You know how everytime we eat paneer, the flavours of the curry don’t fully permeate the center of the paneer cube? Well, this way, the inside is as spiced up as the outside. And that’s a win-win situation.
And anything you make yourself is great, because you know exactly what’s in it. The things that are being sold these days, are 30% junk. I read this news article that they found traces of horse meat in all meat products (including Ikea’s Sweedish meatballs and Walmart’s Corned beef) all over Europe. Corporates had to retract a lot of their products once this news hit the stands.
Plus, homemade projects cost waaay less. The making cost of my paneer – 36/- INR.
You can do the same process without the flavouring to get plain natural paneer.
This recipe has been adapted fromUmaskitchenexperiments
Flavoured Paneer Makes ~170gms
You will need
– 1 litre milk (4% fat and above)
– 2-3 tbsp lime juice
– Flavouring of your choice. I used 1 tsp chilli flakes, 1/4 tsp turmeric powder and chopped coriander leaves.
– cheese cloth/any fabric with a fairly open weave.
– something heavy to weigh on
– Heat milk to 80°C. (or just before it starts to boil). Lower the stove heat. Add the flavours of your choice. Stir to combine.
– Add the lime juice. Stir well. The greenish pale whey water will separate from the milk solids.This might take about a few minutes over heat, or 1/2 hr away from heat.
– Place the cheese cloth over a colander, and place the colander over a large bowl. Pour the separated milk into the cheesecloth. Bundle it up and let hang from a cupboard or over the sink. Place a bowl to collect the drips (you can rinse the panneer in the cheesecloth before letting it hang to remove the lime flavour. I didn’t).
– You can store this whey water and use it to make soups or gravies. It’s really nutritious. It can also be used to separate your next batch of paneer. Paneer made using whey water is more softer than those made with lime juice. Whey can be frozen for upto 6 months. Here are some things you can do with the left over whey water: What to do with whey?
– After a half-hour, squeeze out the remaining water from the collected milk solids.
– Fold the cloth in such a way that you bundle up the paneer in a cube.
– Wrap it tight, and place it in a colander. put heavy weights on top (I placed a small marble mortar and pestle (without the pestle) and on top of that a wooden chopping board, and on top of that the bowl of whey water. Sit the colander over a plate. This is so that the water drains even more. Leave it so for a couple of hours.
– Remove the weights once the paneer has firmed up a bit. I also found that removing the cloth wrapping away from the paneer and squeezing the cloth dry, and then re-wrapping the panner helped.
1. You can store the paneer (immersed in a small layer of water, in an air-tight container), refrigerated for about 1 week.
2. You can also cut them into cubes, and freeze them for up to 3 months. Just remember to thaw the amount you need in the refrigerator for a few hours.
3. But the fresher it is, the longer it will stay soft after cooking. There’s no joy equivalent to cooking the freshest homemade paneer.