Saturday, March 16, 2013

Making Paneer at Home...a pictorial

I don't usually do this. It is so much more convenient to buy a block of Paneer from the store than actually make it. But sometimes, when I run out of choices and am craving for something specific (like today), and a trip to Indian store is not even a remote possibility, or if I need fresh crumbled Paneer for preparations like Paneer ki bhurji, I do this. I did explain making Paneer at home here, but here's a quick pictorial from today. 


Put milk to heat .....

Once warm, add a Tbsp of lemon juice

You'll see milk separate into curds. Turn off heat, allow to cool. Give 1-2h for the curd to "mature", grow and leave the liquid.

Line a colander with cheesecloth, ladle in the milk solids on there.  
Gather up the cheese cloth by it's ends. Squeeze out extra liquid. You can let it hang for another couple of hours, if you have time.

Squeeze the whole thing between something flat and heavy on a bunch of paper towels to absorb moisture.

And you have Paneer- the Indian style cottage cheese....

My two cents: If I have to use it in it's crumbled form, I leave out the last part- of squeezing it between the two heavy flat surfaces. The amount of time you give un draining out the moisture, determines how firm your Paneer will be. Today I made this, just because I was reminded of jeera Paneer that my dad used to bring from a shop in Aurobindo Place Market in New Delhi. Try to emulate that, I added crushed roasted cumin powder to the milk-curd before I tied it up in the cheese cloth to set.  Forgot to take pictures....sorry! The original version had whole roasted jeera in it. My dad (and I) loved this crisped up on a hot tava and sprinkled generously with chaat Masala.

That's what you can do if you decide to make Paneer at home- come up with flavored versions :-)