Homemade Paneer – Step by Step

With ready made paneer being sold at $5ish per 250 grams, it only made sense to start making paneer at home. Look out at your local supermarket, or ask the customer info desk, they should be able to tell you when they stock fresh milk on the shelves. If you’re lucky, you’ll find milk that’s nearing expiry date for as little as 30 cents for 2 litres. I get about a 350 gm block of paneer out of 3 litres of milk. Do the math, it’s really worth the effort.

I love watching the curds form, and get really excited flicking through recipe books for great paneer recipes. I also make rasmalai out of homemade paneer and will be posting a recipe soon. Give it a shot, it seems like a great many steps, but it really isn’t difficult. Once you’ve tasted the difference, you won’t be going back to store bought paneer.

Here is what you’ll need:
Strainer
Cheesecloth or chux

You will also need:

3 to 4 litres of milk
2 limes (you could use lemons, vinegar or citric acid)

To make paneer:
Heat the milk on medium heat until it comes to the boil. Once bubbling, add lime juice (or whichever acid you choose to use), stir well and reduce to low heat. Curds should instantly begin to form. If they don’t start to form, you may need more lime or lemon juice or citric acid.

Continue boiling on low heat until all the curds separate from the whey. You will when know it’s ready when the liquid that comes away from the curds is almost clear.

Line the strainer with your cheesecloth. Drain the curds and transfer to the strainer. Lightly press down to drain any remaining liquid.

Gather the cheesecloth in your hand to form a bundle. Twist tightly and then stick the cheese running water. Be sure to get all sides of the bundle through the water. This will wash off the acid and ensure that the paneer is sweet.

Place the paneer back into your strainer, and place a heavy weight on top. I use a mortar and pestle. Be sure to place the strainer in a large bowl to catch the whey that is pressed out.

For a soft cheese, remove the weight after 5 minutes. For a solid paneer block that you can slice into, leave the weight on for a couple of hours. I also refrigerate the paneer before using just to ensure that the curds have stuck together. I leave it wrapped in the cheesecloth when I refrigerate it, and sometimes only use it 3-4 days later. The paneer will be fine in the fridge as long as it’s wrapped well. Enjoy!

 

Tip:
Let the whey cool completely, and dilute 1:6 with water. Use this mix to water your plants, they’ll love it.

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