Paneer or Cottage Cheese
Generally considered as typically Indian, the Paneer pronounced as Puh -nir, is a simple home made cheese. Its texture is dependent on the amount of liquid squeezed out of it. Easy to make, it
is literally the curds separating from the whey.
It can be used in many forms in recipes. Most commonly it is diced and fried for adding to vegetarian dishes like curries and vegetables. I often use it in my samosas, quiche and even cheesecake. Served as a tea time treat when its freshly done it is delicious; warm and soft.
With no additives or preservatives it is a versatile recipe worth knowing.
|Free formed Paneer, creamy soft and extremely fresh.|
Makes 1 wheel of paneer approximate weight 500gm/1 lb
4 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups yogurt
1 1/2 tsp salt
Optional squeeze of fresh lemon juice or 1/2 tbsp of vinegar
For the Paneer
Boil the milk. Gently beat the yogurt with the salt. Add the yogurt to the boiling milk and lower the heat to a simmer. Wait for the milk to separate. On the first sign of that turn the stove off. Allow to keep on separating. Keep a sieve ready with a muslin cloth in it. Overturn the paneer mixture over it and allow to drain hanging the muslin very lightly. The softness will depend on how hard you press down and how much water you force out.
The addition of acidic liquid is optional to enhance the speed of the separation of the curds and whey; It is not a must.
Try flavouring your paneer. Add fine red chillie flakes or finely chop a small part of the fresh red chillie, a few finely chopped fresh corriander or mint leaves and add this for a festive look and a sharper taste.It will make an excellent gift for your hostess!
Alternately add freshly cracked mixed peppercorns.
Special utensils to drain out the paneer and shape it round are available in the markets.
|The three parts of the utensil to make a perfect paneer|
|Pressed Paneer; chilled overnight|
|An assembled Paneer pan !|
The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine.
Also check out my e-cookbook Niloufer's Kitchen Quick: and Easy Menu
Photo credit Sheriar Hirjikaka