Isn’t it human tendency that if we get anything at a good price and no effort, we would end up buying it? That’s the case with paneer. Though my kids are not very fond of paneer, I still buy and keep a pack in the fridge for cooking with it. I have a big fan in B and I like it once in a while, so there is no harm in having a pack in the fridge at any given point of time.
However, my cousin swears by homemade paneer. Her family loves paneer so she cooks with it frequently. When I went visiting her once, I was shocked to see packs of neatly cut and stocked paneer cubes, and she said she had made it by curdling milk. She commented, “If you start eating this, you will never want to go for the packet stuff.” It did make me think a few times…
Though I still go for paneer in the packet most of the times, when I have milk ready to get expired, it immediately gets converted into paneer, just to avoid wastage, and even more, getting converted into dessert! 😉 Making paneer is super simple. All you need to do is to curdle up warm milk with an acid like vinegar or lime juice, so that the solid detaches from the liquids. You then strain into a muslin cloth and keep it on a surface pressed well till it is clear of all its liquid. The thickness of the paneer depends upon the way you gather the cloth and allow it to drain.
I usually use regular full fat milk while making paneer. If you are in the UAE, you will get a golden color labelled bottle called “Double Cream Milk” which is best for making more creamier paneer, and more quantity too. This is what my cousin uses for her making her stock and she freezes them in portions in zipper lock bags. Also, Gayathri had mentioned that adding a pack of cream (100 gm) would give richer and creamier paneer. I haven’t tried that trick myself, but you could well do it. You may have got an idea from the pictures above as to how I arrange my paneer to get drained. Anything heavy on top of the muslin cloth will drain your paneer in 30 minutes. 🙂 Off to the method…
PST: I converted this batch into the Makai Paneer Bhurji…
How to make Paneer from scratch
- 1 ltr fresh milk
- 2-3 tbsp vinegar/ lemon juice
- Keep a big sieve and a muslin cloth ready. Please the muslin cloth folded to make it thick over the sieve.
- Heat milk in a saucepan.
- As the milk starts getting hot, ie. bubbles appear on the side, add in the vinegar or lemon juice. You will start seeing the mixture coagulating.
- Keep heating it till the water turns colorless (whey) and the milk solid is collected at the top.
- Switch off and pour into the prepared muslin cloth.
- Run cold water over the solids just to wash it. Bring the sides of the cloth together and give it a soft squeeze to take off excess water.
- Place the cloth on a rolling pan or any wooden surface and place a heavy object on top of it (as seen in the third picture).
- Leave it that way for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, remove the heavy object and unfold the muslin cloth. Cut the paneer into desired shapes and use immediately or freeze for a week.
For more quantity of paneer, you can use double cream milk.
You can collect the whey and use it for making chapathis or watering your potted plants at home.