Saturday, September 17, 2011

Home Made Paneer Cheese

Last week Ferdzy, the publisher ofSeasonal Ontario Food,posted Beans & Cabbage with Paneer recipe. Itbrought back memory of my favorite non-melting cheeses. Of course, Halloumi ismy favorite, but since it is made with sheep and goat milk there is no chance Ican make it myself. Paneer, however, being a cow’s milk cheese is another animal alltogether (pun intended J). The reason I am saying that isthat one of my colleagues (back in my working days) had many lunches that hadpaneer in it and he said that his wife made fresh cheese on daily basis. Well,if you make cheese every day it does have to be simple, right? And is it ever!It is so simple that you can use just a quart or 1 liter of milk or even less. On top of it,as proven by me on my very first try, it is idiot proof!
When I finished pressing my firstcurds I have noticed that the whey wasn’t clear and light green as I saw on YouTube.No problem, I said. I put the pot back on burner and when it started to simmerI have added more lemon juice. And what do you know, new curds started to formand whey has turned clear and light green.
Lesson learned: make sure you havemore lemon juice than you think you will need.

Here goes a long list of ingredients.
2 L 3.25% milk
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

Yup, that’s it.

Heavy bottom pot
Muslin cloth
Slotted spoon

Now the hard part. Yeah, rightJ

Bring the milk to simmer,scrapping bottom of a pot as you go. When the milk starts to roll over slowly pourin about a 1/4 cup of lemon juice. Keep stirring until curds start to form. Ifthe milk doesn’t separate into clear and light green whey, add more lemon juice1 teaspoon at the time. Juice of one large lemon should be enough to make aclear separation of milk solids and whey but it is always better to be on safeside and have some more juice ready, just in case.
When the whey turns greenremove the curds with slotted spoon into a colander or strainer lined withmuslin.
Let it drain for about 20minutes and then tie up the muslin into a ball and put some weight on top tocompact the cheese. What I did was that I put the bag with cheese in potatoricer (it does have small holes all around) and placed 1 quart jar on top.Perfect fit!
Let the weight compact thepaneer to consistency that you like.
Well, the paneer is done andwhen eaten still warm and fresh with some strawberry jam, it is a heaven!
Next day I did try to shallowfry some slices with little salt and hot sauce and it was delicious!
Thanks, Ferdzy!

Note: Here are some video linksthat will help you understand the process.

On this video notice how fastthe milky whey turns into a clear greenish whey with just a tee-spoon of lemonjuice.

This one is interesting thatit shows how to make very smooth paneer. She is using oversized Indian spicegrinder but I am sure that mini-chopper will do same thing.

Very innovative and original wayto use paneer. It is a definite “Must try soon” for me.

How I made Paneer
 Lemon juice was added and curds started to form.

 Curds started to separate in about 2 minutes.

Curds are placed in fine mesh bag and let drain for 15 minutes...

and then I put the bag in potato ricer (to form nice round cake) and a full jar of honey on top. In under one hour from milk to paneer!!! And, is it ever good still warm and super fresh!


Anonymous said...

And, is it ever good still warm and super fresh!

Absolutely light and delicious especially warm.

The best fast cheese ever.

Marjo. ( The official taster).

Ferdzy said...

Wow, I will have to try that. Amazing. Thanks for posting.