Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Step by Step Guide to Paneer

The best thing about making homemade Paneer is that you know it will be fresh, it will never be  rubbery like storebought frozen cubed ones and you can infuse the milk with herbs and spices that will introduce a very subtle hint of flavor. It won't overpower and when used in curries, it will provide a distinct yet subtle edge.
Flavored with lime zest, parsley and cilantro

8 cups whole milk
1/4 c lime juice
1 tablespoon parsley
1 tablespoon cilantro
1 tablespoon lime zest

First, set a pot of milk over medium heat so that it can gently come to a boil. If I recommend using a non stick pot for anything this would be it. Make sure to stir frequently so that the milk does not stick.

Zest and juice one lime. Make sure not to get the white pith that is under the bright green peel because it's the pith that brings bitterness not the zest.

Line a strainer with cheesecloth that has been folded over four times. A single layer would not be strong enough to hold in the cheese.

Once the milk starts boiling add cilantro, parsley and the zest. It is all optional here, you can choose to add some other herb or crushed black pepper for a little kick.

Pour in lime juice and the protein will separate from the greenish whey. Turn off stove immediately as the longer you cook the harder the paneer gets. 

Strain out the cheese. You can use the whey to make bread or as soup stock if you like.

Grab the ends of the cheesecloth and twist the ball of cheese to squeeze out the excess whey.

Now place the paneer on a flat porus surface. and place a heavy pan on top of it.

The water will gently ooze out and you will get paneer that holds it's shape and does not crumble. 

Cut into cubes to use in curries or stir fries.  


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