Learn how to make paneer at home. Paneer or cottage cheese is so easy to make at home that once you learn to make homemade paneer, I promise you will never buy them.
Since Homey loves paneer, I make them often; he loves paneer so much that he likes to eat them raw, my MIL says as a child he simply loved munching on it whenever she makes them. That's the best thing about paneer...it can be eaten raw and that means no aging or culturing is required, ah! yes! paneer is fresh cheese....and unlike other cheese, paneer does not melt when added in hot curries, skewer them, add in pulav/pilaf or simply fry them. So, next time you make palak paneer or paneer butter masala just plan ahead and make paneer at home.
Now-a-days, because of time constraints people like to buy everything off the shelf; but if you have a little planning .....in about 30-40 minutes preservative free and absolutely clean and homemade paneer can be made....If I plan to make paneer for dinner I make at about 5 in the evening (well, just mentioning that a little bit of pre-planning will help you save some bucks)
Making paneer at home is not much of an elaborate process; all you need to do is curdle whole milk and put the strained whey under some heavy weight, so that it will be pressed. Paneer is also known as cottage cheese, chhena, chhana, or sana. Sometimes, it is known as Indian Cheese. Milk is coagulated with food acid and the best part is making paneer is easy than any other cheese in the world.
As usual, I am showing step by step pictures, in most magazines or DIY tutorials you might have noticed that once milk is curdled it is wrapped in a muslin cloth and then hanged preferably over the kitchen sink for a long time or until the water is drained out.
In my easy method; I do not hang it in a muslin cloth or cheese cloth (I like everything easy in my kitchen) I allow the milk to cool down a bit and then pour into a sieve and after about 5 minutes in the sieve (I also gently press down with a spoon to help the water to be released fast) and then I transfer to a thin muslin cloth (I use "thorthu" as we mallus call our thin bath towel), squeeze it tight and put my stone mortar over it...and in about 30 minutes...perfect paneer is ready...though you can also do this at night and leave it overnight....much more easier.....bachelors are you listening!!
Bachelors, if you still dont have the patience to make paneer.....there is another easy recipe called paneer bhurji or paneer bhujiya; which is basically stir fry paneer and once the milk is curdled it might take about 5 to 10 minutes to make the paneer for bhujiya....its easy to make and perfect with roti or in sandwich.
After a recent turbulent health scare, I am scheduled for a surgery and hence I might not be available for sometime; so your comments and queries may not be replied as expected by you. I have scheduled some posts to keep this space alive and happy...thanks a ton for stopping by my little space.
Step By Step Tutorial On How To Make Paneer:
Heat milk (I used two packets Milma Milk) once it starts to boil, reduce heat and simmer....milk should look foamy. Squeeze the juice into it (make sure you remove the seeds or you can squeeze the juice out and add in). You can also add 1 tbsp vinegar or curd.
Add in salt, this is important....salty paneer tastes yum...well all cheese have a bit of salt in them. I hope you can see that the milk is starting to curdle.
Once the milk has curdled completely....switch off the fire.
I usually allow the milk to cool down a bit maybe 3 minutes and then pour into my sieve which is place on a bowl.....if you have a steel sieve then you can pour it immediately....and allow it to stay there for another 5 minutes....and also press them lightly with a flat spoon.
Tip: You can use the cooled whey/water to mix chappathi dough.
See the whey is almost gone. Now, this is the perfect stage to make Paneer Bhujiya or Bhurji. You can see the whey/water is almost nil.
Put it into cheese cloth/muslin cloth/thorthu....whichever is available.
Bring the cloth together and squeeze it into a tight roll.
I place it in a plate and put another plate on top of it and then placed a stone weight on it...perfect!!
Just 30 minutes is needed or if you do this at night...you can leave it overnight.
This is how it looks like after 30 minutes.
Cut them into your preferred shapes. Add them to your favorite Paneer Dishes.
Note: Fresh paneer does not stay good in the refrigerator, so it is best to use them up as soon as possible...or make them just 30 minutes before you plan to use them in curries.