Saturday, April 30, 2011

Taste & Create: Homemade Paneer

Have you participated in Taste & Create yet?? You totally should. It's a food blog event created by my friend Nicole. People are randomly paired off, and you have to make something from your partner's blog. Easy and super fun! What are you waiting for?

Go here to find out how to sign up, by the 8th of each month.

This month, my partner was Padmajha, aka "PJ" of Seduce Your Tastebuds. We've been partners before, you may remember when I made her Vegetable Kurma and Meethi Paratha last year. I always get so excited when I'm partnered with someone whose recipes are so different, a world apart from my own!

I've never had or made paneer before, but given my recent success with Greek Yogurt, I thought I'd give it a whirl. I might be using some of our paneer to make these Vegetable Paneer Parathas, if we don't eat it all first!

This is very simple to make, and has sort of a cream cheese texture. Yum!

Here is what you'll need, aside from milk and lemons. A pan or pot (I used my Le Creuset pan), a small sieve, cheesecloth, a large bowl (to catch the whey), a large sieve. That's about it.

PJ has a nice set of step-by-step pictures on her post, follow the link below to her original recipe.

Homemade Paneer

1 liter milk (I used organic cow's milk)
juice from 1/2 to 1 lemon

1. Heat the milk in a pot. Bring it to boil and turn off the flame.

2. Squeeze out the juice of lemon into a small sieve over the milk. [I used a whole lemon]. Vinegar can also be used. If it does not curdle immediately or fully, add some more lemon juice/vinegar.

3. The milk will curdle immediately. Let it stand for around 10-15 minutes.

4. Strain the contents of the pan.

5. Remove the paneer into another pan and rinse with water a couple of times to remove sourness.

6. Drain and transfer the paneer onto a muslin cloth/cheese cloth.

7. Squeeze out the water and hang the cloth over a bowl until the whey completely drains out, about an hour. (I couldn't squeeze very hard without curds squishing out of the cheesecloth, so I let mine drain for about two hours)

Paneer is now ready to be used in a dish of your choice. You can save the whey water, which is very nutritious. Here are some of PJ's ideas for using it:

  • Store whey in the fridge and the next time you prepare chapathi/Roti use this water to make the dough.
  • It can also be used instead of lemon juice[as a starter] the next time you make paneer.
  • Use it as a soup base
  • Add a pinch of salt and drink it up
  • Use it while preparing baked goodies.
  • Use it in milkshakes instead/with milk.

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