I love DIY stuff. There is a sort of independence in making something from scratch right at home. I know, this is a contradicting belief to getting something store bought. It is easy-peasy and makes your job in the kitchen simple. At the time, the joy of making things with your own hands, knowing exactly what has gone into preparing something – I have no words to explain this feeling.
During our growing up days, Paneer – the popular cottage cheese (from India) was not that widely available. Even if it was, it was very costly which meant we seldom bought it. We as kids were very eager to try it out, as it was the new fad. One fine day, Amma showed us a newspaper clipping that gave the recipe for homemade paneer.
On reading the recipe, all three of us (amma, me and my sister) were in splits. It was nothing but the curdled milk that was used for making Paneer. Milk curdled at our place all the time. And in minutes, amma would make a delicious instant Paal Kova (recipe for some other day) out of it. Never did we think that making Paneer would be that simple. We quickly put the recipe to test and we were super successful. That marked our making of Paneer at home, whenever needed 🙂 Homemade Paneer is delicious, fresh and much more hygienic – not to mention without any preservatives at all.
To make Homemade Paneer | Homemade Cottage Cheese
What I used –
- Milk, 1 litre
- Lemon Juice, 2 tbsp
How I made –
- Bring milk to a boil and reduce the flame to low. Stirring continuously, add lemon juice. Soon, the whey (water from milk after curdling) starts separating from the curds. When the whey is a clear yellow/yellowish green and all the curds have been separated, remove from heat.
- Strain the curds in a muslin cloth, making sure there is no whey. Fold the cloth in such a way as to shape the cottage cheese. Place it on a plate and put something heavy on top. Let it sit undisturbed for 30 mins. Any extra whey would have got collected in the plate and the Paneer would be formed.
- Paneer can be used immediately. For using it later, store it in an air tight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
- I used low fat milk – the quantity of paneer could be slightly less compared to full fat milk.
- Instead of lemon juice, non-fruit vinegar can be used. If not, curd/yogurt can be used too.
- Place a kitchen mortar and pestle or some heavy pan on the paneer to get it to the shape.
- Additionally, some herbs can be added to the milk curds before forming the paneer.
- Chop Paneer into cubes and add it just before finishing off the gravy, as this is fresh paneer.