Paneer is a type of cheese first made in the Indian subcontinent. You can use this paneer in various dish like mattar paneer, kadai paneer, shahi paneer, paneer tikka, rasgulla, rasmalai, sandesh etc. Homemade paneer is tasty and healthy when compare to store bought paneer.
- 1 litre – Milk ( preferably 3% or whole milk)
- 2 to 2 1/2 tbsp – Fresh lemon juice
- Take a hard bottomed vessel, pour milk and bring it to boil. Reduce the flame to low and add lemon juice slowly. Continue boiling till it starts curdling, keep stirring until the whey completely separates. Switch off the stove. Make sure the milk is not vigorously boiling.
- Take a big bowl, cover it with clean cheese cloth or pure cotton cloth and strain the paneer.
- Wash the paneer in cold water for atleast 2 times. It helps in removing the citric taste from it. Put a knot to the cheese cloth and hung in the kitchen counter or just above your sink. Squeeze out the extra water and allow them to sit for about 30 mins till all the whey completely drips.
- Flatten it (without removing the knot) and place it on dosa tawa, then put a reasonably heavy weight on it. I kept one more dosa tawa on top and finally placed my motor and pestle tool. Allow it to get set for atleast 2 to 3 hours.
- Check the firmness of paneer at random intervals. After 3 hours remove the paneer and place it in a plate, keep it in a refrigerator for atleast 1 hour.
- Cut into cubes of your preferred size and use it immediately. Also you can store it in air tight container or ziplog bag and keep it in refrigerator.
- You can use sour curd / yogurt instead of lemon juice. You need 1/2 cup of sour curd for this recipe. I used fresh lemon juice but you can use ready to use lemon juice from store.
- Keep stirring the milk while it is becoming hot. You need to do this to prevent it from getting burnt at the bottom.
- If cheese cloth is not available, use a clean cotton cloth for straining.
- You can use the whey in making chappathi or even for making gravy if you prefer.
- If you are making paneer for gravies always use 3 % or whole milk. If you are making paneer for making rasgullas, then you can use 2 % milk or low fat milk.
- Setting time is very important in getting the perfect and neat paneer. keeping in refrigerator before cutting into cubes is more important since it helps in getting neat pieces.