate. The curds are white milk solids and the whey is a greenish liquid. Try to stir the curds together instead of breaking them apart.   

If the milk doesn't separate, add another tablespoon of lemon juice and turn the heat up again. 

Once the milk seems to be separated, pour the contents into the prepared colander. Gently rinse the curds with cool water. Grab the ends of the cheesecloth and twist to remove the liquid and create a ball of cheese. Tie the cheesecloth to your faucet and allow to drain for 5 minutes.

Once drained, place the (still wrapped in cheesecloth) cheese on a dinner plate with the extra cheesecloth gathered on the sides of the cheese (this is so your cheese is nice and smooth). Put another dinner plate on top and weigh it down using cans or something heavy. Place it in the fridge and let sit for 20 minutes. 

Unwrap it and it's ready to go! 

2 comments :

  1. Love this! I'm so intrigued to see your enchilada recipe too. I recently started making my own yogurt, and for that you cannot use ultra-pasteurized milk; are there any restrictions on the milk you can use for this cheese?

    ReplyDelete
  2. The cheese was so easy to make and turned out great. We added a bit of salt to ours before we pressed it and it was perfect for making saag paneer!

    ReplyDelete



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