Paneer is a versatile dish, and it adopts the flavor , from the dish, in which it is used. Paneer can be easily made at home.Paneer costs us around $5 .But when we make at home, its just $2 or less.Because a gallon milk itself comes around $3. Its healthy too on the other hand, because ,we make it in a safe environment.So to make it cost effective, I used to make it at home. I have been preparing paneer for few years. But never posted, in my blog . Some thing was holding me back. I have tried to make paneer using lemon juice and vinegar. But my satisfaction was met, when I used yogurt to make paneer, The paneer, which was made using yogurt is so soft and silky. Yogurt acts like a binding agent . I have heard, people use some corn flour or maida to make the paneer pilable. I have not tried it though. Here comes my home made paneer recipe.
Preparation time : 5 minutes
Cooking time : 5 minutes
Setting time : 2 hrs and 30 minutes
Yield : 500 gm approx.
1.Whole milk - 2 litres / 8 cups
2.Yogurt - 1 cup or as needed
You can replace yogurt with lemon juice or vinegar.
* Take a heavy bottomed, wide pan . Pour milk to the pan and bring it to boil. Here I have used whole milk, but you can try with 2% milk too. But the yield is less compared to the whole milk.Once the milk comes to boil, turn the heat to low.
* These are all needed for the process. A colander, a mixing bowl and a clean cheese cloth or cotton dhothi. Also we need a iron tawa or skillet and a big bowl of water.
* When the milk comes to boil, add yogurt to the milk. Keep on adding the curd, untill paneer separates from whey. The whey should be clear. If not add some more yogurt to the milk. Once paneer is separated, turn off the stove and add some ice cubes. This will stop the procees of curdling. This also helps us to yield soft paneer. If you are going to use lemon juice or vinegar, you can do so. But try to dilute it with little water and add it to the milk. What I learnt is , if we are using yogurt, the yield is high and also the paneer is soft . Yogurt binds the paneer together.
* Line the colander, with the cheese cloth and keep it on the mixing bowl. Pour the paneer mixture to the colander. Paneer is collected in the colander and the whey is collected in the bowl.
* Keep the bowl, under running water and rinse the paneer well. When you are using lemon juice, this way the sourness of the paneer will be removed.
* The paneer is collected and washed .
* Tie the cloth and hang it in your kitchen for atleast 20 - 25 minutes.
* Use the whey to cook any vegetables or add it to make roti. It has nutrients in it.
* Take a tawa place it on the paneer cloth . Place a heavy wieght on top of the tawa. I kept a big bowl of water , on top of the tawa. Let the setting stay for atleast 2 hours. This will press the paneer well. Cube the paneer and store it in refrigerator. When we are going to use the paneer in any curry, just soak the paneer in hot water for a while and then add it to the curry. This will make the paneer soft.
* Always, boil milk well and then add the yogurt.
* Paneer can be stored in refrigerator for upto 3 days. It can be freezed for almost a month in a zip loc. Just thaw the paneer and use it in your gravies.
* We can also use lemon juice or vinegar. But dilute them with little water and use it.
* The outer edges of the paneer, may some time crumble.We can use that in any dish which calls for crumbled paneer.
* Rinsing the paneer , is a must to get rid of the sourness from the lemon or vinegar.
* We can also spice up the paneer, by adding some cumin seeds or little salt or little chilli powder, before pressing the paneer. This will make the paneer bit tasty.