How to make paneer at home?
Please read this blog to find out how to make paneer at home. I am sharing a step by step method that will help you to make Paneer or Indian cottage cheese as popularly known in western countries.
Well making paneer at home is easier than you would have thought! Most vegetarian’s staple food may be a paneer dish either with rice or roti. And if you love Indian food, and are a pure vegetarian, then I am sure you must be aware of what paneer is all about.
Well, the good thing is that paneer can be homemade, and the homemade one tastes better than the store-bought one and has far more nutritional value as it is devoid of any chemicals that may present in store-bought ones.
What is paneer, and how do you make it?
Paneer or Indian cottage cheese is a delicacy made by souring the milk either with lemon, vinegar or souring agents like yoghurt as well. Once the milk is curdled, then you can collect the cottage cheese in a muslin cloth and let the water drain out completely. Let the paneer set till it’s firm. And that’s it, and you have successfully made paneer at home.
Making paneer at home have a lot of advantages:
- First & foremost: it is free of preservatives
- If you are using good organic milk, then you can get good quality paneer as well
- Homemade Paneer is soft, nutritious and very, very delicious.
You need only two things to make paneer at home first is milk and the second is curdling agent.
For milk: try to use whole milk to get nice solid yet soft paneer cubes. I prefer using lemon to curdle the milk; then you can wash it under running tap water to get rid of the smell of lemon. If you use vinegar, then you will get a solid block of paneer. You can use curd as well.
However, the curdling agent will also depend on what dish you are making. If you are making sweets like rasmalai or rasgulla, then use lemon juice or yoghurt as they give softer paneer, which is usually preferred for desserts.
A small tip: If you want to make creamy paneer then add some heavy cream around a ¼ cup per litre of milk while you are boiling it.
The process of making paneer is simple;
- You bring the milk to boil on a heavy bottom pan on medium heat
- Stir occasionally so that the milk doesn’t stick to the bottom.
- Once the milk begins to boil, turn off the gas and start adding vinegar (or lemon juice), little at a time.
- After a point, you will see the milk beginning to curdle, and you will see the whey separating.
- At this point, stop adding the curdling agent, turn off the gas immediately and wait for 5 minutes so that the milk curdles perfectly.
- At this stage, the paneer needs to be washed with cold water so that the final paneer doesn’t have any taste of lemon or vinegar (whichever curdling agent you must have used).
- After a bit of cooling, use a muslin cloth to drain out the water and collect the paneer.
- The paneer needs to set firmly for that you have to put pressure on the freshly prepared paneer so that all the liquid portion drains out.
- Leave the paneer undisturbed for 1 to 2 hours, once set, remove it carefully from the muslin cloth and then cut it into cubes.
Tada! You have been successful in making homemade paneer, use this freshly prepared paneer in making matar paneer, palak paneer, paneer makhani, paneer parantha. I bet you won’t buy paneer from stores anymore once you become a pro in making it at home.
Note: You can use mortar pestle, or some heavy utensil on top to drain out the water.