The perfect homemade Paneer
Hüttenkäsestücke mit grüner Erbsen in Tomatensauce, Oder Hüttenkäse gekocht mit Spinat.
Indian or not, if you’ve ever been to an Indian restaurant, you would have surely ordered one of the above two dishes! That’s mutter paneer (cottage cheese cooked with peas in a tomato sauce) and the other one is palak paneer (cottage cheese cooked with spinach)
A quick search will tell you that paneer is a variety of fresh cheese used in most South Asian dishes. Specifically in India – It is commonly used in North Indian dishes. The love for paneer in cooking has led to restaurants even serving paneer dosa for instance!
One of our readers, Mahima Agarwal based in Zurich, enjoys making paneer instead of using the store bought variety. She has sent us a step by step with pictures of how to make paneer.
Here is the recipe to make cottage cheese commonly called paneer in India. It is made by curdling heated milk with lemon juice, vinegar or any other food acids.
- For this, we require a heavy bottom pan, strainer, mortar-pestle (or any other heavy object), one to two lemons, ladle, muslin cloth and 1 liter of full fat milk (3.5% fat).
- Place the strainer in a big pot.
- Now set the muslin cloth in the strainer.
- Now, heat the milk in a heavy bottomed pan. In a separate bowl squeeze the juice of two lemons (the ratio of lemon juice is not fixed as it depends on the quality of the milk, high percent milk requires more lemon juice).
- Keep stirring the milk so it does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Now, the milk starts boiling.
- At this point, switch off the heat and stir it two to three times. Then slowly add the lemon juice to it, while stirring continuously.
- The milk will start to curdle. At this point, be a little patient. If it has not curdled properly, add more lemon juice.
- Now, we can see that the milk has curdled properly.
- Now, strain the curdled milk in a muslin cloth.
- Here we get the translucent liquid called whey (this could be used in the gravy).
- Now tie the muslin cloth and immerse it into cold water until it cools down and can be squeezed. (this is also done to wash out the sourness from the paneer).
- Make sure to squeeze it properly. Now, keep it in the strainer and flatten it with the help of a plate.
- Place a mortar or any other heavy object on the plate. This step is done to squeeze/drain out the remaining whey from the paneer. Leave this to rest for one to two hours.
- Here is the perfect disk of soft creamy paneer. It is ready to be diced for any gravy or it can be crumbled to make sweets like rasgulla or milk cake.
- We can make approximately 200 grams paneer after curdling one liter of full fat milk.
About the author, Mahima Agarwal:
I am a cheerful, friendly homemaker who loves to spend time with family and friends accompanied by a hot cup of tea and a slice of home baked cake. Like every other kid, I too grew up eating homemade desserts made by my grandma and ma. Being part of a family with a sweet tooth gave me the zing to try making all kinds of desserts… especially, tea time cakes (my favorite).