Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Homemade paneer

Much like baking your own bread, there is a huge sense of accomplishment to making your own cheese. Even one as simple as paneer.

paneer
{paneer}

Paneer is the fresh cheese used in many Indian recipes. It takes two ingredients that you can purchase at any minimart, virtually no skills, and very little time in the kitchen. If you serve it to people, they are almost universally awed.

curds, whey
{curds, whey}

You need: whole milk + lime juice. For every half gallon of milk you need the juice from one lime. Easy to remember, right?
Basic* directions: Boil the milk, turn the heat down slightly and add the acid, then stir and wait until large curds form and separate out. Pour it into a cheesecloth (I used a lightweight dish towel, because I don't have cheesecloth) and let it drip for half an hour. Stick in the fridge for a few hours to chill and solidify.

paneer hanging
{paneer hanging}

We were having company, so I used a full gallon of milk and got a ball of paneer that I could cup with two hands, enough to make six good sized servings. Yes, it takes a lot of milk for not a huge amount of cheese. And it's totally worth it. We used it to make paneer curry with peas. It was delicious.

paneer, cut
{paneer, cut}

Generally, I like my cheese salty, but paneer seems to be traditionally unsalted. And this is fine, really, because it's mostly used in dishes with tons of spice and their own dose of salt. But if I were to want to snack on it, I think I would add a bit of salt.

*For a wonderfully detailed description of the process, hop over here.

29 comments:

  1. Oh my, this looks amazing!!! Saag paneer korma is one of my favorite Indian dishes, I can't even imagine the luxury of having it at home!

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  2. Curds and whey! Curds and whey!

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  3. i had never thought to try something like this but you're right, i'm seriously impressed!

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  4. i'm impressed...i have not ventured into homemade cheesemaking thus far but this sounds easy.

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  5. you have such a knack for demystifying homemade goodies that would otherwise frighten me off, R - this looks totally doable and tasty. well done!

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  6. Fantastic! I had no idea it was so simple- certainly going to try this. Now I just need a good demystifying recipe for naan...

    Also, I thought of Amanda as soon as I read the curds and whey caption, and perfectly delighted that she's already found it. Xo

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  7. i'm so impressed, and i had no idea it was an easy process. so trying this...thanks!

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  8. you're amazing. i can't believe you make this stuff!

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  9. I had no idea it was that easy to make. I will for sure try this. Thanks for the great info.

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  10. Pooh! I tried recently too and it turned out nowhere NEAR as lovely looking as yours! I used two gallons of milk and got only about half a cup of cheese that was all smooshy even though I weighted it with my 20 pound dumbells...

    Will have to try again using your recipe this time. You've renewed my hope!

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  11. srsly? rachel, now you're just trying to make the rest of us look bad.

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  12. great! thanks so much for posting this. i had no clue it was so easy. very inspiring.

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  13. Lovely photos - as always. Best wishes, Ida

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  14. I think I have to try this, and I don't even have something to try it in. I'll make something up!

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  15. I've never tried but would love to!

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  16. I just had this with tomatoes in curry at an Indian Restaurant, mmmm so good!

    http://thebusiestbee.blogspot.com/

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  17. Wow. It seems so easy. I will definitely be saving this recipe.

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  18. Wow I had no idea paneer was that easy to make! Thanks for sharing! I just found your blog and love it :)

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  19. I was just reading a recipe for paneer in this book the other day http://seenandsaid.blogspot.com/2010/03/forgotten-skills.html

    (by the way, I think you'd love the book too!)

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  20. Wow that is really impressive, do you have some recipes that this cheese is used in? I'd love to try it myself.

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  21. this is so cool. i love paneer, now im going to have to try to make my own batch :)

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  22. I just made it! It turned out really good - I used lemons instead (on advice of my Indian friend) and it did the same job.

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  23. I've made paneer a few times and I love it. Though my Indian friends insist on using 2% or 1% milk- something about the ratio of fats to protein in the lower fat milk actually helps the cheese set better.

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  24. Wow, rad. I've been meaning to try this!

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  25. I've been dying to try this. You make it look so easy...I hope mine turns out ok!

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  26. I just made some feta and mozzarella on the weekend - my first batch of homemade cheese - next Paneer!! Thanks for the recipe and idea.

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  27. this looks so simple - i have soured raw milk and have been looking for an easy way to make cheese with it, and i think this is it!

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