Paneer making 101

Paneer: the immaculate white cubes of milk, while largely known as Indian cheese is in fact not much like cheese at all.. It’s milk that has been curdled, separated from the whey and compacted. The whole process doesn’t last anything more than 15 minutes. Beautifully adapted into any dish of choice and eaten just as it is with salad- Paneer is unanimously loved by each and every Indian in every form, shape and dish. vegetarians thrive on it because it can be prettied up and made into the  richest of dishes, and in fact be made into a bajillion dishes if you ever were to count.

It’s easy quick and mouth watering.. here’s how:

You need only 2 ingredients to actually make this.

Milk & vinegar. Now the amount of paneer you want depends upon the milk. If you need a lot of paneer you will need a whole lot of milk. From 500 mls of milk you’d yield around 100gms of paneer or lesser.. but fret not.

I didnt need a lot so I used around 300 mls of milk, but you can increase the amount of milk to as much or as little as you need. As long as you understand how it’s made, it’s a breeze…

Pour milk into a saucepan (try and use full fat milk) and let it come to a boil.. don’t grow impatient and dont keep playing with the gas knobs like me.

Once it’s come to a boil and make sure it has, add in the white vinegar 1 tsp.. increase the amounts only slightly whence you increase the milk.. we don’t want out paneer vinegary.

Please don’t stare at my kitchen walls.. take a moment and watch paneer making in process. This is the curd separating from the whey which btw is extremely rich in proteins.

Well, this is what it should all look like.. we have yet to separate the whey.

take a really fine cloth, cheesecloth or in my case a stolen kerchief from a stack of my husband’s white and soft kerchief piles.

Placing it in a bowl tumble over all the curd, thus separating the whey.. be careful this is extremely hot and let it be for some time before you finally lift it up.

You can see the whey is separated. Discard it and put the cloth back in try squeezing it out once it has cooled down a bit, this is very very hot right now. You can even hang it and let all the whey slowly drip out, if you have the time. I’m impatient and I always burn my palms.. but such is life.

This is after burning my palms and squeezing out all the whey.. let it rest awhile.. if you want: put something heavy on top of it and let it be for some time, until it has finally cooled down and is ready for the unraveling..

Behold !!! the conversion of milk into this beautiful, springy, soft and almost crumbly paneer. You can cut it into cubes or mash it or just eat it with a salad, or sprinkle some salt n pepper or your favourite dressing and have it with your drinks..

Enjoy !!!

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