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How to make fresh paneer

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Paneer is India's version of cottage or farmer's cheese. It is generally a bit more dense than other cottage cheeses. It is closer to Mexican queso blanco than Ethiopian ayib or Italian ricotta.

It is very simple to make, only requires two ingredients that you probably already have at home, and takes only a few minutes active and a few hours passive making time.

Once it is made you can cook it in a variety of dishes, or store it in the fridge for up to two weeks.
 
 
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Step 1: Gather your tools and ingredients.

HARDWARE:
- One large pot, preferably with a thick base. I am using an eight quart pressure cooker, without the lid.
- One medium to large colander.
- One piece of cheesecloth large enough to fully line the colander. I double it if the weave looks too loose. If you think normal cottage cheese would slip through the holes, double it. You can also use loose weave muslin.
- One long-handled wooden spoon or latex spatula.


SOFTWARE:
One gallon of whole milk.
About six to eight tablespoons of lemon juice. You can use vinegar in a pinch, or so I am told. I have never tried it so I couldn't tell you if it would be the same amount as the lemon juice.

This recipe is very flexible. You can cut it in half easily, but I would still use at least four tablespoons of lemon juice for a half gallon of milk.
sabu.dawdy1 year ago
excellent ~ible :)
could I use goat milk??? i mean, obviously it wouldn't be the same exactly, but would it work?
nanaverm2 years ago
Why Step #6? Is there a problem just allowing whey to stay on the curds before pressing? A cheese curd recipe I just saw omitted this, didn't bring the milk to a boil, and the result stayed clumped together better. But maybe the flavor was different, too, since your recipe cooks much hotter.

Thanks.
strmrnnr3 years ago
I researched this a bit and see that some recipes call for vinegar as the acid rather than Lemon juice. I am thinking that you could use different flavoured vinegars to give the cheese different flavours. All are in the region of 5% including the juice so the amount should remain the same.
I keep ending up with curds that are very, very small. Any idea what could cause this? The first time I tried, it worked, but every time after that... too small...
candiced5 years ago
Can I use a lower fat milk, like 1 or 2 percent? And does anyone know if the whey has any nutritional value and how I can use it? It seems like a waste to throw it away.
rupamagic (author)  candiced5 years ago
yes, you can use any of those. I usually use regular 4% but have recently done 2% with good results so I would imagine 1% will work also. Good luck and have fun!
rupamagic (author)  candiced5 years ago
I have not tried using 1% or 2% milk but I think it will work. If you try it let me know. I will try to do it myself in the next few weeks if I have time. I'll post an update once I do.
TheCaptain5 years ago
You watch Good Eats too, dont you?
rupamagic (author)  TheCaptain5 years ago
If I were a home wrecker, Alton would be my target! ;-)
Wonderful! I used to do that when I was young, teached from my mother, theached, in turn, from his mother. We used to do that, to have a fast and poor-like breakfast: - put the paneer (we used to call that ricotta as well) in a cup - put also some whey (the greenish liquid you get at the end) in the cup (not much: isn't really healthy, but give the right taste ;) - add some hot milk - add some pieces of bread (old hard bread would stick the tradition) - eat it If I'm not wrong we used to add also a pinch of salt before foaming the milk (don't know exactly why). I still remember the taste of that despite so many years passed from the last one I tried :) ...
rupamagic (author)  sciamannikoo6 years ago
I may add a little salt next time, I was actually wondering about that, because my sister asked be to make it "less bland" next time.
Salt is a flavor enhancer. Used to make this all the time when I lived in Tucson and we had milk goats--always wanted to make a hard cheese, but it always got eaten at this stage by hungry kids & others. :) You can add spices to the final step if you like....
booker2076 years ago
I made this last night and had a bit this morning. It has a lightly nutty flavor, so I probably scorched the milk when cooking it. It's a little bland as is, so I'm waiting on that Saag recipe you mentioned. :) Till then I might cube and cook it a bit with some seasoning. Thanks for the great instructable! ~Matt Booker
rupamagic (author)  booker2076 years ago
Saag paneer recipe up! Hope it's not too late.
Thanks! A nice touch adding recipes for garam and ghee.
rupamagic (author)  booker2076 years ago
Yes, it is pretty bland on its own, but should still have a light creamy flavor, not nutty. I always add something to it, much like tofu is really not able to stand on its own, it needs to be the compliment to something else, or the vehicle for seasoning. It also serves to mellow out a very spicy curry. I've been too busy to do the saag instructable, but I'll post the recipe later today. Sorry for the delay!
bbkf6 years ago
i love paneer and saag paneer is my most favourite dinner ever!! thanks fr putting this up and i look forward to making my own saag paneer once that's up.
idontcare bbkf6 years ago
really? i think paneer butter masala is the best i love paneer too
rupamagic (author)  idontcare6 years ago
Mmmm butter masala... next time!
rupamagic (author)  bbkf6 years ago
There, the recipe is up, and I also added recipes for ghee and my own garam masala blend. Hope you enjoy!
rupamagic (author)  bbkf6 years ago
okay, basic saag paneer recipe will be up by tonight, promise!
bbkf rupamagic6 years ago
hurrah! thanks loads. i however am already in the future (uk) so i'll look forward to seeing it tomorrow.
I agree with everything Brennn10 said. Great job, complete steps, absolutely just awesome pictures, yay for lemon juice and Dixie plates! :-)
rupamagic (author)  GorillazMiko6 years ago
haha yeah, Dixie saves the day
Brennn106 years ago
Great job! Complete steps, and awesome pictures!
rupamagic (author)  Brennn106 years ago
Thanks, glad you like it!
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