Wednesday, February 3, 2010

C'mon Here and Make Paneer!

February's Cheesy Challenge is to make Paneer!

This is another simple cheese, requiring no specialty ingredients, and made characteristically firm by pressing overnight. The firmness of the cheese makes it a good candidate for frying and it is a feature in many Indian dishes.

Use any recipe you like to make Paneer - this recipe from Mirch Marsala our lovely guest cheese-poster, or one of the ones below, or any you might have at home.

Paneer

200 Easy Homemade Cheese Recipes

4 quarts whole milk
4 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, approx.

1. Sterilize all equipment. In a large stainless-steel pot over low heat, slowly bring milk to a boil, stirring gently to prevent scorching. Remove from heat.

2. Add lemon juice. Stir for 5 minutes or until milk begins to curdle and the solids rise to the top. If it does not curdle, add another 2 tbsp lemon juice and continue stirring.

3. Pour contents of pot into a cloth-lined colander. Let curds drain. Rinse curds with cold running water, then twist them in the cloth to remove as much of the water as possible.

4 Twist the cloth tightly around the cheese and place on a plate. Cover with another plate and place a 2-lb. (1 kg) weight on top. Place in the refrigerator overnight.

5. Unwrap cheese and place in a small bowl. Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Variation:

Cumin Paneer

4 quarts whole milk
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp salt
4 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, approx.

1. Sterilize all equipment. In a large stainless-steel pot over low heat, combine milk, cumin seeds and salt. Slowly bring to a boil; boil for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring gently the whole time to prevent scorching. Remove from heat.

2. Add lemon juice. Continue to stir milk until milk curdles and the solids rise to the top. If it does not curdle, add another 2 tbsp lemon juice and continue stirring.

3. Pour contents of pot into a cloth-lined colander. Twist curds in the cloth to remove as much of the moisture as possible.

4. Twist the cloth tightly around the cheese and place on a plate. Cover with another plate and place a 2-lb. weight on top. Place in the refrigerator overnight.

5. Unwrap cheese and place in a small bowl. Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

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Both recipes deliver about a 10% yield. You will notice that the cumin variation has a longer fridge life - that is because of the salt.
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Well, what are you waiting for? Get into the kitchen and make some Paneer! Use whatever recipe you like and try creating a fabulous dish like Saag Paneer or Palak Paneer with the cheese.

*Email your cheese-filled adventures by the last day of the month to forgingfromage at live dot com.

Happy Cheesing!!

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3 comments:

Debinhawaii said...

Mmm...the cumin one sounds wonderful. I am not doing much dairy at the moment but may try to sneak it in and join you if I get a chance.

Coleen's Recipes said...

I would like to try this!! It sounds like fun.

Foodycat said...

Palak paneer is one of my favourite Indian dishes - I must give the cheese a go!