Paneer, also known as Indian cottage cheese is a popular form of cheese in India and it is used in a variety of cuisines as well. The soft yet chewable texture of paneer makes it one of the most lovable items in Indian recipes so much so that it is often used in marriage treats and functions. Paneer is readily available in shops but you can also enjoy fresh homemade paneer as it is not at all difficult to make.
Here are a few steps that you must follow while making paneer:
- Take milk that has a high-fat percentage (at least 5% more fat than regular milk) and boil it. Add an acidic ingredient such as citric acid, vinegar, lemon juice, etc. to start the curdling process. Tip: Buffalo milk is most suitable for making paneer since it contains a high percentage of fat in it.
- You can also use yogurt to curdle the milk but keep the quantity of the acidic ingredient you use in check because it determines the flavor of the end product i.e. paneer cubes.
- Start stirring the mixture. The curdling process will start after a couple of minutes but you will have to wait till the solid curds get separated from the whey completely.
- Now, take a large piece of muslin and place it carefully over a strainer or colander. Pour the mixture on the colander so that the liquid flows out of its vent and the solids get collected in the muslin.
- Rinse the solid with ice cold water to remove the remaining whey completely. Get hold of the ends of the muslin cloth and press out any excess water content from it.
- Now, leave the muslin over the colander and place some weight on it so that it solidifies quickly.
- After an hour or so, open the cloth and remove the soft solid block of paneer. Now, you can cut it into rectangular or triangular shapes as you desire.
- You can also grate the paneer and sprinkle it over gravy based recipes to decorate your dish. Similarly, you can also make paneer bhurji from grated paneer.
- You can use the paneer cubes in a variety of recipes such as palak paneer, mutter paneer, paneer masala and so on.
- It not only looks tempting but also adds unique flavor to your dishes. It is a high protein source especially for the vegans and vegetarians who refrain from meat and other sources of protein.