Paneer/Cottage Cheese

The good side of making dishes at home is, it has no preservatives, no added food colors, baking soda/powder used to a minimum quantity. Well, i always wanted to make paneer at home ever since i had it in restaurants, as i did not get this paneer in near by stores. This was way back in early 2000, when i was doing my schooling. I persisted my mom to make paneer at home and she once made it. Of course it is an extra effort for us, as we are from southern part of India and paneer is not part of our daily food unlike the other parts of India.

If you ever ask my mom to make idly or poori, she can make it instantly without any second thoughts. But you know what, over the time, mom started to make paneer as a regular dish at our home at least thrice a month. Now, we can make it with ease and in no time; it turns out very soft and tasty. The dishes like paneer butter masala, paneer tikka, paneer burji all taste good just because it is home made!!

Once you start eating homemade paneer cubes, I bet you will not like the store-bought paneer cubes.

1 litre full fat milk/whole milk
Lemon juice extracted from 2 big lemons

How to make paneer/cottage cheese:

1. Boil the milk in a pan, when you see the bubbles coming up add lemon juice to it and give it a gentle stir.

Tip: You can also use vinegar instead of lemon juice.

2. Now, you would see the milk contents separate from the whey (the watery substance). This is the right time to switch off the flame, otherwise the paneer would become so hard.

3. Take a cotton cloth and filter the milk. This separates the thick cheesy portion of the milk from its water content (whey). Tie the cloth tightly and roll it a little bit as like pizza dough. You can also keep a weight on top of this cloth for about an hour. By then, water dries off leaving the paneer base.

4. After an hour, remove the weight and cut the paneer sheet into desirable cubes. Refrigerate the paneer cubes. This would stay good for 3-4 days.

5. You can use these paneer cubes immediately or freeze it till a month. A closer look at the paneer makes me drool over it :)


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