Homemade, Flavored Paneer

Feb 1, 2012
Paneer, otherwise famous as Indian Cheese is pretty versatile.. used in a lot of classic Indian dishes such as palak paneer, panner tikka, and my favorite shahi paneer curry! Unlike most cheeses out there, paneer does not involve rennet- an enzyme used as a coagulating agent during cheese making. Also, it does not melt when heated..

Paneer
Source:   images.wikia
I am not much of a paneer eater, but every now and then I eat if it is cooked in a really good curry. Paneer, by itself does not have much flavor and has somewhat tough texture! It can be fried, curried, grilled and used mainly in appetizers, entrees.

I have seen my mom and grandmother make paneer but never thought about flavoring it.. simple, yet genius- whoever thought of it. I got inspired by a chef from Brilliant Restaurant in West London- voted for Chef Gordon Ramsay's Best Restaurant and adapted the recipe based on available ingredients.

Ingredients:
1 gallon whole milk
2 lemons, seeded, squeezed or add until milk curdles
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1/2 tablespoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon curry powder (optional)


Directions:
1. In a medium saucepan, heat the milk on medium flame
2. Once the milk starts to boil, add cilantro leaves, crushed pepper and curry powder and stir slowly
3. Reduce the flame and slowly pour lemon juice and gently stir
4. Once milk fat and whey separates, turn off the heat (whey: white/grayish liquid left after milk curdles)
5. Drain the whey using a strainer and cheesecloth
6. Wrap the cheese curdles tightly in cheesecloth and squeeze out all the liquid
7. Press the cheesecloth  using a heavy object overnight ( I placed pan filled with water on top of cheesecloth)

Notes: 
  1. Herbs such as mint, parsley can be substituted instead of cilantro  
  2. For curdling the milk, vinegar or leftover whey from a previous batch can be used. I  do not recommend using lime juice from bottle :(  it did not curdle very well on my first attempt  
  3. Storage: Cut paneer into desired shape or leave it as block and refrigerate in airtight container or freeze it if not using within 1-2 weeks
          
Curdled Milk



          

Final Product



6 comments:

  1. This looks really good and delicious! I might have to try it sometimes...maybe with mint (I love mint :D)

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    Replies
    1. I am sure mint would add a lot of flavor to this.

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  2. This looks like a great idea! Have never thought of something like this! Thanks for sharing :)

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  3. You've totally inspired me to make my own cheese with my kids. And love this combo of spices to jazz it up! Love all your healthy recipes!

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    Replies
    1. thanks Serena. Let me know if you try some.

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