Paneer at home
In the Indian subcontinent, Paneer is a kind of unripened cheese popular item. This is added in many Indian recipes. But sometimes, may not be available at your supermarket. It is easy to make and since it does not require the use of rennet. Everyone can eat the paneer as it is completely vegetarian.
- 3-4 tbsp of citric acid.
- 1 L of 3.8% whole cow milk
- Lemon juice is used in this example. On concord, you can substitute with vinegar, lime juice or leftover whey from a previous batch of paneer.
- After boiling the milk, turn off the heat and bring the milk to a temperature. This should be about 80°C/(176 f)Temp.
- Add 5 ml (one teaspoon) citric acid or lemon juice at a time. Stir the milk after each addition until the milk separates. Then the solid curds part from the watery and green whey.
- Allow the curds and whey to cool for half of an hour or until still warm. You can handle, then strain the mixture through a cheesecloth in a strainer. With the fresh water rinse the curds. The whey can be used to make your next batch of paneer as you may wish to save some or all of the whey, producing a slightly more tender cheese than lemon juice.
- From the curd, wrap the cheesecloth around itself in order to squeeze out moisture. The firmer the resulting paneer shall be if you squeeze more.
- Paneer should be shaped into a block and wrap it tightly with the cloth. You can force out more moisture, and shape it into a firmer block that suits for frying and slicing by putting a cutting board or something heavy and flat on top of the paneer. Tie a knot and place the cheesecloth bundle in a box without closing it to get a more rectangular shape. To press down and give the cheese the box’s shape put something heavy such as a brick on the cheesecloth or a pile of books. The cheese gets firmer if you longer press the cheese. Not all Indian dishes requires cheese to be made into solid blocks. For instance, Stuffed Paneer requires cheese to be loose.
- Soak the block of cheese in chilled water for 2-3 hours This is optional, as the intention is to improve appearance and texture.
- For 2-3 hours in chilled water, soak the block of cheese. As the intention is to improve texture and appearance, this is optional.
- Follow the steps as directed in the above lines.
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